"Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." They usually use the KJV, so it translates as "enmity". Using this scripture, certain folks would accuse Emergents of trying to be friends with the world, and therefore enemies of God.
It seems that they forget that Jesus was described by the Pharisees (the spokespeople for God in his day) as being a friend to the world. Jesus was described as "a friend of harlots, tax collectors, and sinners".
Did Jesus befriend the world but then later tell us not to? Were his behavior and attitude something he did not want us to emulate? Is there a contradiction here?
I don't believe so, and I think the way this scripture has been used is a textbook example of prooftexting (using a scripture to defend a point that contradicts its context).
The scripture that is referenced comes out of James 4:4. When you look at the rest of the chapter and, indeed, the entire book of James you get a different view. It becomes apparent that, to James, "the world" is a value system of self indulgence, judgment, pride, and grasping. Bigger, better, more, faster. These are all values that James refers to as "worldly", yet much of the Western church has embraced. James was never stating that this was an injunction to stay away from non-Christians; or worse, to use the dislike of someone from outside the faith as proof that you are on the right path. This attitude is in complete contradiction to the mission of Jesus.
Here is a little more context to that scripture:
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?[a] 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."[b]