Doesn’t this remind us of the pollution spread by the false groups teaching false things today? There are a few descriptions of the worldly ways of living given in the Bible. But, one such description is that of a sickness that will eat away at a person’s soul (2 Tim. 2:16-17). Does a person have to take the gangrene like teachings of the world to be effected by them? One that is truthful and honest with himself knows that is not true.
We can get close enough that it changes the way we think and act without our realizing it has happened (cf. 1 Cor. 15:33). We come in contact with worldly things every day of our lives, and if we aren’t careful we will be effected by the sin-sickness by just getting too close and not rejecting the falsehoods. That is why Paul said to “shun,” literally, “allow it to pass by without getting too close,” like a matador escapes the charging bull without allowing it to get close enough for the horns to touch him. Why? Because the actions, teachings, mindsets and characters of the world are “profane and vain.” What does it mean for something to be profane or vain? The words that Paul used mean, “wicked (profane)” and “worthless or fruitless (vain).”
We must remember to stay away from things that are corrupted with the bacteria of denominationalism, anti-Christian attitudes, or worldly actions because there is a great possibility that the bacteria contained therein will get into our spiritual bodies, our souls, without us even noticing, like the salmonella bacteria snuck into the physical bodies of those fourteen people. When we have been washed in the blood of Christ and had our sins remitted (Rev. 1:5, 1 Pet. 3:21) we need to keep our “hands” clean and not go around getting as close to the bacteria as we can (cf. 2 Pet. 2:22).