From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My friends say that my Christian faith requires the whole world to conform to it. That’s not true, but rather Christians proclaim God’s truth so that others have the opportunity to receive the love and freedom Jesus offers to everyone. On the other hand, they refuse to admit that the world insists that Christians conform to their standards of godlessness. I’ve even told them about the early martyrs that would rather die than conform to the ways of the world. Which is correct? – N.C.
A: In Rome, the early Christians were nonconformists and threatened with death if they didn’t conform to Roman ways. And many Christians did die. While times have changed, human nature hasn’t and many Christians die today because of their faith rather than conform to the pagan ways of the world, attempting to put its stamp of conformity on every follower of Jesus Christ.
The Scriptures instruct Christians to be nonconformists as far as the world system is concerned. Christians living obedient lives are a constant rebuke to those who accept the world’s moral standards.
In the Christian desire to make Christ known, we are prone to think that Christians and the church can be made popular with the unbelieving world. This is a grave mistake. The Gospel message is still a stumbling block to the world. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
Christians may be shown a grudging respect at times, but when believers are faithful to Christ they will experience some form of persecution. Satan’s most effective tools are conformity and compromise, but those who follow Christ can declare, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). What a marvelous truth!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2022 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.(c)2022 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.