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“At various times, drinking, card-playing, dancing, and even movies were viewed as “worldly.”  If you stayed  away from these things, you thought that you were not “of the world.”  But that is superficial thinking. What is “worldly” is whatever accepts the perceptions, presuppositions, and prescriptions of the world. It is a mindset that is tied to this earth and the pleasures, pastimes, and pursuits that the world offers. Teaching that proposes that we can understand ourselves and our purpose in life without reference to God and His will is “worldly.”  Preaching that promotes striving after success according to what this world has to offer is also “of the world.”  The apostle points out that whoever is eager to hear this kind of teaching and preaching is not “of God.” (Fr. Basil)

“I find it difficult to make a sharp distinction between what is “worldly” and what is “religious.” The terms seem to me to be highly artificial. Though they told me as a child that certain things were “special,” that notion came from living among people with a different cast of mind. Gradually the distinction came to lose its meaning, since everything became “special” in its own way. Every aspect of life, every problem and experience is directly connected with God.” (Father Alexander Men, Father Michael Plekon)

“The question posed by the Pharisees and Herodians appears to concern Caesar and taxation, but its purpose is to force the Lord Jesus to choose between loyalty to God and obedience to worldly government. Christ, in turn, exposes the deep error involved in making God an alternative to Caesar. Such gross oversimplification distorts theology into manageable human concepts – an impossible task.” (Dynamis 2/3/2020)

“The final thing that we have to keep in mind is that there is no balance. “Balance” is much too self-conscious. How would we even know what is more or less important, what has more or less weight?  Balance assumes that there is some ideal correct way to live in this world. But each person and each context of life in this world is so different that every person continually has to struggle to find his or her way. Rather than looking for an elusive balance,  I think a more helpful way to live as a sojourner in this world is to avoid extremes. That is, I may never find real balance in life, but I can avoid extremes, extremes to the left or to the right. Even the scripture tells us that we can be too righteous (Ecclesiastes 7:16). And I think we all know that we can be too worldly.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“Especially in Christendom…there was a unique tension between “self-transcendence” — a “turning of life towards something beyond ordinary human flourishing” — and the this-worldly concerns of human flourishing and creaturely existence. We might redescribe this as a tension between what “eternity” required and what the mundane vagaries of domestic life demanded. It was assumed that human life found its ultimate meaning and telos in a transcendent eternity and that the demands of securing such an ultimate life required a certain ascetic relation to the pleasures and demands of mundane, domestic life.” (Charles Taylor, James K.A. Smith)


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