Do we perceive Christianity as a life of conformity or liberation? Religion, social conformity, trying to be cool, making a good impression can all involve levels of conformity. Americans pride ourselves on being “individuals”. Yet lets be honest here. Look at the amount of conformity necessary to be cool. How many tatoos or piercings do you have? How expensive is that impressive car you drive? Our styles are all about conformity. Its a human dilemna and I don’t think there is any way out.
Religious conformity is one of the more obvious forms. But is there an actual freedom in submission to our Creator? What if Knowing God is not about conformity to social standards but living in harmony with the author of life? What if submission to the ultimate authority gives me freedom from the petty authority of people’s opinions?
There is a proverb in Japan about social conformity; “The nail that sticks up must be hit down”. Mr. Kanzo Uchimura a n0torious Japanese Christian professor is known for his refusal to submit to pressure to bow to the emporer’s signet. Jesus is the nail that would not stay down even in the grave.
I understand the normal part of being social creatures. That it is natural to be part of a group; that social norms are a natural way of protecting a society, of preserving peace. However if there is a Creator then true peace can be found in living in harmony with the author of life.
Gaze; I was walking home from work all stressed about life. I saw a sunflower in the field just gazing up at the sun. I walked up to that sunflower and said with my biggest authority voice, “What are you doing just standing here gazing at the sun? Can’t you get a job? Can’t you do something important with your life? What’s the matter with you?” You know what; that sunflower just ingnored me and my authority and kept gazing up at the sun.