Wow! I am so glad I woke up early this morning to catch this one. My brother Richard put my thoughts to paper and penned them better than I ever could. Talk about powerful. Richard and I met on the internet via twitter last year. We are both very active in helping those addicted to pornography find freedom and we also have a passion for speaking the truth. Please stop by his site Bold And Unashamed and take a look. There are a lot of gems spread throughout his page like this one and The Five Commandments. I loved that one.. Give him a shout and say hi!
I can’t even begin to count the number of articles I have read over the years that begin like this: “Should Christians…” “Can Christians…” Inevitably the author writes 1,000 words defending the activities he partakes in, complete with Bible verses and personal experiences to back his viewpoint up. Those who agree with the author share all over social media, with “i-told-you-so” comments and a “don’t judge me” attitude.
Between you and me, I’m tired of reading what Christians can and can’t do. I’m tired of seeing those kinds of posts fill up my feeds. I don’t want to read why you think some Bible verse taken out of context supports your actions.
No matter what the format, all these questions have the same fundamental problem.
“Can a Christian do _____?”
“Can a Christian be involved with ____?”
“Is ______ a Christian activity?”
“Can I _____ and still be a Christian?”
Notice the problem yet? Okay, I’ll give it to you. All these discussions are about finding loopholes.
These questions aren’t asking how someone can draw closer to Christ. They’re not pushing people to draw closer to God. The goal of these discussions is to allow Christians to feel comfortable in their Christianity, to ensure they are doing just enough to get by. When I read, “Can a Christian ___”, I hear, “How close can I get to looking like the world and still claim Christ?”
I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. I understand that some of these discussions are needed to “set the record straight.” There are principles in the Bible that can be used to condone or condemn certain activities. But I’m convinced that when it comes to the “gray areas” of the Bible, the principles not explicitly stated, we are asking the wrong question.
Let’s say I am on the top of a mountain. On one side there is a cliff with a 500 foot drop. There are huge signs warning hikers to avoid the cliff, because the ground near the cliff is unstable and many hikers have lost their lives by venturing too close. Now I can enjoy the view from the safety of the solid ground, or I can get as close as possible to the cliff, risking my life in the process.
The same is true in our Christian life. I can search the scriptures for loopholes, for a way to get as close as I can to the cliff, or I can choose to stay in the safety of God’s word.
The world is a sinful place, full of wickedness. Why are Christians so obsessed with imitating it? Why do we try to get as close as possible to living like the unsaved, while claiming Christ?
Christianity should never be about finding loopholes, but about following Christ as closely as you can.
But what about the “gray areas” of the Bible? How do we respond to questions about what a Christian is and isn’t allowed to do?
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
Instead of asking how close we can get to the world, why don’t we start asking how close we can get to Christ?
Instead of asking if a certain activity is “allowed”, why don’t we ask if the activity is drawing us closer to God?
Instead of finding loopholes, why don’t we hold ourselves to a higher standard as an example believers.
Instead of trying to fit in with the unsaved, why don’t we show them the difference that is found in Christ?
If we approach these areas with that mindset, I can guarantee you we won’t be going near those cliffs anytime soon. Our Christian walk should be a light to the darkness. Is what you are doing allowing you to be the brightest light you can be? It’s time to stop asking how we can live how we want, and start asking how we can live how Christ wants.