I recently heard the familiar Christian phrase “be in the world but not of the world.” While there is no verse in the Bible that says that word-for-word, there are a few places where that can fairly accurately be extracted. Romans 12:1-2 is perhaps the most clear:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
What does it practically look like in our world today to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind?” Or, to put it another way, what does it look like to be conformed to this world? Are American Christians these days conforming to this world? Am I? Are you?
In my four years away from the church, and frequent observance of Christians, I often thought that I would never be able to tell if they were Christians if they never said anything about it. Is that the way it’s supposed to be?
I know that exploring topics like this run the risk of the accusations of legalism and perhaps fundamentalism. I’m not saying that we should be determining a long list of do’s and don’ts. But what do you think Paul is trying to say here in these verses? Have we American Christians fallen into conforming to this world? Are we trying to be transformed by the renewing of our minds? What should all of this look like for the Christian?
Please share your thoughts if you’re willing.