Vain and sensual amusements
(John Newton's Letters)
"Be not conformed to this world." Romans 12:2
Conformity to the world is the
bane of many professors in
this day. They have found a way, as they think, to serve
both God and Mammon. They may
attain to a scheme of
orthodox notions--but they will remain destitute of the
life, power, and comfort of piety--so long as they cleave
to those things which are incompatible with it.
We must not conform to the spirit of the world. As
believers, we are strangers and pilgrims upon earth.
Heaven is our country, and the Lord is our King. We
are to be known and noticed as His subjects; and
therefore it is His desire, that we do not adopt the
sinful customs of the land in which we sojourn.
We must not conform to the maxims of the world. The
world in various instances calls evil good, and good evil.
But we are to judge of things by the unerring Word of
God--uninfluenced by the determination of the great,
or the many.
We must not conform to the world in their amusements
and diversions. "What fellowship has light with darkness,
or what concord has Christ with Belial?" What does a believer
have to do in those places and companies, where everything
tends to promote a spirit of dissipation; where the fear of God
has no place; where things are purposely disposed to inflame
or indulge corrupt and sinful appetites and passions, and to
banish all serious thoughts of God and ourselves?
If it is our duty to redeem time, to walk with God, to do
all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to
follow the example which He set us when he was upon
earth. It must of course be our duty to avoid a conformity
with the world in those vain and sensual
which stand in as direct contradiction to a spiritual frame
of mind. So far as a Christian is infected by a conformity
to the spirit, maxims, and sinful customs of the world,
true piety will be hindered.
May the Lord enable you and I to lay this subject to
heart, and that we be preserved from that growing
evil--a sinful conformity to the world!