The other day I was sitting in the airport. Since moving, I sit in airports a lot. Exhausted after a long weekend, I ordered a starbucks and sat reading a book waiting for my flight. I NEVER buy starbucks, except for on very very rare occasions. On this particular day, it hit me what I had done... I had bought into the commercialism and I looked like everyone else sitting in the airport.
Am I different than these other people? I should be. After all, that's what a life in Christ means. The Jewish understood that, they were completely seperated from the culture around them. They were so different the boys and men even had a small operation (I don't think I need to go into detail, you know what I'm talking about). Often times Jewish people wouldn't even go into the Roman market, because in order to do so you had to pledge your allegiance and worship to Caesar and recieve a mark on your hand (that's what it talks about in Revelation). Thus, they had to find alternative ways to buy and sell things, and trust that God would provide for them.
Did some of them pledge allegiance to Caesar? I'm sure they did, after all it would be a whole lot easier. It's easier just to bow to the regime around you, than stand out and be the odd one, however, we aren't called to bend to what's easier, we are supposed to be a "peculiar people".
Thus, people should see me as different. The very clothes I wear should be different. Is it showing a deep love for God and others, or am I supporting the materialism that pervades and infilitrates the minds of America? The food and coffee I buy should be different. Does it show a deep love for God and others, or am I supporting the rich getting richer while the poor are getting poorer? Do I support fair wages, or corrupt corporations?
Some people have told me that participating in systemic evil is inevitable, and though I believe that to an extent, I don't think that means we lay down and do nothing. Isn't our God bigger than the evil that pervades our culture? Aren't we called to be His hands and feet to the world?
Thus, as I sat in the airport I decided I wish I were Amish, or an Orthodox jew, or even Muslim, not for their belief systems, but for the fact that when you see them, there is absolutely no denying that they are set apart for a specific person. How they dress, what they eat, how they interact with others, is all influenced by their belief system. How much more should my dress, my food, my lifestyle, and my interaction with others be deeply influenced by a relationship with the creator of the universe? How much more should I look different because I have been saved by an amazing grace?
Then I had to ask myself, if the church is supposed to look so different from the world, be an eschatological community which is the closest you can get to heaven on earth... why then do we strive so much to look like everyone else?
4 years ago