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Archive for January 1st, 2010

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV)

A hard question comes up often:  What is “good,” what is “bad,” and what is “controversial”?  To tell you the truth, I don’t know.  I think that is between your family and God.  But I do know one thing.  Other Christian families and individuals are watching us, and copying us.  Can we with good conscience say as Paul did, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”? (1 Cor. 11:1)

I think that in grey areas such as these I have been talking about, we have a tendency to have an attitude of “I’ve been a Christian for years.  I can handle it.  What harm can it do?  What’s the big deal?”  Maybe you can handle it, but can your little brother and sister in Christ?  Whether you realize it or not, someone somewhere is looking to you as their example and imitating stuff you do.  That’s a big deal!  Are we leading them towards God, or towards the world?

In Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10, Paul talks about how some things we do may be offensive to other people, even though it may not be “bad” to us.  He uses the example of eating food offered to idols.  Some people thought that to be sinful, and because of that Paul encouraged others to honor those people’s convictions.  I understand him to mean that if someone has been convicted by God about something we haven’t yet been convicted of, we should stay away from that thing for their sakes, so as not to cause them to question their faith. 

“But they’ve been convicted about stuff that’s really ok.”  What makes it ok?  Is it that we’ve turned a blind eye toward God’s commands about it – perhaps because it has become an idol to us and we don’t want to give it up?  Is it ok, because we’re choosing certain scriptures that seem to support our views, and ignoring the others that don’t?  Is that ok?  

If someone else is convinced that something is wrong, but they see you watching/reading/doing/listening to it, they may begin to think “Well, so-and-so thinks it’s ok, and they’re Christians, so maybe it’s not so bad after all.”

Brothers and sisters, we must stop this chain reaction that is drawing more and more Christian families into the influence of the world!  Satan is delighted by this!  It’s exactly what he’s been trying to do for thousands of years!  And because we’re so concerned about proving to our friends that we’re not weird, “homeschoolers,” or super-holy Jesus freaks, we’re helping out the enemy!

So what harm can it do?  Maybe none to you and your family.  But it may cause the straying and destruction of many others who are following your example.

 “But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— I do not mean your conscience, but his…. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.  Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:28-29, 31-11:1 (ESV)

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