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Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Simpler Walk

I'm finding myself in a strange and precarious place spiritually as of late.
The more I read God's word and spend time with Him in prayer, the less I find I can tolerate some of the mandates of other Believers.

This notion has been dogging me for more than a year but has intensified in the last three or four months.
Those of you who are immersed in the Christian culture know it is just that - a culture. There is often a set of rules, a dress code, a vocabulary list and a standard of behavior NOT COMMANDED IN SCRIPTURE that prevails. This culture is most obvious in the homeschooling community for me.

I must state, for the record, my church family does not seem saturated in the culture to which I am referring. It is much more open, accepting and eclectic than one would expect. And we are conservative. There is something special going on at my church. For that, I am grateful.

But the culture that SOME of my fellow homeschoolers embrace has become repugnant to me. I can not abide one more conversation about the evils of Twilight, The Hunger Games, the fashions on the racks at Khol's or the suggestive dance moves of Justin Bieber! Pokemon, Harry Potter, Facebook, secular music, skinny jeans, guns in video games, tattoos, piercings . . . these are the plumb lines many of us are using to measure one another and it is suffocating me!

Work these things out in your own families, folks! Prayerfully decide where the lines should fall and walk in them. Offer your opinions when other Believers ASK FOR THEM. Do not waste precious time making the fight against Spongebob Squarepants your life's work, I beg of you.

You make a caricature of yourself before those who don't know our Savior.
Fodder for mockery among the lost, but not persecuted for righteousness' sake. Let us not confuse the two.

I am not suggesting that Christian families should throw open their doors and embrace every aspect of our current American culture. Lots of it is garbage, counterproductive, injurious to the spirit and wasteful of time. Plenty of what I have mentioned above is not allowed in my own home. But that is OUR home and yours may look very different from ours. And guess what? God's word allows for that! We should all work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).

I Corinthians 8 talks about Believers eating food sacrificed to idols. Paul is clear that Believers are welcomed to eat it but he admonishes the early Christians in verses 9 and 10 with:
"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol's temple, won't that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?"

Shouldn't that be our main concern as we fellowship, Believer to Believer? Paul is not talking about a Christian causing a non-Christian to stumble but a more knowledgeable Believer making a weaker Believer revert to idolatry and damaging his relationship with the One, True, God.

So we don't flaunt our family boundaries before other Believers but neither do we set before them a form of righteousness that is not of God and expect them to partake simply because we have more knowledge.

We live our lives under the convictions that God has placed on our hearts, trying to please Him both in our freedom and our choices . . . and we keep Him and HIS word the focus.

Everything else is dross . . . chaff . . . shavings on the wind . . . a ploy of the Enemy to divert us from the Cross and the height from which we have fallen.

And when we remember that HE picked us up from the pit of miry clay and set our feet upon the rock when we were but filthy, helpless, rotten, rebellious, unfaithful people, suddenly it doesn't much matter whether you have cable TV or make your own bread from wheat berries.

It just doesn't matter. In eternity. For the big picture.

It's just between Him and You...and He lavishes grace upon grace, lovingly guides and forgives without limit.

Rest in that, my friends.

Just rest.

7 comments:

  1. great post - convicting and well stated - thanks for your words!

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  2. AMEN!!!! I was just talking about that with Lem's class last night. I am appalled a the way the whole Chik-fil-la thing is being handled by Christian's! If I were a non-believer I would not want to be one based on what the "believer's" are saying. Yes please offer your opinion if someone ASKS but otherwise keep your mouth shut and speak through your actions. I was trying to explain the we shouldn't judge other's just because they sin different than us. We are each walking our own path with Christ so...worry about the log in your own eye.... I wish I could have had you in class last night. You say things so much better than I do!

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  3. Nikki, my friend, you are a warrior, and I love you for it! So many times I've considered my preferences as precious, and I've used them as walls rather than building bridges to Jesus. Thanks for speaking hard truths even when it can come with a personal cost.

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  4. Love, love, love this post, friend! I too have found myself guilty of drawing lines for other believers. My goodness, when we do that, there is simply no room for God's grace. And when I think of the grace He has so abundantly poured out on me, I realize how stifling I have been. Shame on me. Thank you for speaking the words that are so heavy on my own heart. May I please repost this on my blog and link back to yours?

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  5. THis is an excellent observation Nikki! I get caught up in this area of comparing/judging on both sides of the issue so thank you for the exhortation. I also spent a few moments catching up on your blog and I'm glad your fitness plan is working out for you and that you're reaping the benefits from that. And also how time flies--can't believe Francis has been home for a year! Hope you guys enjoy the rest of your summer!

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  6. sharing, if you don't mind...great post.

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    1. I never mind, Denie! . . . honored!

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