This is where you usually get a list of all the things you should give up in order to be a counter-cultural Christian. I’m not going to give you that list. Why? Because Christ didn’t come to give lists. He came to change lives and he has called us to participate in doing the same.
We are called to be in the world but not of the world. This means that we are to engage the world. We are to interact with the culture in which we live and to do so in such a way that honors God.
But what about the rules
Nope. Not going to do it. You don’t get a list of rules to check the boxes that will allow you to stay in the comfort of your own homes and disengage from culture. What you do get is two commandments.
Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV) tells the story of a religious leader asking Jesus for a list. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The first commandment is to focus all that you are on God. You are not of the world because your heart, soul, and mind belong to God. The second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. It is a command to be actively involved in the world.
Christ himself entered the world into a specific culture at a specific time. He used that culture to share who he was and change the world. He flipped the tables and he destroyed the religious to-do lists that man had created. So nope, not giving you a list.
But I’m supposed to stand out
Yes. Yes you are supposed to stand out but not because you abstain from a select list of to dos. You will stand out because of your love for others. If you remove yourself from everywhere non-believers are, how will they see Christ in your life?
In John 13:35 (ESV) Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
How will they see you if you refuse to go where they are. You can not binge watch the Bible on Netflix, only leave the house to attend church services, spend all your time in self-growth books and claim that you are following God’s command to be in the world.
Engage with the people around you. Share the love of God by doing life with others. Establish authentic relationships with people outside of your faith family.
And no. I won’t give you a list.