And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
What do we mean by the word “world”? In other translation like, NIV, they use the phrase “pattern of this world” and literally in greek it is “age” . So what comes in our mind when we hear the word “pattern”? It speaks about a way of living, principles, a system. Therefore “World” in this text speaks about the different world systems, world views or schools of thought. So what are these world views?
I will give you some examples that really affect our churches today.
These are the Traits of Modern Evangelicalism:
In Mark 15:15; John 11:45–53 it shows how Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate handle the trial of Christ through a pragmatic way. They are trying to look for a solution that would work to the current issue they are facing. For them the end justifies the means. If it works, then it is true. Most mega churches view evangelism this way. For us to win them, we tend to think of ways that would make the gospel looks appealing to them, even though it is un biblical. We give them what they want, just like what Pilate did. The effect of believing or conforming to this system is to fill up the church with unregenerate people.
R.C. Sproul Jr. gave a definition of what pluralism is all about in his article Kiss the Son, he stated:
Pluralism is a half-hearted attempt at a compromise of convenience — we won’t condemn you if you won’t condemn us. We won’t say you are wrong, if you won’t say that we are wrong. We won’t find your views backwards and repugnant, if you won’t find our views backwards and repugnant.
Pluralism is that which is against any exclusive truth claims. It is the belief that there are many ways and many truths, all are true. It is inclusive. Have you been in a church where you hear someone say “you can voice out your opinion, because every one’s opinion is valid and true”? Or they say that there are many ways to heaven.
It is the belief that there are no absolutes and everything is relative. In John 18:38 Pilate mocks Jesus claims for exclusive truth by asking “what is truth?” He asked this not because of an honest inquiry but a rejection of any possibility of absolute truth claims. Sadly this is the spirit of our society today, government, schools and even in our churches. Adhering to relativism will eventually yield to anarchism and cultivates duplicity or hypocrisy.
Most of the time Humanism is confused with Humanitarianism. Humanitarianism is a good thing, it is the concern for the wellness of human beings and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, Humanism is a system of thought that asserts man as the final measure. It came from the latin phrase Homo Mensura or man the measure. Man in himself is the ultimate norm by which values are to be determined.
These are but few world views that constitutes the “World” and the word of God commands us not to be conformed with this world. The only way given by God for us not to conform in the world is by the renewing of mind, and that is by the work of the Holy Spirit through the word of God.