Who wants to be Yoda? Small in stature and green to boot. He’s bald and got hobgoblin ears. Powerful in the force is he, but English syntax is not his strong suit. Let’s face it, Yoda is strange and nobody wants to be strange.
We really want to fit it. As much as we might desire to be different from others and express ourselves, we generally express ourselves in the same manner. I’ve spent most of my adult life working with teenagers. Now I have two of my own and I can tell you – standing out is not high on their priority list. From the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, even what time they show up at an event is about not standing out. And what is true of teenagers is true of adults. Adults, though less concerned about their music, are more concerned with opinions and being thought us as “open-minded” and “intelligent”. I’ve seen grown men and women deny their faith in order to fit in. Truth be told, I’ve seen churches, even entire denominations give up their Biblical identity just to be part of the crowd.
I’ve read and heard people talk about America being “post-Christian” for about 10 years, but I didn’t really believe it until this past election. I believe them now. After watching several denominations take unbiblical stances on marriage and sexuality, remain silent on issues of right and wrong, give way to political correctness, and concede the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, it is no surprise the culture has moved in the direction of paganism in the name of tolerance. And, unfortunately, many adult Christians have gone right along with the culture in order to fit in.
The time has come for the church to remember who we are and what we are called to be. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
God has always made His people distinct so that they would be different from the culture around them. The Bible has a word for being set apart for God. The word is “holy.” Fitting in with the world has never been an option. In fact, a sure sign that you are missing it, is that you go right along with the world. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Jesus said his disciples were in the world, but not of it. I am afraid we have forgotten who we are. And by forgetting our set apart nature, Christians have failed to be salt and light in this world. We have failed to declare the truth about who God is and live by His Holy Spirit. That is why the culture around us is deteriorating exponentially.
After Peter writes this resume for Christians, in the next breath he says, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world…” He just called us Yoda. People should be looking at Christians like we are from another planet. They should see in us a holiness that is not from these parts. Any concept of doing what the world does in order to fit in is at odds with being a Christian. It’s time for each of us to examine ourselves. Are we trying to fit in with the culture around us? Are we, in order to fit in, sacrificing our identity and denying our Lord? James, 4:4 asks, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God?” Have we forgotten who God has called us to be?
I believe we are living in a time where the difference between following Christ and and fitting in with the norms of the culture will be stark. Issues and life choices are going to be light and darkness. Fitting in for Christians is not an option any longer. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.”
Even in Star Wars, Yoda is strange. Have you ever noticed another Yoda? There are plenty of Ewoks, Wookies, humans, droids, but Yodas? Aliens and strangers called to be we are.