Have you ever heard the saying, “They’re conforming to the world”? I have, and I want to talk about that today. One of my favourite verses in the Bible says, “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I’d like to dig into this whole subject today.
To conform means to agree with something, or to be the same as someone else. Suddenly a problem arises with this, and it isn’t just exclusive to Christians. Everywhere I see people conforming to things that, not only takes us away from God, but from others. We’ve turned into mindless consumers, conformers who have taken on the mindset of those around us, and we’ve closed ourselves up. We no longer think for ourselves. We’re so conformed to the world’s mindset that we’ve shut God out.
I think that verse goes further than just conforming to the ways of the world. The sinful ways of man. It says we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We need to have a new mindset. The mind of Christ.
We need to conform ourselves to only one person: Jesus Christ. Not the TV, not the doctors (though they are very important), and not even to pastors. Yes, I’m walking on dangerous ground here (like to do that a lot!) but a friend once said, “we need to look to the Word for everything we believe,” and I completely agree, anywhere else is shaky ground. But sadly, the Bible alone isn’t enough for most, and this is where the problems begin in the Christian community. We’re conforming to what those “above” us say, and a lot of the time, without question.
For an example, the idea of Christian metal, a style I enjoy and love, is very looked down upon in the Christian community as “Satan’s music.” I once conformed to those beliefs myself, and I never felt at peace. Why? I wasn’t conforming to Christ, I was conforming to man! When you conform to the mind of man, Christian or not, there will never be complete peace. When I decided to stop conforming to the beliefs of man, and I began to really listen to Christian metal, I found something that none of the other genres of Christian music gave me. Bands like Wolves at the Gate, War of Ages, Haste the Day, and yes, Demon Hunter, have given me songs that have really strengthened my walk with Christ.
Conforming doesn’t stop with others as well, you can even conform to yourself. When we conform to ourselves, and our own beliefs (or desires) it can severely hinder our relationship with Christ, and even others. It stops us from growing in the knowledge of God’s Word, and it can stop us from hearing the Lord’s voice! The Holy Spirit is pushed aside when we don’t want to hear what He has to say, and we want to hear what we want to hear, because no one can tell us otherwise. If I gave you complete proof, without a doubt, that metal is just as godly as pop, would you believe me? Sadly, many will still say no.
We need to have an open mind, because only then can the Holy Spirit speak. If the Holy Spirit put something in our path that doesn’t fit our mind set, or if others have said that it’s wrong, it must be wrong, right? I’m beginning to have my doubts.
Another example: what if the Lord told me to go into a bar that sat across the road? A bar is a sinful place right? Well according to us, yes. Anyway, I choose not to go in, because it’s not a good place for a Christian to be. A few days later, a suicide story pops up in the paper, and the person being interviewed said that that bar was one of his favourite places to go each Monday, the day I walked past. I could have shown that person the love of Christ, but I didn’t, because others said it was wrong.
Let’s put on the mind of Christ, because only then can we truly be free.