Transforming the World Rather than Being Conformed to It
Updated: Jul 6, 2019
How do we, individually and communally as the people of God, become world engaging and world-transforming instead of being conformed to the pattern of the world? Far too often we either conformed to this world so that it is difficult to distinguish the Christian from the non-Christian in the factory, school, hospital, bank, etc., or we have become so isolated from the world that they hardly know we exist. Jesus commands us to disciple the nations. He doesn’t call us to be conformed to the nations or to be isolated and irrelevant to the nations. It is impossible to disciple the nations including our own without seriously engaging it and seeking to bring about worldview transformation at its deepest level of culture.
I believe that this is the primary yet challenging task that we face in Australia today at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We are to disciple our nation bringing its people who hold varying ideologies under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Now that is an enormously difficult task; however, it is not an impossible task even if it is one that may take many generations in the post-Christian pagan world we now inhabit. It is no different from the task that faced the early church as it confronted the pagan world of the Roman Empire. In less than 300 years, the early church overcame all competing ideologies within the Roman Empire becoming the main ideology force within the Empire, which brought with it a new set of challenges. This happened because the early Christians were discipled by Jesus and his apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit experiencing a radical worldview transformation. Acts and the Epistles are the records of that transformation as they struggled to bring their worldview under the Lordship of Christ. It was a messy business and not without its difficulties. It produced a band of faithful disciples who change the world.
If we are to disciple our nation, then we too must be discipled and experience a radical worldview transformation. However, the contemporary church mostly falls far short of these requirements. It fits into three categories: First, those who have had a conversion experience, but not been discipled nor taught how to live out their faith for Christ in a meaningful way. Second, there is another group who have been discipled and taught how to live out their Christian lives through prayer, Bible study, worship, and fellowship with other Christians. However, their focus in the Christian life is on themselves and their walk with God, but they do not imprint the world in which they live. The third group includes those who have been discipled and had their worldview transformed bring it under the Lordship of Christ. They are sincerely endeavouring to engage and transform the world, in which they live. Their Christianity as moved beyond the private into the public world without compromising the faith.