The spirit of this world - what is it in Christianity?
Spiritual life is one of the most complex sciences. Its concepts are not easy to comprehend, but the idea of them will be useful to anyone who seeks to know the truth. One of these ideas is the idea of a spirit that governs the world.
Opinion of Theophan the Recluse
The Monk Theophan the Recluse writes that the spirit of the world is a spirit of hostility against the Higher, Divine powers. It causes a person to fall into a variety of lusts. If an individual joins this spirit at least a little, he will completely grow cold to Christianity. This spirit is hostile to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The theologian writes that it cannot be assumed that the material and the spiritual can be combined. After all, the spirit of the world is a crafty spirit that constantly seduces a person. Only he who is firmly convinced of his faith is able to resist him.
It is impossible to reconcile the truth of Christ with the lies that are constantly being wielded by dark forces. They hide the hellish depths, says Theophan the Recluse.
Explanation of Paisiy Svyatogorts
One of the greatest ascetics of modernity, Paissy the Holy Trinity, says: “The greatest enemy of the salvation of the human soul, which is even worse than the devil, is the spirit that fills this world. He constantly attracts people to himself, however, in the end, his result is eternal bitterness. That soul, which has become captivated by a vain and transitory world, is depleted. And the mind of such a person is dimmed. If at first glance this person seems outwardly to be a person, then in reality he is a spiritual “miscarriage”.
Justin Cheliisky about the worldly spirit
The venerable elder writes that the main secret of the Christian worldview is the reception of the Holy Spirit. The world cannot penetrate the soul of a Christian, make it evil, because the adherent of the teachings of Christ draws strength from the Lord Himself. And the more abundant a person receives in himself the Spirit of the Lord, the more perfect knowledge of God he receives. Then he will have access to peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The concept of peace, emphasizes Justin Cheli, is diametrically opposite. All that lives in the world - sooner or later decays and disappears.His spirit cannot know the Lord, nor that which He can bestow. The spirit of peace resides in authorities that do not recognize the Savior in Christ. He represents the spirit of the Antichrist.
The elder emphasizes that this issue is extremely serious for every person, and it should not be taken lightly. The person who chose the path of Christianity for himself must separate himself from all worldly things, not be influenced by his spirit.
The difference of Christian life
Christians have their own world, a particular way of life. Their activities and actions are different from those committed by the laity. Ordinary worldly people fill their minds with unstable thoughts and anxieties of this world, vain desires, material ideas. The devil shakes human souls with ordinary earthly affairs, overshadows their minds and does not allow them to come to salvation. From the time that the first people, Adam and Eve, had transgressed God's command, man became subject to the dark and dangerous spirit of this world.
In essence, the latter represents all those people who are at the mercy of their passions. They hate Christ, and their hatred also appeals to His followers.This is because Christians, in their way of life, point out the shortcomings of those people who are in the power of worldly spirit. The Christian makes apparent the weakness and lack of will of the sinner. The spirit of the world is inherently the opposite of the Spirit Comforter, of Truth and Love. The nature of worldly evil and evil.
Master of all worldly things
The prince of this world is none other than the devil. Since the beginning of time, this proud spirit has been a murderer and a liar, the main enemy of the salvation of the human soul. The devil is not just some kind of abstract evil, but a real spiritual being. Once he was a cherub, but fell because of his pride. He is the prince of this world. An incalculable number of other spirits followed Lucifer. They, not knowing a minute of rest, are constantly fighting with all that is good and bright, trying to impose hell on earth. And in this they contribute to those people who are subject to the spirit of this world.
The theologian Konstantin Silchenkov believes: they hoard treasures on earth, and are not able to rise above those things that can be seen and touched. With their heart they clung to money, glory, transient carnal pleasures.For them, there is no longer truth and morality, and in their voices desperate anger sounds.
Lies as an instrument of fallen spirits
One of the main weapons of the worldly spirit is an unceasing lie. It is adopted by all those who have committed to evil. They constantly live in lies, and also teach a similar approach to others. For example, the world of spirits and gods, invented by pagans, is one of the temptations, because for a Christian there are no other gods except the One God.
There is nothing surprising in this lie, because a lie is the native element of the dark forces and people subject to it. They cannot exist by speaking the truth. And as you know, it is the devil who is a liar and the father of lies, the crafty killer of man. Only one false thought is capable of knocking a person off the light path, leading to destruction, the holy fathers teach.
What are the people who put themselves at the disposal of the worldly?
St. Ignatius Bryanchaninov writes: “People who allow themselves to assimilate false thoughts at the same time assimilate the properties of the dark spirit of the world, outcast angels and the devil. Connecting with the Lord seems completely unnatural to them. ”
One of the main characteristics of those people who have betrayed their lives to deception and lies is sincere faith in their spiritual health. They tirelessly multiply a huge number of followers.A huge number of people are infected with deceit, because they are tempted by their example - especially if such an approach is convenient for earthly well-being. The world of the soul and the world of the spirit are closely interconnected - being tempted by temptations aimed at the soul, people lose their spirit, their connection with the Divine.
The duty of the people of God
It is up to every Christian to conquer the world. What can this be done with? The answer to this question is one: with the help of the world of the upper. The man of Christ comes from God, and therefore he can conquer the dark spirit. The modern follower of Christ is in fear of the anarchism and unbelief, of the wars and dangers that prevail on the planet today. However, the Holy Fathers emphasize that right now is the right time to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). This will allow to resist the cunning and guile that prevail in the modern world. It is necessary to invest all your soul and physical abilities in the work of God, prayer and fasting.
A similar struggle was carried out by Christ Himself, and by the holy Apostles, and by many of the Divine Apostles and Ascetics.Christ’s own life has shown that the spirit of the world can and must be conquered. It is necessary to live in the spirit of the coming Eternity, but not in the spirit of a passing day.
Properties of the world
The main characteristic of all worldly things is stinginess. This spirit can only take, and never - return. At first glance, it may seem virtuous, but in reality there is nothing like that. In the Gospel of Luke it is written about the pagan rulers: "They who own them are called benefactors." Attention should be paid to the last word - “called.”
So it was said by Christ in order to show the spirit of this world, not capable of doing any good deeds. Sovereigns have only the name of benefactors, but in reality they are not. It was in this sense that the apostle James said his words that it is the rich who oppress ordinary people, draw them to the courts, defame a good Christian name.
The spirit of this world is capable only of insults, robberies, discontent, insatiable desires. Any person who steals someone else’s or oppresses another is endowed not with the Spirit of the Lord, but with the spirit of this world.