Friday, March 7, 2014

Missing the Point

I’m confused . . .

As Christians I’ve been told we aren't supposed to compliment Ellen on her hosting job (the Oscars) or vote for M.K. (American Idol) because we don't approve of their lifestyle.  We shouldn't throw a baby shower for a girl who is pregnant out of wedlock because that would send the wrong message.  We can’t have a Halloween party at church for the kids because we would be supporting a pagan holiday, and listening to secular music or having a glass of wine is clearly out of the question. 
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2 NIV
The Bible says we are to be different from the world; a light shining in the darkness, but what exactly does that mean?  Are we supposed to completely shun all things secular?  And how do we define secular?  This quandary has been the source of dissension among believers for too long.  We look down our noses and point our fingers at those who live contrary to what we believe is correct.  Is that how Jesus lived?  What did He have to say about this?

When asked which commandment was the most important, He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

Jesus didn’t separate Himself from the world.  He ate dinner with tax collectors and Pharisees, defended those condemned to die, and even when out of His way to seek out the lost.   He loved the people first and foremost.  His loved demonstrated that He was not of this world.  And isn’t that what He told us?

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35 NLT

We don’t need a list of authorized behaviors to define us as Christians.  I don’t believe God is concerned with an approved set list of music.  We look at that outward stuff, but God looks at the heart.  Has your heart been transformed?  That’s where we need to start.   I think the Message sums it up beautifully.  Instead of focusing on whether something or someone is right or wrong, let us focus on God. 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
~ Romans 12:1-2 The Message

Many Blessings,

PS - I know my header is missing.  If you're focused on that, then you're missing the point.  ;)

1 comment:

  1. I like the thought; "Look To God and Live". I consider that I am a Christian in every way. A lot of Christians don't believe that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are true Christians. That's a judgement that is sad. This doesn't make sense to me. We are taught to love one another, to not judge, and to be in the world but not of the world. To me that means we don't do what those in the world do; but to be an example of what is right. We follow our Savior and our prophet. Thanks, for an interesting post and blessings to you!