Biblical Nonconformity

Church Family: How are you as a Christian to stand against the culture's demands for you to conform to all that it yells at you? Are you to get louder, make threats like them, write long social media rants, vandalize property, or maybe justify changing your moral standards to become more open and acceptable to those demands?

Well, the Bible makes our response clear. God commands Christians to embrace a lifestyle of nonconformity to this world, Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world.” But, what exactly is biblical nonconformity? Is it just not doing what the world is doing? So, we just need to go get a list of everything that the world is enjoying and then just not do those things? Is that what God is wanting from us? That is basically the same definition of nonconformity that our culture pursues. Secular culture loves rebelling against social norms. Is that what we are called to do as the Church, rebel against secular cultural norms?

Well, that is part of it but not the heart of our calling. God is not asking us just to be known as the Church of the Iron Curtain that is always standing against worldly culture. We are not being called to be known as the Church that is always on the defense against the world, not conforming to it. As Christians, it is easy to live out the command of nonconformity by living in two opposing extremes. We can live in the extreme of being a rigid legalist that makes our own rules and standards that are not from Scripture to stand against the culture. Or we become very lax as we seek to be relevant to culture ignoring what Scripture clearly says about specific cultural norms. Both are wrong.

Instead of living in the extremes, we need to simply live out what Scripture says. God’s call for us to "not be conformed to this world" is fulfilled by "being transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). There it is, biblical nonconformity is simply being transformed by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit of God. The way that you are to stand against the culture's demands for you to embrace their ideology is for your mind to be continually being transformed by the joyous power and transformation of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. You see, your calling is to “be transformed” not just to be unconformed. This is a progressive transformation into what God wants us to be, more and more like Jesus Christ. This transformation is never only outward or physical. Instead it is primarily inward and spiritual. The reason our minds need constant transformation is because they are sinful, and apart from God’s grace we use them to defy Him and be conformed to this world. We must have a mindset to always be transforming through the washing and the regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

A life of joyful transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit will give you the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to be a non-conformist like Jesus Christ.

See you Sunday, transformed: Steve

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