My little nephew is an example to all believers. He is a renowned contrarian, was, he’s seemingly grown out of it now. He had a stock response for every instruction and enticement to action that he disagreed with, – ‘NO’, firm, unyielding and self assured. He was not easily swayed either, save by persons with strong will power. I find myself wishing Christians will have that kind of backbone that a then five year old had and say NO on a personal level, to those things we disagree with from a biblical standpoint. Get two Christians together and soon they begin to lament the state of our world, the corruption, the sin, yet isn’t it odd that Christians so easily yield to those same things? We laugh at jokes about alternative lifestyles that horrified us a decade ago, while praying for God to intervene and reverse the moral decay in our world.
Possibly one of the reasons we fall prey is that we have not learnt to vigorously disagree for fear of sticking out like a sore thumb. Even though humans like to trumpet their distinctiveness, at the end of the day we are find comfort in disappearing into the mass and being like everybody else. So sometimes we want to love Jesus but are afraid of being different or worse perceived as different and consequently, ridiculed by non-Christians. It’s the reason many keep their faith well hidden and barely testify for Jesus.
Saying I am a Christian in some circles is bound to raise eyebrows and questions about our sanity, so we prefer not to have to deal with it. Then we go to church on Sunday and sing loudly and, dare i say, hypocritically that we shall take the gospel to the nations. Afterward we meekly return to the real world and mumble our prayers over lunch at work if at all, generally keeping our different world view an utterly private matter. We need to become contrarians.
One famous contrarian was Josiah, he took over from his unrighteous father, who himself followed a father who had perpetrated horrific infamy in the land and only effected a belated repentance in the sunset of life. And he turned the nation completely in the other direction, he totally wiped out idolatrous worship, desecrated the heathen altars, cleansed the temple, defied conventional, standard practice of the times and even went ahead and instituted the Passover which had not been celebrated since the time of the Judges. He disagreed with what he saw, and proceeded to change it, thoroughly and completely. He dared to go against the grain and brought about a reformation.
We do not use the same weapons, but we have the same calling – that of reformation. And to reform, we need that contrarian edge, not the church, but the individual believer, that ability to stand up and say I do not agree with you. We need the ability to stand in the midst of a reproving society and say, ‘NO’, no to ungodliness in all its forms, to defy conventional wisdom and openly pursue righteousness. it means we will often stick out like a sore thumb, it means we will be different, but it also means that we will be rightly positioned to reform that which we have not submitted to.