I am often disappointed in our apparent lack of progress as a Christian Community. I count myself in this as well. Though we have created a fairly large sub-culture, the ways in which we have chosen to set ourselves apart- (in some cases) not drinking, not smoking, "accepting" Jesus Christ as our personal savior, going to church, etc... these things don't really bring about true change. At the end of the day we still tend to pursue things God would not; we value things he does not.
I think Jeremiah 9:23-24 gives a good peek into God's value system:
23 This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,
24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
Scripture pegs us so well. We tend as humans to be impressed with others based on three things:
1. How smart someone is
2. How much influence (celebrity status) or power they have
3. How much money they have
In Jeremiah 9:23 we are specifically instructed NOT to be impressed with these things. Yet, People magazines cannot stay on the rack, we kiss up to people who have no character because of their influence, we crawl over each other to make a buck or get with someone who has the bucks. We are awed (or intimidated, also an incorrect response) by smart people.
This is also the standard in most of the Christian community. Our glory is not in our Redeemer, but in our house, degree, promotion, portfolio, etc..
In the American Church we have made a pecking order of people's worth - with pastors, authors, speakers, and singers at the top. I once heard a pastor comment to someone, "Well, if he wants to speak at MY church, perhaps he should start at the ground level and teach Sunday school."
The Lord delights in our knowing Him, in Justice, in Righteousness, and in Kindness. I believe that when, as a people of God, we can make those the earmarks of our value system, we shall stand apart and shine without even trying.