Transform Not Conform

“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.”  Romans 12:2

What is happening to much of the church today?  It seems we are leaving the teachings scripture and bowing to the desires of the world.  And the main reason I believe this is happening is due to church leadership fearing people will leave, and thus are teaching what they believe will keep their members coming.  However, if we taught the truth regarding this Christian walk and how we are to live it, I believe many would remain.

One area this is true is regarding abortion.  It is unfortunate that any church would be OK with the killing of an unborn child.  One of the ten commandment is very clear, “You shall not murder.”  Exodus 20:13.  An unborn child is still a human child.  Therefore, is murder.  The Presbyterian Church USA, in response to the 1973 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court referred to as Roe v. Wade, in a letter written by the Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, states, “It provided a legal framework to guide those trying to make responsible decisions regarding the possible termination of a pregnancy and it affirmed in the strongest terms the constitutional right of a pregnant woman to decide procedures and outcomes that involved her own body.”  (Rev Dr. J Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church U.S.A.)  In other words, they have placed the US Constitution above God’s Word regarding abortions. There are other churches and denominations that hold similar views, however, I believe that God’s Word is clear, we should not murder.

Another area that churches have begun to accept is the LGBT movement.  Many, wanting to be seen as inclusive and accepting, allow gays to be members, workers in the church, and even pastors.  There was a church years ago where the Pastor came out and declared himself gay and was applauded by the entire church and asked to remain as their pastor.  This is absolutely wrong.  For a church to view outright sin as acceptable has a major negative effect; that being the idea that sin is allowed and accepted within the church of God.  Same sex marriages are becoming more and more acceptable, and introducing this idea to children is becoming more prevalent.  In Cincinnati, one church has Drag Queen ‘Sparkle Leigh’ do LGBT story time during a regular church service.  He read a book telling the story about the first openly gay politician elected in California.  It was said that while Sparkle’s story was directed toward children sitting at the speaker’s feet, some teenagers also joined them in the front, and the whole congregation, young and old, clapped at the exciting parts of the tale.  And there are many other churches where homosexuality is now accepted and celebrated.

In the Old Testament, we see homosexuality is called, by God, an abomination.  “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.“, Leviticus 18:22.  And this same idea is also found in the New Testament. “And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”  Romans 1:27  My question is, how has this become acceptable within churches?

These are just two areas where sin has been allowed to infiltrate the church.  There are others such as racial tension and universalism.  We who are true Christians need to step up and declare sin as sin and admonish churches for these beliefs and practices.  We must stand up and fight for God’s truth above any other belief system or authority.  This must be done in a spirit of love, but not acceptance.  And if a church will not turn away from these flagrant denials of God’s Word, then, as Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.” Matthew 10:14.

Let me state that we are to reach out to everyone and present the gospel to all.  We must love them, pray for and present the gospel to them.  However, we cannot, in any way, shape or fashion, call these things acceptable to God.  We should help them in any way we can to understand what God says about these things, presenting the truth of God to them and assisting them in getting their lives straight.  We should be there for those who are condemning themselves for falling into these practices, showing them God’s amazing love and acceptance, and His willingness to forgive them of ALL their sins.  We must show the same compassion God showed to us, not accepting our sinful life, but forgiving us, paying the penalty for our sins, and teaching us the way of salvation and this Christian life.

As for us, we must never conform to the beliefs of this world but we are to be transformed through the renewing of our minds and let the world see what is acceptable to God.  We are to be the light shining in the darkness for all to see the love of Christ. Many churches are failing in this calling by allowing sin to be called acceptable.  We must pray daily for our churches so that they can stand strong and resolute in what God requires of us.  Then, I believe, we shall see a revival that will cause churches to grow rather than shrink and eventually die out.  This is not what God wants, but He also wants each church to declare the truth.  When the early church did what was right, notice what happened.  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47.  Oh to see this happening in our culture today.

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