Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
“The world was never meant to change the church; the Church was meant to change the world!” – Pastor Tim Stahlman
I like to observe things wherever I am. When I do, I learn so much. I’ve found that in the midst of daily activities the Lord will show me truths from His Word. In everyday conversations you can learn so much about the happenings in life.
Recently, I overheard a man start to tell a story about his father, a faithful man in the church for all his life, and his personal experience with religious leaders. Before I go further, I want you to consider how this church experience affected this man’s perception of church, the Bible, and ultimately God. His father was part of a denomination that had grown stale in its tradition, doing things because it’s just what they do, instead of understanding the purpose for doing them. This man continued explaining these “behind the scenes” experiences, then explaining that after they were all done with their rituals they went with the “leaders” and drank coffee spiked with liquor. This man, who now makes fun of those who are saved Christians, expressed, “That’s when I realized that ministers are drinkers like everyone else.” What he was saying is there is no change in them, no proof of being affected by their God. If they live like the rest of us, then what is the purpose to serving this God?
Now, I could spend time going to the verses that forbid those in ministry from drinking, or verses that tell us about how drunkards and partiers can’t get into Heaven (1 Cor. 6:10). I could talk about how we are commanded not to be drunk which takes away from us (Eph. 5:18), or how strong drink is for fools but I’m not (Prov. 20:1). The real focus here is, as “religious” people, what are our actions speaking to the world?
Literally in this account we see a family, in one generation, go from serving God to wanting nothing to do with Him because of the apparent hypocrisy of the faith. How do I know this from one encounter, you might ask? I have had many opportunities to watch and listen, and from this source these things have been made clear. Regardless, my intent is also not to judge him, his father, or those spiritual leaders. That would again be missing the whole point.
The point I am making is that as Christians, we need to be careful what we do, because even when we don’t think so, people are watching. People watching us will judge our faith and our God by our actions. That’s sobering! Yes, I don’t sit judging those people, but I judge myself. What have I done that pushes people from the Truth? Are there areas of my life that, instead of shining as a light, I work as a repellent to the gospel? I am also not talking about living in condemnation. What I’m saying is, if you believe you are Christ’s you owe it to Him and the blood He bought you with to consider your life and the things that you do. Your actions and those things you insist upon matter to those looking in. How many parents have pushed their children from God and to the path of hell, because they refuse to change?
We need to consider that with every area of life where we willingly compromise, others view it as hypocrisy. In fact, most of any atheist’s ammunition against our faith comes from the very ones who practice it! We owe it to God to consider these things because, after all, He didn’t just die for you. He died for each and every person who goes to hell every single day. 1 Corinthians 11:31, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”