Conform to Christ not Christians

The tragedy of Christians looking like the world is not the problem today. The whole “do not be conformed to the world” or “do not be of this world” has turned into clothing labels, and catchy worship songs. This has slowly taken off and Christians all over America are getting it, but now my concern is that these same Christ followers are looking to themselves. As followers of Jesus we are are not following Him at all. Instead we look to our left, or to our right, or even on the stage during a concert, or conference and we look at what people wear, how these Christians act, or where do these people hang out at. The question in the minds of Christians today is, “what must I do to look like a Christian?” Slowly this is suffocating Christianity. In the book of Acts, church or Christianity wasn’t a marketable thing. When Jesus taught, he and his disciples beforehand didn’t sit around and try to think up of some marketing strategy to get the people to come to him. People followed Jesus because He was God. He is still very God today. When did we ever think it was okay to split up into cliques in the church or at any worship service? We have put up walls and torn down bridges with brothers and sisters in Christ because of who we want to be perceived as, instead of laying our life down for others. We have made Christianity into a narcissistic religion, and not a true religion which is pure and undefiled.  Jesus said, we would be “known by our fruits”. Fruits in the Christians life have become the mission trip we went on, or the non-profit organization we support, or the music on our iTunes playlist. Instead of kindness, gentleness, goodness, love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, and faithfulness, which this should be in the entirety of the Christians life. Before you start questioning me, I am not saying that supporting missions, or sponsoring a child is wrong, but because of Gods gracious reward that you received freely because of His great love, you are then and only then able to love. Our identity is fully in Christ Jesus. Who He is, is what we are becoming everyday. Christian, you are not your label, you are not the music you listen to, or the people you associate yourself around. You are who Jesus Christ is making you to be. It is only Him who gives you the faith to look past what other Christians think of you, and straight to who He sees you as. I would never think this would be a problem, and maybe it is just a struggle I have. At the beginning of Romans 12, the Holy Spirit writes through the pen of Paul, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship”. Paul’s appeal that we might present our bodies as 1.) a living sacrifice 2.) holy 3.) acceptable. This presentation of our life is to God. No one else. All of this is our spiritual worship. Our worship of God is in the way we present our bodies to Him. Our worship should not be acceptable to anyone, but God. Paul writes on, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable and perfect”. I find it quite funny, when someone asks me “what is the will of God” “I sure wish God would answer my prayer on what His will for my life is”. Don’t be quick to judge, because I am not talking about anyone except myself. I ask this a lot to God. When I fully seek Him with all of my heart, I begin to understand His demands for my life, and when I obey those demands I start to see where He is leading me. Obedience is what God demands from us. This isn’t a full-time obedience either. It should be, but His grace is there, and His love accepts our willingness. In verse 2, Paul starts off “do not be conformed to this world” comma. This isn’t a “should not” like he suggests us not to be like this world, but it is a demand. This should certainly be a non-negotiable for the Christian. When we are like the world we lose sight of how we should obey and submit to the will of God. When I find myself distracted looking to other Christians on how I should look, talk, and act like a Christian I don’t see Gods word for my life. I believe it is such a hindrance when Christian worship artists, and pastors get up on stage and have a certain apparel on. As a Christian onlooker I just want to look like them because that seems like the cool thing. This is not the cool thing, and these people may very well be submitting to God in everything, and it is just their culture they have adopted not as a god, but as Paul said, “I am everything to everyone so that a few might be saved”. This is my conclusion. There is a question that I haven’t quite answered yet, and it has been several months, but I may follow up on it in my next blog post. “How do we connect with different cultures without diluting Christ mission, and without conforming to the world?” What I would like to leave you with is that we are to conform to Christ, and what He is making us. Wearing the popular outfits, or downloading the most popular music, or supporting the newest non-profit isn’t part of Gods sanctifying work. Being set apart, and being made more like His Son everyday is. We are brought unto God to be set aside for Him forever.

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