Transformed by the Gospel
29 August, 2015 § Leave a comment
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)
I recently read an article written by a pastor from Alabama called Paul Alexander that was republished by IndependentBaptist.com dated May 15, 2014. It is entitled “Why We Don’t Have Contemporary Music in Our Church,” It lays out a few biblical principles for why we shouldn’t sing contemporary music in our churches and cited such stalwarts as
- Do not love the world
- Do not be friends with the world
- Do not be wise like the world
All true of course and well documented in scripture, but all improperly applied. This article, to me, epitomizes the danger of applying biblical principles without the gospel.
Here is the article as seen through the eyes of the story that Pastor Alexander puts forward.
|Worship music as separate from the World’s Influence.||
1980’s-Present Contemporary Movement
Spoiled by Worldly Influence
Worship Based on Biblical Principles
|Undefiled Holy Worship based on Biblical Principles|
In short Pastor Alexander’s answer for why his church still sings hymns is that He doesn’t want to conform to the world. Now, if the apostle Paul had wanted to he could have written, “Be not conformed to the world but adhere faithfully to the traditions passed down to you,” but no, the direct attack against conforming to the world that Paul gives us is to renew our minds with a transforming knowledge. What knowledge is this? The knowledge of the gospel.
In a conversation about the gospel Paul uses the same word in 2 Corinthians 3:18 whereby when we behold the glory of the Lord we are transformed–same word in the Greek (Strong: GK3339). In Romans 12 Paul is talking about being transformed by the Gospel.
Now, let’s be clear. The gospel overhauls systems, reactions, relationships, vocabulary, motivation, location, transportation, affiliation–everything. God’s motivation for saving you is out of love for His name, and therefore love for you as His creation. The Roman’s passage talks about the reality that when we are transformed by the gospel we will be able to discern the will of God. It is no secret what God desires, it is that all people should be saved so that all people will glorify His name. That you are plumber is of both little and great consequence, that you are a stay at home parent is of equal significance. The reality of the gospel ought to make us ask why we live where we live, why we drive what we drive, why I work where I work what I work. If we cannot honestly answer these questions with the gospel; that we are actively positioning ourselves to be in the way of non-believers so that we can give an answer for the hope that is in us, how can we possibly claim to belong to the one who is the good news?
To be transformed by the knowledge of the gospel is what it means to not be conformed to this world.
I listen to and worship to contemporary Christian music as much as traditional hymns, but that is besides the point. What the author has communicated in his article is not the gospel. He has not given an answer for the hope that is in him, he has given an answer for why he is still striving to be transformed via his works. This I do have to say, that if you still think that you can be sanctified by your works, you don’t have the gospel. If we continue give answers from the scriptures that are not the gospel and continue pretending to belong to God it will be an almighty surprise for a lot of us when God says at the gates of Heaven, “go away from me, you evil doers, I never knew you.”