Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Freedom in Christ

Since, I have now been called a legalist, (however if you lived in northwest Indiana with the Independent Baptist Churches I believe your idea of legalism would change), un-scholarly, and all around bad guy. I figure we need to explore the issue of freedom in Christ. What does in mean to have freedom in Christ?

I have seen many people enjoy areas, not just alcohol, in the name of freedom in Christ. I have seen seminary students listen to music and watch all kinds of movies that they should not because of freedom in Christ. They feel that they are mature enough to enjoy these things and not be effected by them.

Just a note to all of you that call me a legalist. Let's take music for example, I am not against secular music at all. I have stood up against people that say only Christian music should be played all the time. I say that we need to look at the media and judge it based on content. If an band has content that is bad (i.e. obscene language, racial slurs, sexual imagery, etc.) then it should not be listened to by a Christian. The same goes for movies, TV, video games, etc.

At this point you might be asking yourself what does this have to do with alcohol. Well, this all falls into what Dr. Daniel Akin calls the gray areas of life. These are the areas in life that are ambiguous in the Bible. For instance the Bible never says that we shouldn' drink or the bible doesn't say anything about music. So how do we handle these areas? In a theology class that Dr. Akin taught at Southern Seminary, he address these gray areas.

The Gray Areas of Life
1 Corinthians 6:12-11:1

1. Will this action edify self? 6:12
2. Will this action enslave my soul? 6:12
3. Will this action exalt the Savior? 6:13; 10:31
4. Will this action encourage other saints? 8:13
5. Will this action evangelize sinners? 10:32, 33
6. Will this action emulate my Savior? 11:1

If any thing that I wish to partake in is on the fence, I use this criteria to judge my actions. As I look at the issue of freedom in Christ, I understand that we can do many things, but not everything is beneficial to our Christian walk. This is the very issue that Paul is addressing when he writes 1 Cor. 6:23-24,

"Everything is permissible" but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible" but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."

We as Christians should be looking at these gray areas of life and judge them by the principles in 1 Corinthians. We should not be looking to see how much we can dance around sin and still not sin, but be looking for ways to be closer to God. We must be asking how can we glorify God and reach people for Christ.

Please understand my heart, it is not to lay down rules for Christians. My heart is to see Christians be a godly example to all people. We need to reach people with the gospel using God's Word and our lifestyles.

1 comment:

dc said...

Hey Gotch, I'm not enering the debate because I reallly dont care one way or the other. But here's something a friend of mine told me. This guy works with Andy Stanley.

On the issue of drinking, Stanley said it is not a question of whether it is right or wrong, a sin or not a sin. The question is; in light of your past history, present circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, is it a wise decision.

This is brilliant wisdom at its best. This applies to all areas of life really, but he said it about alcohol.

My personal opinion is this: in the gray areas we all have to have our own convictions that hold to steadfastly, while not imposing them on others.

Like this for example...I'm convicted of the fact that you are not an "all around bad guy," as your pity party paragraph states. But be it far from me to permit others from feeling that you are.

There, practical application. Hahahaha. Love ya bro. Good luck in the storm.