The Conformity of Non-Conformity

Dr. Lance T. Ketchum

"1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:1-3).


I remember one day years ago, I was driving down the street in a larger city and there, across the wall of a brick building, was sprayed in giant letters the word, NONCONFORMITY. I have often wonder if that is not the one world that best describes the rebellious spirit of the "perilous times" of the "last days" when "men shall be lovers of their own selves" (2 Timothy 3:2). I believe it is a religious term. I believe it best sums up the doctrines of Secular Humanism.

I really do not believe people get any real satisfaction out of being different just for difference's sake. I believe those differences are a statement that mark a rebellion of the heart against parents, society and the absolutes of God. They spring forth from the "desperately wicked" heart of the unrestrained fallen nature of all mankind.

Nonconformity has become a religious banner of many of todayís youth. The quest for nonconformity never seems to end. It is a monster with an insatiable appetite to devour normalcy. The Secular Humanistís sacrament of nonconformity is conceived from the copulation of the spirit of rebellion with the carnal enticements of the world. It is the Eucharist (continual sacrifice) of Humanist. The real sacrifices that are offered are the endless stream of the lives of those who participate in their debacle of carnality

I imagine one day a rebellious young man decided he would be willing to do anything rather than be like his dad. He saw his father wearing his baseball cap with the bill to the front. He said to himself, "Thatís the way all jerks like my dad wear their baseball caps. I will wear mine to the side."

He tried that for a while, but everyone just thought he was an idiot (an accurate evaluation). So he said , "This wonít do" and turned his cap all the way around so the bill was in the back. Now that was cool! Than, all the nonconformist that wanted to be cool began doing exactly the same thing. Let me ask you, were they nonconformists or conformists?

I imagine one day a young person looked at his dad and saw that his dad always wore his pants around his waist with a belt. He said to himself, "Thatís the way all jerks like my dad wear their pants. I want to be a nonconformist. I am going to pull my pants down around my hips and let my underwear show."

Now, I also imagine that initially there were some occasional embarrassing moments trying to catch the school bus, but Humanism demands enormous sacrifices of adherents and they are dedicated followers. After all, nothing is more important than spreading the gospel of nonconformity even if you look foolish or your pants fall down on occasion. Pretty soon all the devoted Humanists were exhibiting their spirits of rebellion and doing exactly the same thing. Let me ask you, were they nonconformists or conformists?

I imagine one day some guy was standing in the middle of a group and looked around. He saw a woman with a shaved head, a tattoo on her forehead and wearing an evening dress with combats boots. Next to her he saw a 300 lb., 6 foot 5 inch man with a Mohawk haircut that was spiked up 12 inches above his head and he had a 3 inch gold ring in his nose. He saw another girl with shredded jeans on, a black leather jacket with so many chains on it she had to wear a back brace. She had so many ear rings piercing her ears and nose that her head looked like a pin cushion. On top of all that, her hair was died dark purple. Immediately he was converted in his heart. He didnít know what he was converted too, but he was definitely converted.

Here is the principle behind his conversion. We are always willing to conform to that which we want to be identified with. Young people, step back away from all of this so called nonconformity for a moment and take a good look at the insanity of it all. It is a 100 MPH roller coaster ride that says do anything and everything you can to make yourself appear different no matter what it cost you or your family. One day that roller coaster ride is going to hit the brick wall of Godís judgment at 100 MPH and there will be no survivors.

That principle deserves to be repeated. We are always willing to conform to that which we want to be identified with. Paul says in Ephesians 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Right with whom? When a person calls himself a Christian, that means he has chosen to identify himself with Jesus Christ and is working to be conformed to His image.

"28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:28-29).

What does the word nonconformist really mean to the crowds that proclaim the Humanist gospel? For them, it is a word which describes a spirit that is in rebellion against anything and everything which is culturally acceptable and which is spiritual and morally normal.

Godís definition of nonconformity is just the opposite. God commands the believer to be a nonconformist to everything and anything which is worldly and morally abnormal.

"1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 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 12:1-2).

The word "conformed" in Romans 12:2 is from the Greek word suschematizo (soos-khay-mat-id'-zo). It means to conform oneís self (i.e. oneís mind and character) to anotherís pattern. When a person conforms to that which is right and moral, he becomes a nonconformist to that which is wrong and immoral. When a person conforms to that which is wrong and immoral he becomes a nonconformist to that which right and moral. Tell a child enough times that there are no absolutes and there is no right and wrong and eventually you will see the head of a Humanist popping up from the seeds you have sown.

I praise God for the solid teenagers in the church I pastor. In most part, they are soul winners and obedient to Romans 12:2. They are young men and women with spiritual integrity. I measure that integrity by what they do with Ephesians 6:1-2. It is the courage to be nonconformists to the things, patterns, fashions, styles, quirks and fads of this world that mark them as the quality Christians they are. They understand the principle of conformity. We are always willing to conform with those that we want to identify with.

Why is it that so many young people do not want to be identified with their parents and their parentís values? It is simple. They are rebels who lack the kind of spiritual courage and integrity to be nonconformists to the swarming hoards of Humanist evangelists.

The degree of a personís nonconformity is measured by the degree of his loyalty to those he wants to identify with. Years ago a man was a "good citizen" if he worked hard, provided for his family, was faithful to his wife, took his family to church on Sunday and was a moral person. Today that same man is vilified by the Humanist priests as one of the "Religious Right" to be avoided socially and who is always politically incorrect.

Why is that so? Because he is a true nonconformist. To those teens that truly want to be nonconformist, it means a willingness to be identified publicly with Jesus. That will take some real moral courage. It will take the same kind of courage your Christian father has! Be a true nonconformist with him.

Your servant in Christ's service,
Lance T. Ketchum

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