No Conformation (Romans 12:2, Part 1)

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.” (Romans 12:2, KJV 1900)

In the early 70’s while attending Drexel University where I attained a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering, I took a course in communications. The textbook quoted Dr. Rose K. Goldsen, Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. She was a sociologist who specialized in the area of the effect of television on society. She said, “TV is more than just a little fun and entertainment. It’s a whole environment, and what it does bears an unpleasant resemblance to behavior modification on a mass scale.”

One of the case studies we discussed as a class was the propaganda campaign of the Nazi party in Germany that swayed a nation to embrace Hitler’s evil policies. Our conclusion was that media could easily sway the masses to change attitudes and behavior. A targeted media agenda could move people to accept moral positions that were formerly unthinkable.

Paul here commands believers to avoid conforming to the world system. This is a system instituted by Satan and that is opposed to God and His holy purposes. It is characterized by greed, lust, materialism, power and etcetera. This conformation process happens primarily through the model of society, peer pressure and media. These all work to subtly morph people into the agenda of the world system.

I have been watching this transition in America for over 50 years and have concluded that the moral values of our society have significantly changed. We have moved away from godly virtue. Here is one example. At one time, the idea of one being a virgin was considered exemplary. Today, to be called a virgin is seen as a derogatory slur. I absolutely believe that the media, knowingly or unknowingly has played a part in this.

Moreover, today the news media no longer takes the moral high ground of objective journalism. I remember the days when we trusted the journalists. However today, the major networks are clearly spinning news to institute political and moral change as they see fit. And the masses while knowing this still watch and are being unknowingly manipulated.

Even church people are being swallowed up this cultural moral shifting, and do not even realize it. The reason is that, as Dr. Goldsen stated, what the media is doing “bears an unpleasant resemblance to behavior modification on a mass scale.” Paul warned believers about this problem of conforming because it was then and still is a real threat.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think your values are being conformed to the world system? If not, how would you know? Let me propose the only way you can know and guard yourself against it. You must learn the truth. The only source of absolute unchanging truth is the Bible. Believer, you must get into the Word of God, examine your life and attitudes by it. Adjust your thinking to it. There is no other way. (Romans 12:2, Part 2 Tomorrow)

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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