To Conform, or Not to Conform…

Posted: October 13, 2011 in build up, compassion, Disciple, Discipleship, Family, great commission, Marriage, Mentor, mentoring, Parenting

I had an interesting thought this morning based on a passage of scripture that is dear to my heart.

In Romans 12:2, Paul gives us great counsel on how to live the Christian life. He writes, “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.” This is such a powerful verse and has been an incredible scripture for my personal spiritual growth in the past and today! The verse makes so much sense to me as a Christian…do not become so accustomed to what the world calls good, focus your mind on what God says is good and conform to that!

One reason this verse means so much to me is because God used this verse to get me focused on Him and not on the world. I used to be a sports radio junkie! Anything to do with sports, I was listening to it: ESPN radio, Mike and Mike, local sports …you name it. If you’ve ever listened to sports talk radio (and most other talk radio for that matter), the bulk of the conversations are negative, degrading, argumentative, and downright rude! For an entire year, I turned off all sports talk radio and focused my mind on scripture and Christian radio. I tried to listen to sports radio after that year and it made me cringe how negative the talk was and how disgusted it made me feel. I had filled my mind with this junk for years, and when you fill your mind with junk, a whole lot of junk comes out of your mouth! Garbage in, garbage out! Over that year, my relationships at home and with my friends changed (I still struggle with sarcastic humor…I am working on it!). I was calmer, not jumping to conclusions, forcing my opinion on others or arguing for the sake of being right. I didn’t put people down, see them as problems, or look past those in need. My perspective completely shifted…to a more biblical worldview! I am not saying that I am perfect in this area, but I can honestly say that I am a changed person (ask my wife)! By the way, I refuse to listen to sports talk even to this day…Going on 11 years!

That brings me back to my thought from this morning though…since the bulk of society, as well as most people claiming to be Christians, does not have a biblical worldview (seeing everything in life from the perspective of the Kingdom of God) how would this verse apply to them? Unfortunately, the “world” (I will define the “world” as non-Christians or Christians who do not hold true to biblical values) has their own version of this verse they use daily…they may not quote it, but their lives show it: I will not conform any longer to the pattern of the Church, I will be transformed by the relaxing of my mind. Then I will be able to impose my will on others…my good, pleasing and perfect will. New World Paraphrase.

Think about it…divorce is rampant, and people in the Church are as likely as non-churched people to get a divorce. Co-habitation has passed marriage in this country as the norm for a “committed” couple. Abortion is ok because a baby may intrude on my lifestyle. Lying is ok as long as “no one gets hurt”. Watching inappropriate stuff on TV is no problem because everyone else is watching. Viewing pornography isn’t really hurting anyone. Need I go on?

We have become so “ME” oriented that we have lost complete sight of God’s perspective on life – a biblical worldview. I have my theory as to why…want to hear it? We, The Church, have become so inward that we have forgotten what Jesus’ commanded us…to Go and Make Disciples! Jesus’ mentoring program was amazing and is very simple to follow. Yet, The Church has focused either on themselves (which will never make a disciple) or they have become so “seeker friendly” that they are afraid they will offend someone for sharing their faith. Both are cop outs! Focusing only on the members of our local congregations will only breed more self-serving, self-centered people that really believe it is all about them! Becoming so much like the secular world in order to draw in non-believers and then not sharing your faith creates…you guessed it – self-serving, self-centered people that really believe it is all about them!

So, what’s the answer? Fulfill the great commission to Go (build relationships with everyone from the perspective of God, pointing them to our Savior – this is mentoring), Baptize (help those with whom you are in relationship to take that step of salvation where they proclaim to God, “I am yours”), and Teach (help them become fully devoted followers of Christ – disciples). This is covered in Matthew 28:18-20. Then teach them to mentor others…disciples making disciples.

Ok Church, now’s the time to act! Are you going to just sit back and coast into the Kingdom with a self-centered approach to your faith? If that’s your thought, you may want to revisit God in prayer and be certain you are on the right team! Doesn’t sound like a Christ follower to me! Or are you going to live a radical life of transformation…one that builds relationships and points people to the Savior? It is time for the True, Bold, Empowered, Body of Christ to stand up for what we believe…we believe that Jesus Christ came to earth, taught a few men to make disciples, was killed on a cross, laid in a tomb taking our sins to death with him, and then….then, He conquered death, rose and is waiting in heaven to be reunited with us, His bride, THE CHURCH! He gave us a simple task…Go, Baptize and Teach! And that is exactly what I intend to do! Will you join me?

  1. Lisa Boyland says:

    As Rob's wife, I can say not listening to negative radio did make a major impact on him, therefore seeing the change in him made me want to have the same transformation. I switched from negative talk radio to encouraging Bible teaching programs, audio books, etc. I do not like to read, so this made the Bible come alive for me and gave me a hunger to understand it more. Once I understood the Great Commission, I was then empowered to Go, Teach, but have not baptized anyone yet!


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