I hear a lot of uproar lately about what IS and ISN'T appropriate for a Christian. I hear people talking about the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. I hear people questioning the movie The Shack. Should they see it or shouldn't they? What about Fifty Shades? Most of the girls I know RAVED over the books and can't wait to see the movies. Is that OK??
I sure can't give you an answer straight from God's lips, but I can give you my opinion, and I'd love to hear yours. Please don't leave a mean spirited comment, I'll delete it. But I would welcome your Biblical opinion. I want to live a life that brings honor to my Savior.
First of all, I want to say that my opinion is just that, my opinion. And frankly, your opinion is just your opinion too. I know a lot of Christian people who love Jesus, and yet their actions and lives look different from mine. We all have things we think are "OK" and things we think aren't "OK" for Christians, but is that really as it should be? I mean, shouldn't we all be on the same page when it comes to what is and isn't sin?? Cause we're all gonna be judged by God and I don't think he has separate standards based on my denomination or my opinion. Just my thoughts.
I don't drink alcohol. Not a drop. I don't drink beer. I don't have a glass of wine with dinner. None. Can I tell you that the Bible absolutely forbids a Christian drinking alcohol? Nope. But nowhere in the Bible do I see Christians encouraged to use alcohol. Except for a couple of verses that talk about using wine for medicinal purposes, all of the verses that talk about alcohol are warning people against the evils of excess drinking. Lots of lives were ruined by someone abusing alcohol, lots of families torn apart by someone abusing alcohol. So why play with fire?? I mean, if you want to have a glass of wine with your dinner I guess that's your business, but why would you even let yourself get in the habit of drinking a liquid that alters your mind, and can become an addiction? I have read blogs that purport to be written by Christian ladies and I see pictures of them smiling with wine glasses in their hands and the next post is about Jesus. This bothers me. Just my thoughts.
I didn't read the series of books "Fifty Shades of Grey," and I promise you I won't be reading them. I can assure you I haven't seen any of the movies, don't intend to. And yet I see on Facebook ladies commenting about the books and getting together to go see the movies . . . and MOST of those same people commenting about those books and going to see the movies are ladies who attend church every Sunday and if you asked them if they were Christian they would say "yes." So what kind of witness do you have to the unsaved when you're sitting in the same movie theater watching what pretty much boils down to pornography? The Bible is very clear on what we are to focus on: Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Girls Fifty Shades is neither noble or right or pure. Just my thoughts.
The Shack. I have read the book "The Shack." It was very thought provoking. Is it gospel? Nope. Do I believe God is a black woman? Nope. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I actually did. It made me think. But it is not what I base my faith on. I base my faith on one book . . . the Bible. The problem is, there is a big group of people who read that book or watched the movie and they think it's Biblical . . . . that same big group of people who believe that
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness and "Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder" are really in the Bible. And so these things lull the unsaved into a false sense of security. Jesus loves everybody (He does). Everybody's going to heaven (they aren't). All roads lead to Jesus, you just need to do what feels right for you (uh, NO, THAT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE). They think to themselves, well so and so goes to church, and they're here at this movie, so if it's OK for them, it's OK for me. I don't know if I will go see the movie or not because while I don't think The Shack is evil, what message am I sending to the unsaved if I go see that movie?? Just my thoughts.
Gonna go way out on a limb here and say that I do not believe we, the New Testament Church, are obligated to give 10% of our income to the church a/k/a tithing. I believe tithing was a very specific Old Testament directive to a very specific group of people so that the priests of the temple would be supported and Jesus did away with that, along with all those animal sacrifices when he was resurrected. Do I believe we are to give? YES, ABSOLUTELY. I attend church and I put money in the offering every month (I get paid once a month so I give my offering once a month). I contribute monthly to an orphanage. I contribute monthly to a fund that provides food to local kids who don't always have all of the food they need. I contribute to lots of very worthy causes that help people. But I don't believe we are under the Old Testament law of tithing (and I'd be very interested to hear your Biblical comments on this). Just my thoughts.
These are just a few examples of things that Christians differ on. While I believe the Bible is black and white on about 90% of issues, there are some grey areas. But I think the church has tried so hard to be RELEVANT that we've allowed ourselves to make those grey areas MUCH bigger than just 10%. We don't want to offend anybody because they might not come to church anymore. Well if we aren't preaching the truth in love then what good does it do for them to spend one hour sitting in a building with a cross on the top of it? Churches exist to call sinners to repentance, and to teach Christians how to live a Godly life. Jesus offended a lot of people because He loved them enough to tell them the truth. I think all pastors should do the same thing. I think most churches are very social. And while there's nothing wrong with being social, being social has nothing to do with worship or serving God or witnessing to the unsaved. A men's group that spends most of its time going hunting and to sporting events is just a club. If the bulk of the time those men are together isn't spent talking about Jesus or studying the Bible, then I think, again, we've lulled ourselves into thinking that any activity under the umbrella of a "church group" is Godly. Friends I do not believe that. And I'm not just picking on the guys here. Ladies do the same thing. If your ladies group spends most of their time on a shopping trip, or going out to eat, it's OK, but let's not convince ourselves that this is getting us closer to Jesus. You've had fun, you've been entertained, but you haven't done anything for the kingdom of God. And hear me, I'm not saying that you can't have fun with your Christian friends. YOU SHOULD enjoy spending time with Christian friends outside the church. But how much time are you spending studying the Word? How much time are you spending witnessing to people who are dying and going to hell??
And don't get me started on youth groups. We are entertaining our young people right to the gates of hell. Again, NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING THE CHURCH KIDS TOGETHER TO HAVE SOME FUN!!! But if we are spending more time entertaining them so they keep coming back, than reminding them that heaven is real and so is hell, and either you belong to Jesus or you don't, then we are encouraging a generation to think that unless you're a murderer you're going to heaven, and that the Bible is open to interpretation, and that all roads lead to Jesus. And I am convinced that a HUGE PERCENTAGE of people who sit in our churches every day really believe this. . . . . . at least that's how they live their lives.
So after all that, THIS IS THE ONLY OPINION THAT MATTERS. The Bible says this in Matthew Chapter 7 . . .
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
This post is entitled "Just My Thoughts" and that is exactly what I have shared. MY THOUGHTS. If I'm wrong, then I want God to open my eyes to the truth. Cause I believe we answer for every single thing we've done or thought. And this may sound harsh, but what kind of FRUIT DO YOU BEAR if you're a wine drinking, Fifty Shades reading Christian? How is that the "narrow gate" that FEW ARE FINDING? Those Fifty Shades books sold MILLIONS OF COPIES. That gate seems awfully wide to me. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:12 "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
If I've offended you I'm really sorry. I didn't intend to. But I think if we call ourselves Christians, then we need to LIVE EVERY DAY IN WAYS THAT BRING GLORY AND HONOR TO JESUS. Don't go where He wouldn't go. Don't read what He wouldn't read. Don't do what He wouldn't do.
Just my thoughts . . . . . .