One of the scripture that we’ve talked about often during the MANIFESTO series is Romans 12:2.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
This single idea has been a great source of inspiration for actionchurch to focus on the unique path and people we are called to as a church. We don’t have to conform. We can be different!.
Guess what, though. This scripture really wasn’t written for churches. Paul actually wrote it to individuals…people living in Rome who (despite the difference in the date) were very much like you and me. To be fair, that probably doesn’t sound like great news to you right now. It seems like a lot of pressure. This scripture often seems like a negative command to be different than everyone else around you…to be religious…to be “Holy”. (Translation-to be weird.) However, before you get that bowl cut and make your own jeans jumper, please take a moment to think about what this REALLY means for followers of Jesus.
One word. FREEDOM.
Freedom from our culture’s standards of beauty, of success, of morality. Freedom to feel fine about yourself even if you have less than 1000 Facebook “friends”. Freedom to be grateful even when you make less than the median income. Freedom to not buy what the political class is selling. Freedom to feel loved even if no one favorites or retweets that awesome selfie. You are free to question the things that “everyone knows”…and free to not believe what “everyone believes”. The list is endless, because if you are a follower of Jesus you are FREE.
Jesus made it possible for you and I not only to be free from the standards of culture…but also free to live out a version of our lives that is good, pleasing, and even perfect in the eyes of our creator.
I think that is VERY good news…