Experimenting with Christian Boundaries
In the light of legalism that had threatened to destroy the simplicity of Christ and the Christian message, many have experimented with the liberty that is ours in Christ. Just think of liberty and immediately you see yourself running free in a wide open field with no fences; wind blowing through your hair as your clothing ripples in a cape-like manner behind you. That kind of liberty is not only scary, but not scriptural. There must be a fence to the wide open field of life. There must be a point of reference in order for us to determine where we are; to have perspective. How big is a coin unless we see it in the palm of someone’s hand? There must be a compass that tells us how far north or south we have strayed. God offers us liberty, but that liberty is in Christ. The boundary; the fence is Christ; is His Word (Gal 5:13).
I remember when I just got saved, I had broken free from the bondages of religion and all of its mundane rituals. I was introduced to a Christianity that did not hand me a rule book or sit me down and lecture me on a whole lot of dos and don’ts… In fact I asked the question, “So what are the rules?” The person who was explaining this great salvation that Jesus purchased for me, simply said “The Holy Spirit will guide you. He will convict you when you step out of the will of God. You will know on the inside that you are displeasing him”. I could not believe that there was no list, so I started to walk in this wide open field. My young Christian mind excitedly recorded this instruction; “step out and do stuff and if the Holy Spirit doesn’t like it He would say”. The first thing I did was go and pierce my ears a second time. Woohoo! It was funky! I always wanted to do it and I felt free; free to do stuff. Then the Holy Spirit “guidance part” kicked in. I scarcely started to wear earrings in my new piercing, when He started to examine my motives and why I felt it so important to have another piercing. Was it to fit in with the world? Was it to get notice? Was it necessary to my growth a new Christian? In fact, what would Jesus do? Then I realized that this liberty had parameters. There was fence! It was the Word of God; the living Word that searches the thoughts and intents of the heart. My new piercing remained earring-less until it sealed itself. I did not need it and I did not miss it.
That’s just a little example to show how God taught me about experimenting with Christian boundaries. I am not knocking your piercings. Nobody cares! Once it is not binding you to the world and having an ungodly hold on you that keeps you tied to the wrong crowd, nobody cares! Not even God!
These experiments with boundaries has been evident over the years in Christendom. We fought off the fetters of legalism and in many cases went to the next extreme. So we don’t read our Bibles every minute of the day, but did we have to replace it with movies packed with profanity? We don’t have to dress like a “Christianette”, but does our skirts have to be so short that it leaves nothing to the imagination or the pants so tight that our muscles or lack thereof are evident at all times. Where is the moderation that the scriptures offered us as part of the liberty in Christ? The power to be moderate! It takes power to be moderate in an extreme world! Moderation has disappeared. We have become loose with our choice of music, movies, sit-coms, games and even the places that we choose to hang out at. Some of us drink more alcohol than those who make no profession of Christianity. Hello! “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess.” (Eph 5:18). I hear Christians boast about how much they drink and are proud to tell the bartender that they are Christians. Not to mention lying, fornication, adultery and unequal yoking. We have fiddled with the line (boundary) so much, it has become a virtual moving line.
While we as the Church experiment with our freedoms, the Word of God has remained the same. It still requires us to be free within the parameters set out in the Word of God. Any other liberty actually teeters upon placing ourselves in bondage to the enemy. It starts to control us! When we are being controlled by our so-called “liberty”, we are in bondage. Paul said…
1 Corinthians 6:12 (AMP)
12 Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me].
Spoken by a free man!
It’s time to stop the experiments! Close down the labs! The world is waiting to see the real thing! Not legalism… Not excesses… But a liberty that is in Christ!