KJV And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
AKJ And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
ASV And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
BBE And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God.
DRB And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.
DBY And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
ERV And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
WBS And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
WEY And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God's will is--that will which is good and beautiful and perfect.
WEB Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.
YLT and be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what is the will of God -- the good, and acceptable, and perfect.
So now, which version you'd like to consider?
What these different versions try to convey is:
12:2 And be not conformed to this world. The spirit of the world is opposed to that of Christ. Satan is the Prince of this world (Joh 12:31 14:30 16:11). Christ died to deliver us from this present wicked world (Ga 1:4). Hence the service of Christ renders necessary a refusal to fashion ourselves after its ways.
But be ye transformed. Instead of following the ways of the world, the Christian must be transformed, changed into a new form of life
by the renewing of your mind, by having a new spirit, and walking after the Spirit (Ro 8:1,4 Ga 5:16,25).
That ye may prove. Demonstrate, show forth. The saint, transformed, renewed, will show forth in his life the will of God.
12:2 And be not conformed - Neither in judgment, spirit, nor behaviour. To this world - Which, neglecting the will of God, entirely follows its own. That ye may prove - Know by sure trial; which is easily done by him who has thus presented himself to God. What is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God - The will of God is here to be understood of all the preceptive part of Christianity, which is in itself so excellently good, so acceptable to God, and so perfective of our natures.
How about this one?
The apostle having closed the part of his epistle wherein he argues and proves various doctrines which are practically applied, here urges important duties from gospel principles. He entreated the Romans, as his brethren in Christ, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to Him.
This is a powerful appeal. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings? It is acceptable to God: a reasonable service, which we are able and ready to give a reason for, and which we understand. Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; a change, not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul.
The progress of sanctification, dying to sin more and more, and living to righteousness more and more, is the carrying on this renewing work, till it is perfected in glory. The great enemy to this renewal is, conformity to this world. Take heed of forming plans for happiness, as though it lay in the things of this world, which soon pass away. Do not fall in with the customs of those who walk in the lusts of the flesh, and mind earthly things. The work of the Holy Ghost first begins in the understanding, and is carried on to the will, affections, and conversation, till there is a change of the whole man into the likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. Thus, to be godly, is to give up ourselves to God.
So, what else do we have to use as our reasons (cover up) to hide the truth God revealed in us and wanted us to follow His law? Do we have to bend or compromise God's teaching because we just want to reach out others?
Who are we going to choose? God or the people who are pulling us from God?
Has anyone addressed the fact that a lot of youth aren't leaving the church? At least, not where I am, and presumably not in many other places, since the church membership is growing rather than declining.
I've thought about leaving the church, but that was mainly for doctrinal reasons (which I've mostly worked through), not because church wasn't exciting enough. And my church is pretty conservative and traditional. And I like church. That's probably mostly because of my personality, though; I'd rather sit there and listen to a good sermon than jump around and stuff.
This is a topic which I feel very strongly about. But before I go on let me just say one thing. I realize that adults and youth alike go through tough times; adults and youth alike are tempted. No matter the age, we all experience the same things, but here's where I feel the two are separated. Adults are experienced, the youth aren't. The youth are easily impressed. I speak from experience. If we as adults aren't being an example to the young people, they are less likely to listen to us when we advise them on certain things. You can't expect to tell someone not to smoke, and have that person listen to you, when you yourself are doing the very thing you're telling him/her not to do! The other problem I see, which the young people in my church have recently made known to everyone, is the way the adults criticize people, in particular, the young people. There are two types of criticism. There is valid criticism, also known as "constructive criticism", and then there is unjustified criticism. As adults we need to learn how to communicate with other people, young people in particular. I actually remember bringing a girlfriend to church with me one Friday night for the youth program (this was years ago). The church we went to at the time was rented from another denomination and the pews had these cushioned things that came down so you wouldn't have to kneel on the bare floor. Anyway. So my girlfriend at that time used it to rest her feet on. She had shown some interest and had mentioned visiting the church again. This of course was before one of the deaconesses walked over, having seen her feet resting on this cushion, and told her she had to put her feet down. Not only was her tone a bit strong, bit she also pushed her feet off. That, in my opinion, is not the way you correct a church member, let alone a visitor. Everything we say and do is supposed to reflect that of Jesus' character. That's part of what it means to be a Christian. The point I'm trying to make is this. I feel that adults, being more experienced, should be examples to the young people. I realize that youth will be presented with temptations no matter where they go. (Believe me, I know. I'll have to share my testimony sometime in another blog.) But I feel that if the adults are doing they're job in being an example, directing and guiding the youth in a manner that is constructive, in a way that is helpful in their walk with Christ, that we would see fewer youth leaving the church. I do however, have to agree with Travis. I've noticed that more youth seem to be coming back to the church than are leaving it. and Sadly it seems that the opposite goes for the adults. Not necessarily that they're leaving the church altogether, but that they seem to be focused on the worldly things, on the material things, more than they are on the condition of their spiritual life. I see more adults rushing to leave church and get home after the service, than I do young people. Or so it would seem. That's just my opinion based on observations I have made. If I have said anything wrong please forgive me. And please, don't hesitate to correct me.
You know, in some cases I've seen a good amount of youth still not only in the church, but active. Good stuff to see. I've also been in some churches where youth are scarce.
I remember some years back, this church I went to had A LOT of youth. I loved being there. Its like there was something happening all the time. It was great. The adults were respectful of the youth, communication was great. I'm trying to think of a time where the adults and kids may not have appreciated the relationship between them, but man.. it was so much goofing off together as it was participating in the church service together. No, it wasn't perfect lol, but it was fun. This was some 10, 12 or so years ago. I still see that type of life in some churches I have been to.
But, as good as it was, I too left, for about 7 or 8 years. I noticed groups of people who would and sometimes situations where there was something like an "in crowd". Not that it happened, but it would at times feel like it, according to multiple ppl, not just me. The activities did not seem the same, and I had started college now too. College was a brand new thing, so much bigger than hs. I did my best to at least keep the Sabbath, but by like the 3rd or 4th year, I was doing a pretty poor job of that. It gets hard sometimes, when you leave the church, to want to come back. And at that age, in that environment.. yeah. Now, I was still very different from many of the people I met, I did retain some but there is an overwhelming amounts of invitations to things that yeah, fun, but of the world. I tried to read the Bible at times during that stretch, but I couldn't focus and the interest was simply not there.
.. It was that exactly though that got me back, after some invites to come back. I think the combination of activities with good relationships between the youth and adults. Another idea could be small if necessary in depth Bible study groups.. thats what actually officially did it for me in coming back.
Young people need lots & lots of guidiance because d world know how 2 dress d wrong & make it look soooo right ,even we d older folks they if not on guard they'll catch us too .& some of us usually get caught.so reading out of church i don't accept.Let them come if they wish they will learn from there mistakes,once we welcome them.
Most youth are not leavin the church because of dispute with doctrine rather they are confused by the tension between the truth of Adventism and the way they see it lived out by the older members of the congregation. they placed high amount of creditbility on relatioship and action. these young adults see through pretense in the flesh, and they are not satisfied with the talk of Adventism. they want to see the walk.
.I have scanned through some of the responses and I agree with some and disagree with others.
First of all, labels like "conservative" have a negative connotation, whereas, the church should be conservative! We should be the ones who still think that the gay lifestyle is still sinful; we should be the ones who feel that pre-marital sex is sin, and that abortion is murder. This is what is really meant by the church being conservative, and let us keep it that way, in love. That's a good thing.
Youths need sermons like Randy Skeete's. Tough messages. Straight talk. As a youth, that was what I craved. Still do. I found church boring when I heard singing that was not with pathos, and sermons delivered in a dead, unconvincing way, as if the preacher is out of touch with God, but is just keeping his appointment.
I felt the need to leave, because the world was beckoning, because the devil was trying to convince me that God is too restrictive; that He was trying to keep fun from me, because He was not having any. So I sampled a bit, and got burnt, but in the process, found that God's way was indeed the best way. A senior in the church, realized that I was leading a double life, and convinced me that God loved me, and I was hurting Him.
The real truth is, THE YOUTHS LEAVE BECAUSE WE LET THEM: they leave because we did not love them enough to fight the devil for them when we realized that they were being tempted and lured by satan. Had we reached out to them, most, if not all of them, would have been here still.
Why dont we go meet some of the youth who have left the church, and ask them why they left? Perhaps, then we could reach them and win them back. They can help us teach other youth that, "Sin will take you further than you intended to go, keep you longer than you intended to stay, and cost you more than you intended to pay."
That is a lesson I learned from experience. Let's rescue the youth before they are trapped by Satan, for life. Let's be welcoming and loving, so that as sin bites them and they wish to run back to the safety of God's fold, like the prodigal son, they will know that they are welcomed to return.