Friends have felt a call to become a peculiar people. They are those who have chosen to radically conform to the image of Christ, and put aside the things and attitudes of the world. To be fair, Christianity as a whole is called to conform to Christ, and his mindset.
Our members should avoid attending or being involved in movies and theatrical performances of a demoralizing nature, in dances, and in other activities that may be injurious to Christian growth. Members are not to be involved in lotteries, wagering, or any kind of gambling. Friends should take care to avoid pornographic publications and publications tending to undermine their faith in the authority of the Scriptures and to hinder their Christian growth.
Though acknowledging certain benefits and the potential for Christian ministry in radio and television, Friends must also recognize and avoid programs which are unwholesome or demoralizing in music, language, or action portrayed.
This is a discipline of separating ourselves from the world, and from mental influences that pull our mindset from the mind of Christ to the mind of the world. How can we expect to be chaste, when we fill our mind with the world’s lust? How can we expect to be loving when we fill our hearts with the world’s hate? As Paul writes we must not be conformed to this world, but transformed. (Romans 12:2)
The problem is, that we live in this world — though we live as foreigners. Too many of us are embarrassed with our Christianity, and instead of being the light to the world, we invite the world’s sin into the church and embrace it, Isiah 5 calls a curse to those who call darkness light, and evil good. If we embrace the sinful attitudes of the world, and defend them — this is exactly what we are doing.
Of course, the standards that I accepted when I joined my faith community, which I cited are merely something that I do not do. It is very easy to not do things (unless it is stopping an addictive behavior), but I could not very easily do nothing and think on nothing. When we say that we do NOT do something, we need to replace these things with something else. As we are not thinking about promiscuous sex, hatred, revenge, greed, and gluttony we need to replace our sinfulness with something more meaningful. Paul gives us a hint when he writes:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NET)
We need to put aside the sinfulness of the world, and instead embrace what is excellent and praiseworthy. We need to put aside the works of the flesh, and embrace the fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:19-29) We cannot afford to be people of this world — instead, we must grow into proper citizens of heaven.