When it comes to being Christians, the biggest debates is sparked when you approach the matter of being a Christian in a pluralistic society. On one side, there are those who make a clear stand that worldliness is worldliness and should be avoided or cut off. On the other, there are those who argue for compromise and pragmatism.
At the end, what does God say about this?
1Co 10:31 … whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
The principle that is clear (repetitively in Paul’s writings) is that Christian ought always to be maximalist in their worship of God in their life. A life that is marked by glorifying God is not in asking, “what is the least that I can do for Him, but what is the best I can do for Him”. That is a life of holiness, which means ‘set apart unto God’. Apart from? Why, the world of course. So yes, to be holier is to be like God who is not like the world (with it’s cultures and traditions and biasness, etc. *). It is a recovery of the doctrine of separation which comes from a deeper understanding of what sanctification means.
That is why a person with that mindset is always contented with the circumstances he is in. Giving up things of the world is never becomes a problem. It does not ever take away their joy in any way (I’m speaking practically). So they would never ask “Can I do this or that?” but they focus on what are the things that God called us to do as believers and heirs of His kingdom. It never becomes an issue, whether it is about football, computer games, yoga, karate, etc… because the joy of being a Christian is never dependent on the freedom to indulge in these things in the first place. And yes, this means that our responses will expose our heart attitude and depth of God-knowledge and teaching.
I am constantly amazed by Paul’s ability and actions in these things. He never had to talk about the entertainment of the day (theatre and gladiatorial fights) because it never became an issue to the persecuted Christians. Speaks wonders about the state of ‘christianity’ in our generation doesn’t it? 🙂
Anyway, why the sudden post? Came to mind while reading this. Good read 🙂
Note on *: Cultures, traditions are all deviations from God’s Ideal in one way or other. In that sense, it is a consequence of sin and therefore, there is nothing that should be sacred to us in the name of culture and traditions. I am reminded of an excellent talk on this by either Woodhouse or Jensen. Hmmm… cannot remember.