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Reblogged from Growing Home….excellent!
I saw a quote on Pinterest that said, “The world is a magical place full of people waiting to be offend by something.” Ain’t that the truth? America’s biggest problem isn’t bullying, intolerance, a Muslim invasion, or defending the constitution; it’s a generation of people who believe they’re entitled to not getting their feelings hurt.
And I’m not just talking about the left. Christians can be just as wimpy and thin-skinned, and their demand for tolerance (i.e. permission to live as they please) by warping terms like “grace,” and “Christian liberty” are no less obnoxious.
We say we want to live according to God’s will, but please, just don’t be spouting off any Scripture passages pertaining to education, fertility, divorce, debt, modesty, welfare or any other part of my fleshly desires that I’m not ready to bring into captivity and make obedient unto Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
If we have a sneaking suspicion that God’s Word might not be in line with our desires, we can choose not to investigate Scripture and call it “a matter of Christian liberty.” Like the stork with his head in the sand, if we don’t know what God says about a matter, it must be because He hasn’t said anything about it. This is a great band-aid ’til someone rips it off by laying God’s revealed will plainly before our face. Then we demand “grace.”
If we truly want others to extend more grace to us, we must be willing to change. Grace doesn’t mean, “I’m-saved-anyway-so-please-stop-telling-me-how-the-Bible-says-I-should-live.” Grace means, “God’s-unmerited-favor-makes-me-earnestly-desire-to-live-according-to-His-commandments-out-of-gratitude-for-purchasing-my-pardon-on-Calvary’s-tree.” Grace is not about being content with where we are. The Gospel compels us to conform to Christ because if we love Him, we will desire to keep His commandments (John 14:15).
Different people will have different interpretations of God’s Word, and it should upset us when it’s twisted, thwarted, misquoted, or taken out of context – but that’s not the point of this post. Neither am I encouraging Bible-thumping, speck-pointing, self-righteousness, or any other Pharisaical behavior condemned by Jesus. Heidi St. John said it best in her excellent post Dear Church, Let’s Talk About What Really Matters, “It’s easier to follow a checklist of do’s and don’ts than it is to do the harder work of studying the Bible and listening to God for ourselves.”
My point is simply this: if we claim to be Christians, if we want to live a holy life, if we yearn to be sanctified, if the Word of God means anything to us at all, we cannot be offended by it. We can be taught, reproved, corrected, convicted, and trained by Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), but to grow angry, bitter, uptight and resentful because someone made a decision based on a Bible passage that pricks our own conscience, is a sign of spiritual immaturity and evidence that our spirit still has a mighty war to wage against our carnal nature.
If a fellow believer states that their reason for homeschooling, head-covering, wearing skirts, living debt-free, or not using particular vaccines because of aborted fetal content is a personal conviction based on principles they believe are biblical, our reaction should not be one that automatically assumes judgement, legalism, or self righteousness (unless of course, they are indeed making a blanket statement and turning Scriptural inferences and principles into universal commands).
Instead, we ought to be like the Bereans and examine the Scriptures to see if what they are saying is true (Acts 17:11). A mark of a true Christian is the desire to obey God’s commands (John 14:15). Do we desire holiness and conformity to Christ badly enough to let go of comfortable routines and conveniences that are found wanting when we measure them according to God’s revealed will? Are we living in such a way that when someone gives a biblical defense for a certain practice, our own position is solidified because it is rooted in God’s Word? Are we eager to study what God says about a matter or content with pat answers that keep the possibility of change at bay: “Well, this is what works for us so we’re sticking with it,” “The Bible is silent on that issue,” “That’s a matter of Christian liberty,” “That’s just not reasonable and God knows it’d never work for our family,” “I’m not patient, rich, smart, feminine, or good enough to do that.”
The Bible is foolishness and an offence to those who are outside of Christ, but to those who have been saved by the power of the Holy Spirit, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) It must transform our lives and daily renew our minds because, as Kristy put it in Why I Choose to Be a Conservative Christian, “Christianity is not about rules, it is all about life. The life of Christ.”
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10