God calls us to be set apart.
2 Timothy 2:21
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
I have been part of several discussions recently regarding this question; Is it okay to use foul language, get tattoos, piercings or socially drink (just to name a few) in order to create opportunities to share the gospel?
One dear friend in the Artists Small Group that I lead described the church her son is involved with and how she attended a baptism and heard even leadership use foul language. She was trying to figure out how to justify this in her mind. Asking the group their opinion, she went on to describe the incredible life changing results she sees at this ministry. People experiencing authentic life change and maturity in Christ, how can this be?
My own kids have justified some decisions they have made in the same way. They are not afraid to go right out into the world, in places I would not go, in order to influence kids for Christ. Is that necessary? Or a justification to do and act like one wants to? The argument they use of course is that Jesus went in among the sinners and ate with them and formed relationships with them.
So the question is this I suppose. Do we need to look or act like those around us in order to ‘get in’ and form relationships that ultimately lead to opportunities to reach them for Christ?
Then the debate can transfer of course to the church itself. Contemporary vs. traditional model.
Our ministry is willing to use secular music on occasion even from some questionable artists if the message is the very best one we can find to support our teaching topic. And occasionally we get questioned about our decision. This is easily defended because our ministry was launched from the beginning to reach the lost, not to be a ministry just for believers. Within reason, what Satan intended for evil we can use for good!
My personal belief is that we never have to compromise to reach the lost. They are not looking for someone who looks and acts like they do. I suppose your appearance can definitely help with a first impression, nerdy vs. trendy. But beyond that when Jesus ate with sinners he never changed who he was or how he looked to gain their acceptance. They saw something authentic, unique and non-pharisaical that they had never seen before. And they wanted it!
So, what is your opinion; Should we as Christians only look and act a certain way?
If we keep to ourselves looking very conservative and only associate with believers for the most part, is this more pleasing to God?
Is it ok to purposefully look and act similar to the world to gain entrance into their circle of influence?