And we think today’s church has problems! Imagine seeking to combine into one fellowship people as diverse as a devout Jew who was converted to Jesus and a devout idol-worshipping Gentile converted to Jesus. Each person followed entirely different religious rules prior to conversion, had entirely different moral values, lived entirely different lifestyles, worshipped different gods, had different concepts of divinity, and often despised each other. Does that not sound like wonderful “church material”?
Even in matters held in common, they clashed. Both ate part of the sacrifices they offered as worship (read 1 Samuel 1:1-11). Both regarded that eating as an act of honoring the god (God) worshipped.
Irony: a Christian who understood could eat a pagan sacrifice in a pagan temple and not engage in worship. Why? (1) He knew the pagan god did not exist. (2) He knew that what one ate or drank in a sacrificial ceremony was without religious significance in purity matters. That was (is) correct! Yet, for the sake of someone who did not understand, he would refuse to do what he correctly understood to avoid offending the conscience of someone who incorrectly understood. In concern for a person for whom Christ died, the Christian would forego correct knowledge. A heavy spiritual concept!
Christians are (and have been) big on rules and regulations concerning “right” and “wrong” purity concerns. We tend to be more confrontational and less flexible than God is. God responds without concern to things that deeply concern us.
For example, as a personal test (not a “body/church” test) list your 5
favorite T.V. programs.
Honestly tell yourself why you enjoy these programs. Then tell yourself how they help you pursue a closer relationship with God. In matters of personal purity, in all of life, can you see it is a personal situation involving an objective—far more than learning and keeping a set of “rules and regulations”?
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell