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Monday, November 15, 2010

Part 2 - Flaunting Your Christian Liberty

Last week, we discussed the matter of Christian liberty and how it affects relationships between fellow believers. We also mentioned our tendency to be judgmental, especially when one differed in opinion. Although freedom in Christ does allow Christians the ability to explore areas God has not specifically addressed in Scripture, it still does not mean you can do anything you want.

Remember, the Law of Love always takes precedence over the Law of Liberty. As hard as it is, we are commanded to "take off" our pride and "put on" humility. We must think of others above ourselves! How willing are you to set aside your differences so as not to offend? There are many instances when a Christian needs to unselfishly limit his or her own freedom and liberty for the sake of others.

"For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love." Romans 14:15a

When it comes to interactions with fellow believers on the matter of Christian liberty, we usually practice one of two options:

1. We can become completely insensitive.
 I have seen many times the hurt caused by a Christian who has "flaunted" their Christian liberty in front of those with opposite convictions. They seem to get some sort of joy out of shocking others and continually pushing limits. It is not appropriate and neither does it portray love.

On the other end of the spectrum, 
2. We can become extremely oversensitive.
Sometimes we feel like we have to be super careful not to step on anyone's toes. You definitely need to show some discretion, but it is also wrong to allow others' opinions, and not God's, to control your life.

I think Romans 14:22 sums up this mini-series perfectly,

"The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves."

Formulate your own convictions and determine where you stand on controversial grey areas. Then, once you are convinced in your own mind, keep your thoughts between yourself and God. This is the absolute best way to encourage unity in the body of Christ and to turn the attention back onto the real issue at hand - winning lost souls for Christ.
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2 comments:

Emily said...

Great post. Something I have learned recently too in is how much God doesn't like it when we are a stumbling block to believers. He says it would be better if we were dead.
Matthew 18:5-7
"And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!"

Joseph said...

Excellent post! And great point from Emily with Matthew 18:5-7 as well! It got me thinking about the words "...causes one to stumble.." What does it mean to cause one to stumble? Let me give an example because that's the best way I can explain what I'm thinking:

If Believer 1 is out drinking a glass of wine and is seen by Believer 2 - and believer 2 has a different conviction on that but later seers his own conscience by drinking because he saw believer 1 do it... is believer 1 culpable for that in Gods eyes?

or...

If believer 1 invites believer 2 out to dinner asks him if he'd like a glass of wine - believer 2 declines, and then believer 1 goes into a dissertation about how wine drinking is ok and he really should have a glass.

Which scenario is "Causing to stumble" or is it both?

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