These are seriously changing times in which we live. Some of our core values in America are being challenged as being unconstitutional or as violating the civil rights of some of our fellow Americans. Similarly, some of the fundamental teachings of the Bible are being challenged as well. The purpose of this message is not to voice my opposition to the trend of this world because I know it has its own agenda. Rather, my objective is to speak to the Christian community about the implications of the current tide of this world. The way I see it is we have two basic choices. Either we can go with the flow of the world, or we can stand for what we believe as Christians. Paul the apostle was inspired to pen these words: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2a, KJV). Oops, let me back up. It seems as though we don't have two basic choices as I stated above. As far as the Bible is concerned, it is not an option for us to conform to this world. One of our challenges today is to become relevant to this current generation. But in doing so, we don't have to pattern ourselves after the way of this world so that one can't distinguish the world from the church. Also, the people of today that we are trying to reach for Christ will have implications on some facets of our worship style, but we should never quench the work of the Holy Spirit or downplay the spiritual dimension of our worship simply because we fear that this will be a turn off to some unbelievers. It is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that the lives of lost men and women can be miraculously changed. The interesting thing about the verse above is that it was written to the saints in Rome. This means that they were already Christians. In other words, Paul was not instructing them to become Christians so that God could change their minds. Rather, the verse suggests that he was writing to Christians who over time had allowed the world to influence their way of thinking and living, and he was calling them to renew their mind. The word renewed in this verse means to restore to a former condition. To me, this verse speaks more loudly to the church of today than it did to the church at Rome almost 2000 years ago. We must stop letting the world set our agenda. We must renew our minds and become transformed so that we can return to the biblical pattern that has been handed down to us through the Word of God. Finally, in the last part of the verse Paul reveals what the objective is: it is to demonstrate to, or to model before this world "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2). I submit to you that what the Bible is admonishing here is a lifelong process. As our society continues to redefine the limits of what is acceptable in our society and to challenge our Christian values, let us not become conformed to this world, but let us stay true to what the Bible teaches about the Christian life. We can do this if we continue to renew our minds through the Word of God and prayer and abounding in His work. God has not called us to blend in but to be different. Frank King
Yes, Yes, Yes Brother Frank!
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
[b]Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.[/b]
Excellent down to earth instructions for everyday living.
Right on Brother Frank! Renewal! One of my many favorite Bible verses! God Bless you mightily my friend! Dave
Brother Frank, whilst there are many new values or things that have cropped up in recent years , there are also many values, values of God that do not change or conform with the changing times.
May the Lord grant us wisdom to know the diffference, and to have to courage to change them if bad values have subtlely moves into our lives, our home, our school and even our churches. Let us only conform to the ways of God for now and until eternity.
Blessings always [img]http://www.tiptopglobe.com/skin/smile/s5374.gif[/img]
From Hwa [img]http://www.thesmilies.com/smilies/office/fountainpen.gif[/img] Silverpen
you know i read this blog the other day when i was just on for a few minutes. my schedule has kept me running these last couple of weeks. But it was even better the second time around. Thank You for sharing it with us. It is true that we need not conform to this world. In truth many spend their time blaming our governments for the demise of the morality in today society, when it should be placed at the feet of the Church. We have all fallen so far off from walking in Jesus footsteps that most do not even recognize their sin. We look at the world and blame the sinner, when in truth the sin is in the blaming. Praise God My Brother, you speak the truth. We must first give up our Life and then follow Him, by Loving God with all our heart and all our Mind and loving each other as our self. Believe it, when i say that many, hold onto their perjudice and their anger as they push aside their so called brothers in Christ. They walk a lonely world surrounded by their buddies as they ignore the ones our Lord is counting on.
Dear brother, thank you for ringing the same bell that I have been ringing for years. As all our brothers and sisters who have commented in here have said, we need to go back to the teaching of Scripture and follow the plan that God has laid down for us. In a mad rush to be relevant to society, we have forgotten that our first and only duty is to be relevant to God. Brother Bubbavela said it well, "... many spend their time blaming our governments for the demise of the morality in today society, when it should be placed at the feet of the Church. We have all fallen so far off from walking in Jesus footsteps that most do not even recognize their sin. We look at the world and blame the sinner, when in truth the sin is in the blaming."
Over the last three decades alone Christians have focused their energy trying to change legislature, blaming government, and blaming society the unfortunate consequence is that we have abandoned the Plan the God laid down from the foundation of the earth. Churches and Christians have also tried hard to make our services, ministries, and even our message relevant to society and we have forgotten that our first calling is to be relevant to God. As such, we have watered down the Gospel, bought into their world's materialism, engaged in political correctness fearful to offend, and slowly the world has crept into our sanctuaries. We have sought to win the approval of men rather than the approval of God and have become unfaithful. If the Old Testament prophets were here today, they might even call some 'harlots'.
What is the Plan of God? It is simple, so simple that we reject it. Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season to witness, to proclaim. Expend our energies to witness and minister to the lost. The world may seem to have changed but sin and its consequences have not. Reach out to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned. Do all these not because we want to correct social injustice, do these in obedience to Him so that our light will shine. Do these to reach out to a broken world so as to prepare for the sowing of the Word of God. Social justice issues will take care of themselves when we simply obey. Learn to love, to show kindness and compassion, to extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Become the salt of the earth. If only one tiny fraction of all the time, energy, and resources that we have dedicated fighting legislators and becoming relevant, conforming ourselves to this world, had been dedicated to evangelism and the good works to which we are called, I would dare say that our churches would not be empty. How do I know this? I know this because it is the plan laid out by God in Scriptures in the form of those things to which we are exhorted. During Jesus' ministry, he did not try to change Roman Law, He did not stand on a political soap box, nor did He teach that we should become conformed to the image of this world. He preached, He discipled, He witnessed, He tended to the needy, healed the sick, blind, and crippled. He consoled, He encouraged, He challenged.
I want to close with this, we have tried everything else by the power of our own reasoning and scheme. How about ding what Scripture tells us to do instead. Call me naive but I think the Plan of God is far superior to any plan we can devise.