Monday, December 29, 2014

Introducing New Ideas

"You shall not add to the word that I commanded you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you." -Deuteronomy 4:2

     Every day it seems like, I get onto my laptop or my phone, and I see articles everywhere that are trying too hard to make things difficult. I see people talking about how it's wrong to use electronic Bibles, wrong to be on the internet, I've even heard someone say that it's wrong to watch any movie or television show no matter how clean. But can we really teach these things? Can we teach that there is one true way to have a relationship (i.e. dating vs courting), or whether or not you should home school, if you should celebrate Christmas even as a nonreligious holiday, etc? 

     First of all, before I really get into this, I want to clarify that I'm not saying that it's wrong to put your foot down. I'm not saying that it's wrong to have opinions as long as they don't oppose the Bible, and I'm not saying that we should be so open minded that we just accept and agree with anything anyone ever does. Now, keeping that in mind, nowhere in the Bible are we told to preach our opinions. We are allowed to have them, and if you believe that you shouldn't watch any movies, then don't. It's wrong to go against your own opinions (as long as they don't go against the Bible) as we see in Romans 14:22-23. However, nowhere in the Bible are we told that others have to believe our opinions as well.

     Does the Bible say, "Thou shalt only read thy Bible on paper." or, "Thou shalt never go out to dinner with thy boyfriend" or even, "Thou shalt not court thy boyfriend or thy girlfriend."? Of course not. These things can be stumbling blocks to some people though. Say you want to go on a date because you don't want to court, that's perfectly fine. But the minute you two are alone together in a room or a house with no witnesses, even if nothing happens at all, is that shining your light? Is that showing everyone that you are in fact a Christian? Is that something that will make you of high repute? But at the same time, there is nothing wrong with a man and a woman sitting down at a table in a restaurant and getting to know each other. Now I strongly believe that someone should know your whereabouts, but no where in the Bible does it say that you cannot do either one. The same thing goes for movies, and the same thing goes for having time for yourself, and the same thing goes for celebrating Christmas (as long as you're not making it a holy day, as we see that we aren't supposed to add to God's Word in Deuteronomy 4:2 and Leviticus 10, which is what making a day holy would be doing). If you have a problem with something, don't do it, but preaching it as doctrine isn't the way to go about it

     The difficult thing about opinions is that sometimes people take certain commandments as just guide lines, rather than what they really are, which are commandments. Also, some people use this to say that we really shouldn't put our foot down about anything, as it can be easy to try to be politically correct. However, it's important that we understand where the fine lines are, and the only way you can truly do that is to study for yourself. Don't read the Bible trying to find the answer you want, (because you will find it if you take things out of context enough) but search through the scriptures and find out that the Bible says. Where the Bible is silent, we should be silent, and where the Bible speaks, we should speak. Today I would like to encourage you to, instead of getting into an argument about whether or not it's wrong to send your children to public school, or use a Bible app instead of a paper Bible, take a step back and ask if you're winning a soul, or an argument. You may be surprised with the answer.