Content & Images © 2008-2014 - Rachel Miller, Ink Road Originals LLC, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to the Unmovable Christian

The Gospel speaks of simple-sounding concepts, like truth, love, kindness, charity, and more, but this is where the simplicity ends.  When trying to hold to these concepts, we all find that they will require sacrifice and toil of a nature that takes us far outside our comfort zone.  They are, ultimately, a super-natural, and super-societal set of principles for our behavior.  When we keep to them, with the Holy Spirit giving us strength and guidance, we soon find that God is making us into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5: 17 NKJV).

What does the Bible mean by a new creation?  It certainly doesn't mean that we operate outside the natural laws (like gravity) and governments of this world.  It is just describing the fact that we hold to a set of higher principles that exist above and beyond the normal boundaries of this world. In essence, we are trying to be stricter with ourselves than others may be. Though others might exercise what they call "freedoms" that are acceptable within the laws of governments or possible within the laws of nature, we hold to tighter boundaries that God has drawn for us, and we see that they are good for us (Psalm 16: 6 NIV).

Though we take comfort in these guidelines, we still meet with challenges, especially when the world tells us that our viewpoint is wrong, or even sinful.  That's the new line of attack--if you say someone is wrong, or that you disagree with that person, or even if you merely say you hold yourself to a different standard, you are now told that you are being unkind, unchristian, condemning, and sinfully proud to hold such a belief.  The aim is to get you to back down completely and recant what you believe most strongly.

When I take a firm stance on something, I try to be kind and disagree pleasantly, struggling to be gentle against my own fleshly impulses to take my pound of flesh. I'm not saying it's easy, but this is the kind of treatment God requires of us--blessing our enemies and being gracious and kind, even to people who have hurt and used us (Luke 6: 27-30).  However, even in the midst of gentle words and reason, one thing is guaranteed: I will hold to what I know is right.  God has called me to stand firm, and He will answer for me (Matthew 10: 22; Luke 12: 11-12).  God has only required that I obey, and that I stay faithful, while He protects me and stands with me.

What answer can really be given when basic Christian beliefs are called unchristian? This only looks like an attempt to redefine what Christian means, according to a new, obviously more relaxed standard, in which Christianity is meek and mild to the point of being cowardly, non-confrontational, and weak towards sin.

Let me remind you that "Christian" was coined as a perhaps derogatory term to describe followers of Christ and His teachings (Acts 11: 26).  Christ is the original standard, which we still hold.  That standard has always been mocked and criticized.  The words and tactics might be different from generation to generation, but really nothing has changed!
Stand Firm. Resist the Winds of Opinion.

Some might be startled to see Christians, by their definition weak and non-confrontational, who take a sudden firm and apparently strident stand against the socially-acceptable standard.  However, it shouldn't be odd at all.  Jesus modeled this for Christians, and the prophets modeled it before Christ came for us all.  The way of the Lord, which has been described carefully in His Word, has continually pushed people to take a radical stand against the status quo, especially where sin and rebellion lies thick and heavy on everything.

The Gospel is correct, but not always politically correct.  Christianity is essentially peaceful, but it is often met with violence.  There are those who cloud these issues, but they are only trying to reshape the name of Christ for motives that should be clear to everyone.  So, I'm calling all Christians to take a firm stand with the Lord, being gentle but unshakeable in their faith when under attack, as Christ modeled for us. Let us go back to being the Unmovable Faithful, the Stubbornly Obedient, and the Persistent Follower of Christ.