Choosing Not to Conform - Part 2
This is the second part of the article begun last week, if you wish to read it in its entirety please refer to last week’s bulletin for Part 1.
First, we must not be conformed to this world mentally. The world—by its advertisements, its conversation and its philosophy—is engaged in a gigantic brainwashing task. Much entertainment is slanted to those who feed on violence, sex and lawlessness. It seems that some diabolic mastermind is running the affairs of this world and that his chief objective is to brainwash Christians and to get them to conform to this world. The world’s sewage system threatens to contaminate the Christian’s thought. Satan will contest every hour you spend in Bible reading or prayer.
However, above the din we can hear the voice of Scripture: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). And: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Second, we must not conform to the world physically. These bodies of ours are intended to be temples of the Spirit of God. We are not to prostrate them before the temples of Baal. We are to present them wholly to God as a “living sacrifice.” Our dress, our posture and our actions should all be for the honor and glory of Christ.
Third, we must not conform to the world socially. The world attempts to absorb us into its secular society and to conform us to its earthly image, but Christ urges us not to conform. Clearly He says of those who believe in Him, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16).
Jesus dined with publicans and sinners, but He did not allow the social group to conform Him to its ways. He seized every opportunity to present a spiritual truth and to lead souls from death to life. Our social contacts should not only be pleasant, they should be opportunities to share our faith with those who do not yet know Christ.
Fourth, we must not conform to the world spiritually. We are not to be conformed to the world’s definition of what it means to be religious, but we are to make sure we have met God’s requirements for discipleship.
No nation was ever more religious than Israel in the Prophet Isaiah’s day. The Temple was filled. The altar ran red with the blood of sacrifice. The religious festivals were strictly observed, and the voice of prayer was heard in the house of God. But there was a lack of true devotion in Israel’s worship. The nation was deteriorating morally. Speaking as God commanded, Isaiah said, “Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting” (Isaiah 1:13).
Then Isaiah told them how they could be cleansed from their sin. He said: “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil. … ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool’” (Isaiah 1:16, 18).
There are thousands of people who do not give themselves to Jesus Christ, because they have conformed to the world. They are afraid of being called fanatic, pious, puritanical or religious. A true Christian is a nonconformist.
I’m asking Christians everywhere to become committed followers of Jesus Christ—not conformed to the world, but conformed daily to the image of Jesus Christ. Why don’t you, right now, give your life over completely to Jesus Christ?