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"Thy Word Have I Hid In Mine Heart..." Psalm 119 : 11

True Nonconformity

Learn not the way of the heathen.
6th December
John Calvin
Unless you are content with having God as your teacher you will necessarily go astray.
No command was more frequently given to the children of Israel than this. Moses and Joshua strongly impressed it on them as they began to take possession of Canaan. The prophets constantly called them back to the same standard. Yet no command was more disregarded. Even in the days of Moses there were flagrant violations. Israel made a golden calf and worshipped it, an imitation of Egyptian heathen religion. At Baal-peor the people fell into fornication and idolatry with the Midianites. Throughout the period of the Judges there were multiplied regressions into heathen religion and practice. In the end, it was learning the way of the heathen that led both Israel and Judah into captivity.

All this proves one thing very clearly: consistent separation unto the Lord is the heart of true holiness and yet is the most difficult thing for us to maintain. We are under strong and constant pressure to conform to the spirit of the age. We are bombarded by the heathen ideas and practices of the ungodly. The temptation is to try to come to terms with all this and not appear too extreme. That is fatal, as many a believer has found out.

Conformity to the world is killing the effectiveness of most churches because it is killing their holiness. The old saying, 'I looked for the church and I found it in the world; I looked for the world and I found it in the church,' is truer today than ever. Christians have learned the way of the heathen in their appearance, their actions, their entertainment, their families, and even their religion. The price they have to pay is enormous, for they lose their joy, their power, and very often their children -  all sacrificed on the altar of conformity to the heathen.

'Be not conformed to this world' is the Lord's call to us (Rom. 12:2). Oh! for such a sight of Christ that we would be overcome with a desire to be like Him. The more we are like Christ, the less we will be like the heathen. This is true holiness.