Sometimes I hear people say that the Bible is outdated. I have even heard people claim that we need a new version of the Bible that takes into account all of the issues that are facing the world today. This would seem to suggest, however, that God was somehow unaware of what would be happening today when He inspired the writing of the Bible through those whom He chose to express His will through His written Word. I happen to believe that the Bible is living and complete. I also believe that God has been present since the beginning of time and is the author of time and that there is nothing happening today or that will happen in the future that will surprise Him.
That being said, sometimes we, as Christians, make it very difficult here on earth for our brothers and sisters. Many of us, including your truly, take it upon ourselves to decide for others what is right and what is wrong. We take principles from the laws before Christ and try to force them on others forgetting that Christ overcame the law. Or, we try to fit people into the mold we envision for the Church, the Body of Christ, rather than allowing God to prune and mold His beloved. The problem is that by doing that, we may push someone away from Christ instead of helping him or her draw nearer to Him. I am not saying that we should tolerate acts that are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. But, we should not sweat the small stuff.
I am grateful that there are different denominations and that the love of God can be translated into any language. This allows different people to experience God in the way that best fits their personalities. It is not our job to judge the time that people go to church, or how many times, or for how long. Who are we to say what and when a person should fast? We should not argue over how a song is sung or how a sermon is preached. And, does it really matter if we wear three-piece suits or flip-flops to church? Some Christians spend too much time trying to do God’s work for Him, and in the process of trying to help God, you may just end up hurting the Kingdom.
Romans 14 says that we do not need to sweat the small stuff because everything is holy until we, by the way we treat or talk about it, contaminate it. In the New Testament, God showed Peter that it was okay to eat any food that He created, so why do we judge people about what they eat or when. If they are thanking God for the provision of that food, it is holy. Why look cross-eyed at a young person with a tattoo? Especially, if the tattoo is uplifting God, i.e. Scripture, or if it reflects some blessing that God has given them and reminds them to place their lives in His hands.
Once again, I am not suggesting that we ignore acts that are blatantly disrespectful and contradictory to God’s Word because His commands are appropriate for the times we live in and the times to come. Nonetheless, even in defending God’s Word and His principle, we must keep the command to love at the forefront of our minds. We must seek God’s wisdom and discernment in what to say and when. I would imagine that each of us, if we thought hard enough, can think of a time that someone in the church made us feel uncomfortable about who we are or how we act. It may have been a comment or even a harsh look and had we not been strong in the Lord, we may have walked away from the Christian life altogether. Think about how it made you feel. Why would you want anyone else to feel that way?
Don’t sweat the small stuff with fellow Christians. If they love Christ, respect that and love them as you love yourself. Let’s deal with our own issues rather than projecting them on to others. And, let God be God. Ms. EV