The World Wide Way

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:2, ESV)

When we talk about “the world” and being conformed to “the ways of the world” we’re not just talking about blatant evil and obvious sinfulness.
The ways of the world include the way the world thinks.
It’s any ideology that does not have Christ at the centre and the Word of God at its foundation.

This gets tricky for us because on the outside, the world shares some of our values and conclusions as Christians.
We believe that men and women are equal in value and dignity and should be treated as such.
We believe that no one should be treated as inferior or superior because of the colour of their skin.
So in a simple conversation or even in a protest we can stand side by side.

HOWEVER we must not forget that the HOW and the WHY of these things is of the highest importance…and if we don’t pay attention to those we can be easily conformed to the ways of the world.

I’m going to say something that is going to sound intense now and it might trigger you. And I think that the degree to which it triggers you might mean that the ways of the world have actually got a hold of you.

I’m saying this to help you get free, not to prove a point or to get an intellectually superior buzz or whatever. I genuinely think you’re in serious danger of being conformed to the ways of the world which will mean that your ability to know and approve the will of God clearly is also in danger as the world is being very loud at the moment.

Are you ready?
Okay, here we go.

Both Feminism and Critical Race Theory are unGodly.

Honestly, if you feel that internal burning rise, or you’re already “losing interest” in reading this or only reading on so you can send me a response or rebuke me, please take a moment before we go further. I really don’t want you to miss what I’m actually saying.

As I said before, clearly both ways of thinking have values that children of God can affirm, however, because they don’t start with Him or lead to Him, we can’t own them.

Does that mean we don’t believe that men and women are equal? No.
Does that mean we don’t protest racism? No.

But men and women are equal BECAUSE they are made in the image of God.

Every race and ethnicity is sacred BECAUSE they are created and loved by God and Jesus Christ spilled His royal blood for EVERY nation, tongue and tribe.

Why is this important?

It’s important because the HOW to deal with the situation is radically different depending on: your starting point, what fuels you and the journey you take to get there.
When we set out on a journey our starting point will determine our direction. What fuels us will determine our determination. It will shape who we become in the journey and how the journey affects us.

Without God as the starting point, we don’t have His Word in the foundation therefore we cannot build on the basis of His love and His grace.

And what do humans do when they encounter injustice without the love and grace of God? They grasp for solutions to problems that are made by sin. Trouble is, sin is the real problem so we end up trying to fix our problems with the same sinful minds that created them.

See the problem?

The ways of the world often lead us to turn the sin that created a problem backwards and shove it in the opposite way and expect it to fix the problem.

It doesn’t.

You can see this in the way people are approaching anti-racism and anti-patriarchal structures. When white men are being demonised and their words and thoughts devalued on the basis of their sex and the colour of their skin, the world cheers with a war-cry of justice but I believe God is grieved in the same way He was during the civil rights movement.

Only a worldly mind sees discrimination and the ill-treatment of humans as a solution to discrimination and the ill-treatment of humans.
The ways of the world can look righteous but soon lead us away from God’s Word and can even have us affirming things that God hates and make us feel really noble about it!

Come on Christians, we can’t just spit back the world’s nonsense to them!
We need to prophesy to the world.
What is prophecy? Prophecy is speaking the heart and mind of God to someone else.
Do you know why the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy?
Well, what’s the tesimony of Jesus? The good news!
The gospel most clearly speaks the heart and mind of God to humanity!

The gospel speaks of the value and dignity of all human life.

The gospel speaks of a loving Creator who has a purpose and direction for all of mankind.

The gospel speaks of the corrupting evil of sin that exists in every human heart and clouds every human mind.

The gospel speaks of a ferociously holy God who is so good He aims to destroy ALL evil and all that robs humanity of their value and dignity. But it exists inside of us!

The gospel speaks of the unspeakable grace of this holy God who stretches towards us in love and forgiveness and provides a way for us receive them.

The gospel shows us the holy Son of God, bleeding and dying on a cross for the evil ones to be redeemed and rising from the dead to secure their futures.

So practically what does this mean for how we deal with feminism and critical race theory?

Firstly, it means we have to get passionate about relooking at our roots and foundations.
The world will let you keep your hatred and still work for justice. The innocent, bleeding Saviour won’t. If you want to be on His side you have to be able to repeat His words: “forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
Jesus prayed this for people who thought themselves justified but who were truly blind.
Have you been marching against injustice or have you been marching against people?

Secondly, we need to recognise that our minds need to be renewed and we need the grace of God for that because it is basically like trying to examine your left eye with your right eye. You can’t do it, unless you have…a mirror. Luckily we have one! James tells us that the perfect law of the Lord is our mirror that we are to gaze into and see ourselves as we are and change our actions (James 1:25)

You will probably find that you just read that and have made no decision in your heart to do anything about it at all and so thirdly, you are going to need to ask for help.
If your mind needs to be renewed then you can’t fully trust your own mind to do the job. You will need the help of the Holy Spirit and you will need Him to use the favourite tools of His trade: People.

Find Christians who sincerely love God and His Word FIRST and who passionately care about the issues of men and women’s rights and racial equality.
Read the Bible with them, pray with them and talk/debate with them.
Ask them to recommend books and sermons and podcasts that will help you to fill your mind with a view of the world that is grounded in the gospel and centred on Jesus.

The apathy in our hearts towards the Bible and prayer is symptomatic of deeper issues but it’s even scarier that we can begin to read the Bible through the “ways of the world” and make them seem legit.

Lastly, for those who made it this far, I am not implying that the answer to these complex issues is to simply preach the gospel to them. Please don’t hear me saying that. Of course I believe we should preach the gospel. But having the right foundation of the gospel in our lives will better equip us to engage with these issues in our daily lives and spheres of influence in ways that are redemptive, full of grace and lead towards God and not away from Him.

Every time we offer the world a Godless solution, we point away from Him. Every conversation may not lead to the cross but the wisdom God gives on how to live points to Him. Let’s share that with the world!

I really pray this will challenge you to think because I really believe we’re in real danger right now. I know many of you will be upset and/or annoyed by some of or all of this. Instead of ignoring it, commenting or sending me an angry message, why don’t we go for a walk and talk about it? Or share a phonecall? Heck I can even come over soon and we can have dinner!

My prayer is that no one would read this and be discouraged but that you would know that you can boldly come before the throne of grace to receive mercy and help in your time of need.

Our voices and our actions should be loudest in these issues but let’s make sure we’re standing on the right platform when we speak.
The world’s approval is not is not the measure of the truth.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:2, ESV)

What other common ideologies do we carry that might need to be weighed with the Word?


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