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Lesson Three ― Christian Encounters Worldly-Wiseman

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 Reading: Pp. 19 ~ 26


     Christian starts off on his journey to the Celestial City; he meets up with Obstinate and Pliable on the way to the Wicket Gate. Obstinate finds the notion of this pilgrimage to be ridiculous, while Pliable agrees to go with Christian. As they are walking, Pliable and Christian have a conversation, and talk of the things to come. Pliable eagerly asks Christian, “Do tell me further of the things that are ahead, what they are like, how they will be enjoyed, and where we are going.” To answer, Christian says that he will describe them from his book, the Bible. When asked if he believed the words of the Bible, Christian says definitely, because it was written by “he who cannot possibly lie,” meaning God. Proceeding, Christian tells Pliable of the things to come, saying that there was a kingdom to live in, and everlasting life for them so that they would live in the kingdom forever. He tells of how they’ll receive “crowns of glory” and garments that will make them “shine like the sun in the firmament of Heaven,” and that there will be no more crying or sorrow, for Christian explains that God will “wipe all tears from their eyes.” The company there, Christian says, would consist of creatures that will dazzle your eyes; thousands of similar pilgrims, all loving and holy, “standing in His presence with everlasting acceptance;” elders with their golden crowns; the holy virgins with their gold harps; as well as martyrs of God clothed with garments of immortality. When questioned by Pliable as to how they would enjoy these things, Christian explains that God has sad, if anyone truly wants these things, they will receive it freely. Joshua Ma

 Main Subjects:

  1. What values and assumptions characterize Mr. Worldly-Wiseman?
  2. What does he learn from Evangelist about what was wrong with Mr. Worldly-Wiseman's advice? 
  3. How do Worldly Wiseman, Legality and Civility connect with their names?
  4. Verses
  5. Vocabulary

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1. What values and assumptions characterize Mr. Worldly-Wiseman? --back to top--

  • What does he advise Christian to do?

  • What happens when Christian tries to follow it?

  • Mr. Worldly Wiseman is a man that has experience from traveling around everywhere but even though that is true. He only favors the principles of this world and simply loves it. He takes things for granted and doesn’t realize the severity of the burden that is upon Christian’s back. Mr. Worldly Wiseman advises Christian to get rid of his burden as soon as possible. He thinks that this burden can be taken away by Legality; a man of lawfulness but that is not true in the case of Christian’s burden. Only God can take away what Christian holds upon his back and forgive him for his sins. Sometimes taking the more difficult route is better than taking the short way out. Shortcuts in life can’t always solve a person’s problems.  Emily Lu
  • Mr. Worldly-Wiseman advises Christian to be rid of his burden, representing his sins, to get rid of the Evangelist, and to be rid of the Bible as well. Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, believing himself to be very knowledgeable and wise, tells Christian of a “way of comfort,” full of “safety, friendship, and content” – in reality, it is the easy and quick way, merely a shortcut, while Mr. Worldly-Wiseman actually knows nothing of the ways of God. He directs him over a high hill to the Village of Morality, where Civility and Legality lived, people he said that would take away Christian’s burden. When Christian follows his advice, however, he finds instead that he cannot climb this hill. His burden became much heavier, and the mount began to erupt with fire, and Christian is filled with shame and guilt of what he had planned to do – had it not been for Evangelist to save him, he would have met a fiery end indeed. Joshua Ma
  • Mr. Worldly Wiseman’s values and assumptions show that he is a wicked, evil character. He leads to people to wrong paths on purpose, and trying to get rid of them. He doesn’t like people taking the Bible seriously. He told Christian that Evangelist’s path was wrong, and that that the path to Mr. Legality’s house is a good path. Jennifer Lee
  • Worldly Wiseman is an ignorant man. He is dangerous to pilgrims who meet him because of his counsel. Those who take his advice will almost surely die. Christian survived only because he wanted to get rid of his burden and he respected God. He did not fear him. Worldly Wiseman is rich in possessions, but not in values. His thinking is completely wrong and is one of the obstacles pilgrims face.  Worldly Wiseman tells pilgrims to go to Mr. Legality’s house to get rid of their burden. However, when they go there, they are disobeying God, which pulls them down under to the fire pit. Those who go there show that they do not believe in God. As Bunyan described it, “ So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality’s house for help; but behold, when he was got now by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was the wayside… …There came also flashes of fire that came out of the hill that made Christian afraid that he should get burned….”As you can see, Christian would have died had Evangelist not save him. Angela Zhou
  • Mr. Worldly Wiseman only follows the principles of the world. He takes the easy way out in everything he does. He advises Christian to go to a man named Legality to get rid of his burdens and in doing so leads Christian away from the right way.  Samuel Lu
  • Mr. Worldly-Wiseman’s values and assumption show that he is a horrible person. Like when he mocks the Bible saying to Christian that the Bible was a distraction to weak men. Or saying that Evangelist’s path to the little wicket-gate was a bad path. Plus Mr. Worldly-Wiseman tells Christian to go to Mr. Legality to get rid the burden there, which means he is a liar. There are many other reasons why he is bad. Elaine Lee
  • Mr. Worldly-Wiseman is somewhat a lazy person. He tries to direct people in the wrong direction. He tells Christian that there is a man that can remove his burden past Mount Sinai where Christian would have been killed if it wasn’t for Evangelist who told him that he was at the wrong place. Janna Qiao
  • Mr. Worldly Wiseman is the kind of character that thinks the right way is the wrong way and vice versa. He leads people to the wrong way, which he assumes is a perfectly safe place when it isn’t. Michelle Lee

2. What does he learn from Evangelist about what was wrong with Mr. Worldly-Wiseman's advice?  (Can you put this in your own words -- i.e., craft an accurate and informative paraphrase?) --back to top--

  • There are three things that Christian learns from Evangelist that proves that Worldly Wiseman’s advice was wrong.  First, he turns Christian off the correct path to salvation and leads Christian in the wrong direction. By following what Mr. Worldly Wiseman says, it is the same as rejecting what the Lord has told Christian to do. Secondly, Mr. Worldly Wiseman labors to give Christian the cross but no man can have that power to do so, only God has that power to so. Thirdly, he has no right to lead Christian on a different path. One that will surely lead Christian to death. He doesn’t even consider the man that he sent Christian to and how incapable the man is of removing Christian’s burden. The law cannot justify Christian’s burdens only God himself can.  Emily Lu
  • Christian learns from Evangelist that Mr. Worldly-Wiseman’s advise was guiding him on the wrong path – that it was directing Christian away from God to people like Legality who claim to be able to take away Christian’s burden, while, in reality, the law cannot do such things. Secondly, his advice makes the cross offensive and devalues the gaining of Christ and the burden, which, in reality, is worth “more than the treasures of Egypt.” Finally, Evangelist says that Mr. Worldly-Wiseman’s advice will have actually have brought Christian to his destruction, as Evangelist puts it. Evangelist also points out that the people Mr. Worldly-Wiseman was advising Christian to see are frauds: Legality is the son of a serf, not able to help Christian much, and his son Civility a hypocrite also unable to help. Evangelist tells Christian that no man can be helped by the law (Legality), as to the fact that no man can be relieved of his burden, of his sins, by the deeds of the law. Hence, Legality and Civility can’t help Christian, making Mr. Worldly-Wiseman’s advice even more horrible to follow, an attempt to deceive Christian of his salvation. Joshua Ma

  • He learns that Mr. Worldly Wiseman’s advice is a fake, and that it leads people to terrible harm and danger. Jennifer Lee

  • Christian learns from Evangelist that Mr. Worldly Wiseman only turns him away from God’s word but instead leads him toward death. He also learns that Mr. Worldly Wiseman doesn’t even think about the person that he is sending Christian to. Not even considering that the man is not able to help Christian in any way.  Samuel Lu

  • Christian learns that Mr. Worldly-Wiseman ignores God counsel during his life, because of his terrible behavior, he never listens to Evangelist’s words, and he is walking toward the path of death and anyone who saves Mr. Worldly-Wiseman shall lose their own life. Elaine Lee

  • Mr. Worldly-Wiseman is and evildoer who likes to guide people out of their paths. He claims to know a person in the city past the hill who can also take away the burden that Christian carries on him. Janna Qiao

  • Mr. Worldly Wiseman is the kind of character that thinks the right way is the wrong way and vice versa. He leads people to the wrong way, which he assumes is a perfectly safe place when it isn’t. Michelle Lee

    3. How do Worldly Wiseman, Legality and Civility connect with their names? --back to top--

  • Worldly Wiseman connects with his name because his name means being experienced and devoted to advancements, just like Mr. Worldly Wiseman. He only follows the principles of the world and only chooses what seems easiest. Legality means observance of the law. Legality is a man that solves his problems only through the law. Civility means courteous and polite. Civility is man that talks of what is right but doesn’t do it himself. He is simply a hypocrite. Emily Lu

  • They relate to their names by:

  • o Worldly Wiseman connects with his name as one who feels he is very experienced on Earth, one who knows well about the proper things to do. The name is actually an ironic name, where what the “wise” man feels is proper is actually only appealing to human nature’s “earthly” and sinful side, the things that are actually proper being not the things human nature would find proper, but what God says is proper.

    o Legality, on the other hand, represents the Law, which is described as unable to relieve one’s sins. Although the Law can do many things, through its powers and the legal things it can do, the Law cannot relieve one of their sins and their “burden,” and is thought of as a fraud. Thus, Legality is but a fake, one that people believe can ease them of their burdens, while, in reality, the Legality in the Pilgrim’s Progress is merely the son of a bonds-woman, or a farmer bound to the land – unable to help much.

    o Civility, relating to being polite and formal, represents hypocrisy, showing goodness and sincerity on the outside, yet not being able to truly help. The son of Legality in the Pilgrim’s Progress, Civility is just like his father, said to be able to relieve the burdens of a pilgrim, while actually not being able to do anything at all about it. Joshua Ma

  • Mr. Worldly Wiseman- Basically, Mr. Worldly Wiseman knows the ways to different places, but he lies to people and tells them the opposite of what they need to know. Mr. Worldly Wiseman cheated Christian and led him to the wrong path. Mr. Worldly Wiseman never listens to the advice of wise people, like Evangelist. Also, there is a document of the earth which he considered ‘worldly’, and he loves this document.
    Legality- His name is the opposite of what he really is! Like Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Legality cheats and lies. He probably chose the name ‘Legality’ to lie to people that he is a good man.
    Civility- The son of Legality is also evil and wicked. Like Legality, his name is the total opposite of what he is. Civility is constantly drunk. Jennifer Lee
  • The meanings of the characters names are connected by:

    o Mr. Worldly Wiseman- is a man that only follows the principles of the world and his name means devoted to the advancements of the world.

    o Legality- is a man that solves his problem through the law and his name means observance of the law.

    o Civility- is Legality’s son and is a hypocrite. Although he may be polite speaks of good, he doesn’t follow what’s right.  Samuel Lu

  • Mr. Worldly-Wiseman’s name matches with his name partly because he only likes the document of earth as for worldly. He likes the document for it partly saves him from the cross. Mr. Legality name means the state of being real, true, etc. But Legality is a cheat and tells lies, so I think Legality took that name so people would go to him. Like Legality, Civility’s name is complete opposite of himself. Civility means politeness while he is a drunkard and a hypocrite. Elaine Lee
  • The three men, Mr. Worldly –Wiseman, Legality, and Civility, do the opposite or are the opposite of their names They are all working together to misguide some people. Janna Qiao
  • Worldly Wiseman—Worldly means knowing a lot about society; Worldly Wiseman knows a lot about people and society. Legality—Legality means something approved by law; Worldly Wiseman approves Legality. Civility—Civility means polite; Civility is polite, but doesn’t know much. Michelle Lee

    Verses For The Pilgrim’s Progress pgs 19-26 Michelle Lee --back to top--

    • 1 Corinthians 7:29-What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none.
    • Exodus 19:16,18-On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Mount Sinai was covered in smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace; the whole mountain trembled violently.
    • Hebrews 12:21-The sight was so terrifying that Moses said," I am trembling with fear."
    • Hebrews 12:25-See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him whom warned them on Earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?
    • Hebrews 10:38-But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.
    • Isaiah 6:5-"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."
    • Matthew 12:31-And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
    • Mark 3:28-I tells you the truth; all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.
    • John 20:27-Then he said to Thomas,"Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
    • Luke 13:24-"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and many will not be able to.
    • Matthew 17:13,14-Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.
    • Hebrews 11:26-He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
    • Mark 8:35-For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
    • Luke 14:26-"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father or mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
    • Galatians 4:21-31-Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born by the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: "Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband." Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son." Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
    • Galatians 3:10-All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to follow the Book of the Law."
    • Psalms 2:12-Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in his way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

    Lesson 3 Vocabulary Angela Zhou --back to top--

    1. Hearken - listen

    2. Beshrew - curse (archaic)

    3. Wayside - the side of a path

    4. Blasphemies - insulting or hating of God.

    5. Odious - deserving hatred

    6. Ministration - ministering

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Last updated: October 22, 2005