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.