Nonconformists

Venezuelan Poodle Moth
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But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 ESV


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

The Venezuelan Poodle Moth is interesting because it’s so unique. You might say it’s a nonconformist since it’s different, but of course you’d be wrong. It was simply made that way. Humans are unique, in that their nonconformity may come as a result of birth or choice. Depending on your situation, you may say you don’t conform to the norm because that’s simply the way you are, but in many cases we are nonconformists because we’ve chosen to be.

There’s a common misconception in the world that being a Christian is all about conforming. If that’s true in the minds of so many, I suppose we’ve come full circle, because historically, Christians have been anything but conformists. Consider the response of Rome at the height of its power to the Christians who dared to be different. When Paul encouraged followers of Christ to not be conformed to their world, he was painfully aware of the high price those who took his advice literally might pay. Then, as now, holders of power were willing to do whatever was necessary to maintain the status quo. In the United States, where freedom of religion is a recognized right, Christians are able to worship freely, although tension between church and state still persists in the areas where our beliefs are impinged upon by legislation. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where you can worship as you please, it can be hard to relate to those who don’t have that freedom. Still, in some countries Christians are imprisoned or even executed for their beliefs. What does it say about the power of the Word when Christians in China must share pages torn from bibles? How do followers of Christ find the courage to stand for God when they live in a part of the world that punishes that stand with death? In our world we will remain unique in our desire to stand for God’s laws, even though the cost for that stand may be loss of freedom or death. That freedom, along with our responsibility to stand up for it, should never be taken lightly.

“Truly, there is a Christian note which makes the whole World vibrate, like an immense gong, in the divine Christ. This note is unique and universal, and in it alone consists the Gospel.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


There’s a tension between the world
and the way I am.
It comes from a choice I’ve made;
I suppose you can say it’s my stand.
I can’t boast of some inner strength
that makes me better than those
who go along.
Still, I’m thankful God’s given me
this unique song.
I’m a grateful nonconformist
trying to conform
to God’s plan.


© Joel Tipple 2/23/2020


I’d Rather Be Blind

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
James 2:8-9

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“I Have a Dream” Martin Luther King Jr.

If what my eyes tell me when I see you
prevents me from getting to know you,
I’m better off blind.

Jesus died for all
and He admonished us to be kind,
no matter what kind.
Even “that kind.”
And what is “that kind?”

The lazy, hateful, divisive,
assumptions
we make,
make us all poorer.

If we claim to have Christ
in us,
then we should be all about
breaking down barriers
between ourselves
and the “different.”

After all,
some rules
were made to be broken…
not just bent.

© Joel Tipple 11/16/2018