Thursday, March 26, 2009

What does This World Need?

I have been thinking. Just to warn you, whenever I say this in my family, many members will say, "Uh oh! Not again!" They are mostly joking, but partly serious I think, since most of my shared thoughts include a new habit we can develop, a new idea to make money, or a new meal idea :) That is partly a joke--I do think of other things too!

Anyway, I have been thinking. There are so many different types of "Christians." Those who are Baptists, those who are Presbyterian; those who are reformed, those who are Armenian; those who date, those who court; those who believe in spiritual gifts, and those who think they are past history; those who wear skirts all the time, and those who don't care what they wear; those who sing hymns, those who rock out every Sunday morning on all the latest praise and worship songs created; girls who wear make-up, girls who don't--because of principal ; those who listen to contemporary Christian music, and those who believe any drum beat is wrong; those who believe in sending children to public school, and those who believe it is the parents' job ALONE to educate their children.... (to name a few)

So, which one, in each of these examples, is the RIGHT way? Are all Christians right and Jesus isn't particular about these things?

Or is somebody wrong.

That is a sobering thought. A lot of times I believe that Christians become comfortable in their lives and begin taking on the look, feel, and sound of the world without even knowing it. If we are not actively fighting against the world and it's passions, then passively those very ideas will invade out lives.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." -Romans 12:2

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." -1 John 2:15

The first verse doesn't just give a no-no and then move on. It gives a no, and then gives an ACTIVE command, that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds! This takes work!! Self-control and self-government to force our minds from their natural inclinations (since all men are born in sin) and into the right avenues TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD. I get so excited about this. We can actually KNOW the will of almighty God! Think of all the heart-ache we could save ourselves if we just knew God's will.. Well, my friends, there is a way to know it. Praise the Lord!

All that to say, just because one becomes a Christian doesn't mean that he or she has somehow arrived and now has to do no more work! Oh no, the work is just beginning... The work to know what is of God, and what is of the world. More and more I am convinced that something cannot be both. Either something (habit, desire, thought, deed, event) is of GOD, or it is of the WORLD. There is no middle ground! I am not totally sure of this yet, but that is where I am leaning... Simply because there is absolutely NO sin in anything God does, so everything of God would have NO sin, and so everything else would be sin, right?

Maybe I am getting into semantics here :)

I just want to honor the Lord, and I am confused when I see Christians who are so diverse. How can BOTH lifestyles honor the Lord?

I would love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, here's a song by Casting Crowns that really got me thinking about all this stuff

What this world needs
is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind
Another two bit politician peddling lies
Another three-ring circus society
What this world needs
is not another sign-waving super saint that's better than you
Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth
Another prophet in an Armani suit

What this world needs is a Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love
That's what this world needs

What this world needs
is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before he changes her shirt
What this world needs
is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well people can't see the difference
And it's the difference that sets the world FREE!

People aren't confused by the Gospel
They're confused by us.
Jesus is the only way to God, but we are not the only way to Jesus
The world doesn't need my tie, my hoodie, my denomination or my translation of the Bible
It just needs Jesus
Jesus is going to save the world, but maybe the best thing we can do, is get out of the way...

I think the world is partly confused because we looks just like them... Anyway, just something to think about.

May you show someone today the Love of Christ.


Emily Rachael said...

Romans 14:10-17 NKJV

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written:
“ As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Well, Katie... That is a hard point that we have discussed many MANY times here in the Stone household.
We've studied this scripture passage out quite a few times. We know people who believe some things we do are sinful. But as inferred from the passage, to them it is evil because they have deemed it so. This is something that Dad teaches us, it is called "Christian Liberties".
All the things you mentioned are neither condemned nor proclaimed in Scripture thus, how can we know which is sin? Well, we need to know the Scripture well enough to know which is the right choice to make in accordance with God's will and which one would be the "sinful" one... Am I making sense? :D
I'll leave you with that seeming rambling thought... Did I confuse you? <3
Can't wait to see you and Ellie! My parents said we might be able to do a spend the night... We'll see :)
Love in our LORD!
~ME-mily :)

Katie said...

Yes! I really like your point. Thanks for making it :) Can't way tto see you all! One more month! Love ya.

Anonymous said...

I believe it also depends on your heart. You can be doing all the "right" things. But if your heart is only based on outward appearance you might as well be dressing immodestly or outwardly sinning. Your heart needs to be in the right place or it is all for nothing.

Katie said...

Yes, but "from the ubundance of the heart the mouth speaks." What is in the heart will come out in how we dress, talk, laugh, walk, and literally live. Whether we like it or not. We as humans can only cover up and hide for so long...

Anonymous said...

Is that not what I said? Even strong christians fall short of the Glory of God. Though if we do judge those who do not dress modestly or speak "correctly" to say our standards then are we any better?

momma-o-minnie said...

I think one of the strongest principles by which we can make judgements is by looking at this basic principle: Did Jesus say it? Did the apostles teach it? Did the new church practice it? If not, then it is a man-made trapping that can become very legalistic.
For instance - headcoverings... this is something that was cultural - practiced in some areas, and not in others (such as Athens where prostitues were known to leave their hair loose and adorned.) Paul preached against women not having their hair uncovered, but that does not mean that this is a practice that Jesus spoke about, nor is it one that we can easily confirm was practiced throughout the early church. So then one wonders if this is not a man-made interpretation that can become very legalistic. Women and men can easily fall prey to Satan's trappings: pride that "they" are better because "they" are "showing" submission, failure of a pure/true heart change where their actions do not actually match their words (veiled but not submitting,) etc.

I believe grace and mercy should be extended to everyone - that is what Christ preached. It is better to pray in a closet and admit that you are a sinner than to stand on a street corner letting all know who you claim to be.

Katie said...

To Anonymous: No we are not any better no matter what we do. We are all in the same boat at the end of the day... I just think that Christians today are so afraid of stepping on toes and "looking judgmental" that we silence ourselves when we should speak out against sin. There are many tares among the wheat... Sadly.

To Mamma o minnie: If I decided to take you totally literally, then I might say, "Well, Jesus didn't teach us to drive cars or use computers" or some nonsense like that. But I think I know what you mean. Some Christians do add many trappings to their lives, and some add the deadly trapping of "tolerance for all" and are open to anything. As for praying in a closet, Daniel definitely had that chance, but he faithfully prayed at his open window three times a day, even when he knew he'd die for it. But then you can also become a hypocrite that way... "For every mile of road, there are two miles of ditches" (don't know who said that, but it's a good quote!).

God bless you both and thanks for this rousing discussion. I just want to keep Christians thinking (and keep myself thinking mostly!). It's just so easy to get "comfortable."