In Romans, Paul writes “Do not be conformed of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” In 2 Corinthians it’s written: “Therefore if anyone is in Chris, he is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come.” 1 Peter says “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves are… to be a holy priesthood…”
2 Corinthians “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…”
“Seek the things that are above, where Christ is…” – Colossians
1 Peter again states, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession…”
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” – the Gospel of John
And one again Paul writes “…called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…” That’s where I begin asking questions.. on this phrase “to be set apart”
I think you’re getting my point…
All throughout scriptures, the Bible has a consistent theme for Christians, we should look and act differently and I completely get it. We have a different worldview and we have a different mission, but at what point does our “apartness” alienate us from being able to make an impact.
I’m not saying that we need to be exactly like the rest of the unchurched world, but I am begging the question as to where the line is.
Mark Driscoll wrote in one of his books about going to a Gay Bar with a friend who had recently publicized his homosexuality so he wouldn’t feel banned by the church. And yet on the flip side, there are countless churches all across the nation that believe drinking alcohol of any kind is not appropriate for a bible-believing christian.
That’s where I begin to struggle to see what the “in the world, and not of the world” line is drawn. I’m not advocating drinking or attending gay bars. I’m simply asking the question as to where judgement meets the opportunity for impact.
How can we impact the world for the sake of the gospel when we’re so far from it that we don’t understand the world? We eventually won’t be able to speak a language. We also can’t loose our credibility for the life-change we’ve all experienced through Jesus if we have the same lifestyles and habits.
Christ has called us to be set apart from the world now that we are apostles of His word, but my question is… How Far Apart?