Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drawing the Line

I never really expected to write a blog post about this kind of thing. But I guess this issue is getting to my core lately.

I won't hide the fact that I am a Christian. Jesus Christ is my personal Savior. He died on the cross to save all of us from our sin. He is my everything, and without doubt guides my steps. I am so far from perfect, there aren't words. I have so much to learn, and so much work to do. However, because of my Savior, I know He forgives, and allows me to learn and grow through my mistakes. I have made plenty of mistakes, and Jesus is there to pick me up after I've fallen. And He's allowed me to get back on track time after time. God is good, that's for sure.

Now I have a five year old son. My husband and I are often talking about making good choices for him. Knowing where to draw the line for him when we allow him to watch or do things. Yes, he's only 5... but we know that if we set boundaries for him now that later on it will help him make good choices. I can't stifle him... I can't restrict him from everything, but I sure can filter our television and other things. Recently, my husband and I thought it might be a good idea to take Austin to see the movie Marma.duke. My husband did a little search on the Focus on the Family website and found out that the movie depicts the dogs drinking ditchwater and makes it out that they are drinking beer. There are a few other things that are negative in that movie. They show behavior we don't want our son to have. If you want to read the review, you can click here. Can I filter everything from him? No, but I can make the best choices I can.

I could list a lot of verses from the Bible that explain that Christians are to be set apart. When this issue really began to burn me up last night, I posted Romans 12:1-2 on my status update on facebook. It states "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 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." (NIV)

In light of this verse, I've seen several things recently that make me wonder why if one proclaims to be a Christian that you would openly participate in things that make that proclamation questionable. Now, you can't look at me and tell that I am saved by the grace of Jesus. So you could use the excuse that no one knows I'm a Christian when I'm out in public, so I can get away with some things. Okay, well... then, the next time I go to the grocery store and they question my use of a coupon I think I'll just curse at the cashier. No one knows I'm a Christian, right... so that makes it okay, right? Absolutely NOT. The Lord still knows what I've done. And even if no one else heard me, the Lord did. Let's take it a little further. Let's say I chose to go out to the beach one day. And with me, I take a cooler full of beer. I set up my lawn chair on the beach and while Austin digs in the sand, I booze it up... become slap out drunk. Now we can talk about child endangerment here, but that's not my point. The Bible says not to become drunken. Does anyone on the beach know that I am a Christian? No, but the Lord does. And I can tell you that living 1 mile from the school I teach at and about 5 miles from the closest beach, I am going to most likely run into one of my former students on the beach. Do you think that's a good testimony to them if they see their teacher boozing it up on the beach? I don't preach the gospel in my classroom, but my students know that I attend church and if they ask I do tell them I'm a Christian.

Recently, I have witnessed fellow believers posting pictures of themselves on facebook. These pictures show them consuming alcohol in various places. On the beach and even in bars. I won't name any names, because it's not appropriate here. But this gets under my skin. I suppose there really isn't anything wrong if you want to consume alcohol in your own home and not become drunk. But when you go out and flat out get drunk in public, what does that show with your testimony? What really set me off was an acquaintance I saw on Television. I won't get into specifics, but he was on a reality show and he stripped down to very tiny underpants. I don't want to put the name of the show or his name. I don't think it's appropriate. My point is that this disgusting act not only grossed me out, but made me wonder why someone who professes to be a Christian would do something like that. You can be funny without stripping down. Really, you can.

I went to a Chonda Pierce concert recently. She talked about some experiences she's had in the secular realm of entertainment. How no one could understand that you can do a comedy routine without cursing and being crass. However, she does it. She talked about lifestyle evangelism, and how people keep wondering how she can be so kind and loving to others, and how she can be in her line of work and not be crass and rude. Because of this, people are starting to ask her questions about her faith and why she's the way she is. She has been able to start witnessing to people just because of the example she sets.

So I'm calling on Christians to draw the line. We live in an evil world, full of behavior that constantly dances on that line. When we start to lower our guard, our standards decrease and we don't even realize it.

I might be called out on facebook because of this post, and you might be reading this and completely disagree with me. But these recent events have caused me to really examine myself and think about where my own boundaries are. Whether you disagree with me about the things that got me fired up or not, please know that my point is that you can't act like the world and then claim not to be of it. No double standards allowed.

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