| There is little if
any value in being different just for the sake of being different. Just
being different from others is not difficult to accomplish. But to
be different for the sake of righteousness is quite another matter.
Nonconformity, being unlike others, in some respects is an essential
element in being a Christian.
We are not to love the world, meaning the sinful things of this world (1 John 2:15, 16). We are taught not be conformed to this world, again meaning the sinful things that characterize this world (Rom. 12:1, 2). We are a peculiar people, meaning distinct and different because we follow Christ (Tit. 2: 12-14). Some may even consider our unwillingness to pursue the ways of sin to be "strange" (1 Pet. 4: 4). While we live in the world, we are not of the world. We are nonconformists when it comes to imitating the evil ways of others. Rather, we follow Christ.
Friendship with the world means enmity with the Lord (Jas. 4: 4). We must abstain from the appearance of evil (1 Th. 5: 22). Having "put off" the old man of sin, we are not to walk in that pathway again, but "put on" the new man in Christ (Eph. 4: 22-25). As Moses taught, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil" (Exodus 23: 3).