Theodore Cuyler 1883
"Do not be conformed to the world." Romans 12:2
The sin of modern civilization has been well described as "making more of status than it does of character." But the very essence of Bible religion, is to make character everything--and conduct the test and evidence of character.
Our godless society needs a strict, pure, honest, self-denying, godly-minded church! Conformity to the world--will never convert the world! We are not to accommodate Christianity to the thought and fashion of the times--but to keep it stoutly and steadily up to its original standards. We must stand fast, not only to the faith once delivered to the saints, but to the practices which are enjoined in God's Word.
Social life, with increase of wealth, has a trend towards demoralization. Luxury weakens morality. Popular amusements become sensualized and offer their temptations to the church. "Do not be conformed to the world" applies to the theater, the ball-room, the wine-cup, and to everything that would turn God's earth into a "Vanity Fair." Conformity to the world amounts, in the end, to more than the corruption of Christ's church. It puts out the light which Christ has kindled; it destroys the very leaven which He has prepared to purify and sweeten and save a "world lying in wickedness."
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You would think that Theodore Cuyler lived in this present day. It just goes to show that "worldliness" is a sin, not a sign of our times nor a "new" challenge of the church. How else could someone write something that applied to his generation be so suitable and explanatory of society almost 130 years later?
And just as his description is so spot-on of the world in which we live, in America anyway, perhaps we should also heed his advice for solving the problem.