Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Have we lost sight?

I am going to ramble here so just bear with me.. This post is more a way for me to collect my thoughts on a subject. So here goes

Sometimes I think as Christians we have lost sight of what it means to be Christ-like. I grew up in a AoG church that for the most part was pretty legalistic. No dancing, no drinking, no swimming with the opposite sex, PG 13 movies were looked down upon, etc. I can even remember being rebuked by our youth pastor for drinking a virgin daiquiri. It "looked" too much like the world. We were called to be separate. Now, it seems that it is ok to listen to "secular" music, have a glass of wine, and even go dancing.

I am all for moderation. Granted there are some things that I choose not to do. I won't go into them here, but for me they are areas that are weak spots for me and I choose not to go there.

But what is our purpose? Why are we here? What is our calling as a body of Christ? Is it to live apart? Is it to blend in? The early Christians worked in the world, they lived in the world, but they did not participate in the world. There were things that they just did not do. Was that legalistic? How are we supposed to live? Have we become calloused? Have we become soft?

What about holiness? Are there standards for us to live by?

I don't have all the answers..but I am off to find them.

Thanks for hearing me ramble.. I will let you know what I find out



Gene Jordan said...

Rachel, allow me to shed some light on "Christ Like"...

We are told that God so loved, and we are told that all the law is this... Love

The Pharisees were condemned for putting laws on people that they themselves could not bear.

The answer to your purpose is love. That is it plain and simple. Every action that a person should ask themselves is "what would God's love do in this situation?"

You are very right when you say that you don't drink, because it is your choice. You made that choice because of your weaknesses. The scripture tells us that when we "know" to do something, and we don't do it, that is sin.

You know to avoid drinking, and you avoid sin by not drinking.

You also can say that you avoid some things, because you don't want to "cause a little one to fall". If our actions cause someone to refuse to accept Jesus, then we need to be careful and avoid doing them.

Jesus came to free the world from the law, but it seems that His body likes to embrace laws of it's own. Have you ever wondered why the tree of "knowledge" was off limits in the garden?

It is because love gets replaced by the law when satan steps in. Rules that we make for our own person are great for ourselves (when we make those rules to build up our brother), but the moment we try to place those restrictions on others, we step out of love.

Yes scripture gives us rules to live by, but it is for the purpose of understanding how to walk in love.

It is a shame that we have replaced grace, mercy and love, with shame, judgement and laws. You cannot witness to someone who needs Christ by trying to clean up the way they behave. We are unwilling to share the message of love first when we do this.

To require the world to look more "christian" is just as bad as telling christians to stop looking like the world.

We are in the world, but not of it. This tells me that christians are more concerned with being fed and comfortable, than they are with ministering to the lost.

That means that we have to live in it, but we don't have to think, respond, or act like the world does to daily situations. When the world says "epidemic... panic" the body of Christ should say "fear not, Christ heals"

This has nothing to do with laws, but it has a lot to do with obedience to what God tells us to do as individuals.

Obedience is better than sacrifice, and that means that love is better than law...

I think that you are asking these questions because you are growing out of the mindset of holiness = laws. When we are made holy through the love of Christ.

Love you, Rachel
Hope this helps

Wendi said...

*** I think that you are asking these questions because you are growing out of the mindset of holiness = laws. When we are made holy through the love of Christ ***

I copied this from Gene's post, and I couldn't agree more. I myself have found my way along this journey in the last year too. It is ALL ABOUT LOVE.

I always say "the way it always was, is no longer good enough" (taken from Brave by Nicole Nordeman) and "Rules don't trump Relationships" taken from ME, lol..