Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Extra-Morality 5: Proper Focus

Throughout this series, we have been learning about extramoral concerns. Because I really feel like this issue is controversial, I have made it a point to explain myself in almost every single post in the series so that hopefully one of my explanations will click with my readers.

Today is no different. I once again want to use another way of teaching to describe what I mean by extra-moral standards. These standards are placed by Christians as tools to fight against their possible corruption. We place them in our lives because we fear that violating these standards could dampen our relationship with the Lord or with others.

But just as there are no set textbooks that always have to be used to teach math, science or other subject, there are no set tools or standards to dictate how we decide to avoid sin. As such, we should expect differing standards from Christian to Christian.

Last week, we simply saw that we should respect other Christians regardless of their choice of extra-moral concerns. We learned that it would be wrong for us to tempt our brothers to err by their stricter standards. Because although having lenient standards is not sin, it is sinful to err by the standard you have prayerfully put in your life. As such, general consideration would allow for us not to put a stumblingblock in the path of our fellow Christians.

I would like to argue further today that instead of focusing on the standards on TV, music, books and dancing we use as tools in our Christian lives, when we interact with other Christians we should focus on righteousness, peace, and joy. We should become like-minded in our goal to spread the Gospel. That should be our focus, not anything else.

This answer is of course found in Romans 14. More specifically, verses 17-19, where it says,
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

The kingdom of God is not meat and drink. It is not shall we say it, dancing, entertainment choices and so on. There is a higher focus that all Christians aspire to, that is obedience to the Lord, righteousness, peace, and joy. When we are together, we should just focus on these areas wherewith we may edify one another.

Perhaps, Romans 15:5-7 explain it better,
"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

You see, we Christians have bigger fish to fry than arguing over whether it is acceptable to dance. We are called to glorify God, but we may have difficulty fulfilling that purpose if we don't stand like-minded, if we divide ourselves by arguing over virtually nothing. Let us then follow after the things which make for peace and glorify God together.

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