“I read your article on how fake the so-called "Church" is, but what does 'not being of the world' look like to you, as a practical matter?
Whenever the Lord calls and chooses a person to follow Him, momentous changes will follow, generated from within as a result of His gift of faith
. Read Our Testimonies
for some examples, particularly wHaT tHe LoRd HaS dOnE wItH mE
for a look at what happens when the Lord makes a life His Own.
The point you need to know, however, is that one can't judge these things from externals. Tares look like wheat but aren't the same thing. Men can and do imitate and counterfeit Christ, being taught by others to do so. The Scriptures call it “a form of godliness” without God, and tell us, “from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5). It is also said that Satan's servants transform themselves into ministers of light (2 Corinthians 11:15).
Men can give up things like sports and much more. The apostle Paul writes about how it is possible for one to give away all his goods, even his body to be burned, yet still be without the love of God (1 Corinthians 13:3). It's all in the motive and source of the action, the invisible things of the heart.
Saints don't draw attention to themselves as godly people who are separate from the world. The Lord prayed that His people would remain in the world while not being of it, because they are like Him:
“I do not pray for You to take them out of the world, but for You to keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:15-16 MKJV).
Believers who are not of this world act according to the faith of Christ they've received as a gift from God. It starts within with Him, Who enables us to do on earth what is done in Heaven - “Your will be done on earth as in Heaven.”
It's by the same faith that we have eyes to see the fruits of faith in those who believe (forsaking the world, for example), which are otherwise hidden from the eyes of men. As Jesus said, you must be born again - “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3 MKJV).
While saints don't draw attention to themselves, there are those who profess faith and make a show of their sacrifices and works:
Isaiah 65:2-5 MKJV
(2) I have spread out My hands all the day to a rebellious people who walk in the way not good, after their own thoughts;
(3) a people who without ceasing provoke Me to anger to My face; who sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense on the bricks;
“(4) a people who remain among the graves, and sleep in the tombs, who eat swine's flesh, and broth from hateful things in their vessel” (5) who say, Keep to yourself, do not come near me; for I am holier than you. These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burns all the day.
Two people can do the same thing (or refrain from the same thing, like sports) - yet only one is going by faith. One has his focus on the Creator while the other has it on the creature (created thing). The one in faith is not of the world and acts according to his faith, whereas the other is of the world and tries to be as he imagines the Lord, which is another “Jesus,” made in the image (and imaginations) of men. It always comes down to faith versus men's works. God must deliver us from the latter, the paths of the destroyer:
“Concerning the works of men, by the Word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4 KJV).
Monasteries are an example of man's self-righteous effort to not be of the world. Islam, too, with its regimented behaviors that have nothing to do with God or faith. By their precepts and actions, Muslims separate themselves from the world through dress and custom. All of men's religious works are anti-Christ, which means they put men in the Son of God's place, deciding and doing for themselves what only He can do for those who believe.
The morals derived from the Ten Commandments are good for people and society to heed, such as not stealing, being faithful to one's spouse, etc…. But keeping the Law isn't the Kingdom of God on earth.
“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the Law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the Law is not of faith…” (Galatians 3:11-12 ESV).
Those who think that keeping the Law makes them holy and right with God are wrong, as with the Pharisees Jesus addressed:
As Jesus said: “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:20 EMTV).
So when you speak of loving your lying competitors, Marlon, the question is, are you loving them according to your understanding and righteousness or in the faith of the Son of God? Are you loving your neighbors by not refuting lies that may cause them loss and sorrow, should they believe your lying competitors? Does true love overlook the works of Satan, the liar, letting him work his destruction when there is an opportunity to respond? There is no one-size-fits-all response as every situation has its unique aspects. You need to know from the Lord what to do, case by case, which you will if He is leading you.
Here's an example you may find illuminating: http://www.thepathoftruth.com/what-the- ... 2.htm#evil
Does this help, Marlon? If you're interested in how we live, you're also welcome to come to our Sabbath meetings, where we meet with believers from around the world in a text chatroom on our website. Let us know and we'll send you instructions.