Every once in a while I get a letter full of the best questions. Here is my answer to one of those questions:
Do you look at ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ as being relative? (ex: ‘What is right for me may not be right for her.’)
Romans 14 covers this really well. I’ll quote the first few verses for those who don’t like to check on the scriptures references people spout out.
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. –Romans 14: 1-4 ESV
A person who is weak in the faith department has more restrictions. What is wrong for them, may not be wrong for a person who has strong faith. When you come to a place in your faith that you understand that it is not about what you do, it’s about what God does, then you are not afraid of anything anymore. The fear of making a bad choice is replaced with the assurance that you will make a bad choice and grace will cover you. It’s not a release to do as you please, it’s a release to focus on something else. Love.
The person who doesn’t have as many restrictions in their life, shouldn’t look down on the one who does. The person who refrains from a lot of things because she sees them as sin shouldn’t put her restrictions on someone else or brag about them as though she is going the extra mile. Be careful when you talk about your freedoms or restrictions because people can get caught up on them and condemn each other for them. There are good reasons for both view points, so everyone is free to follow their own convictions.
Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience. –Romans 14:5
For those of you who like to email me with bizarre extremes, I’ll go ahead and answer you now. The scripture means what it says. You are free to be real. The alternative is to fake it.
It’s a personal relationship with God that you have. There is a difference between a leader playing the part of your personal Holy Spirit and them supporting you as you find your own way through your own relationship with God. A religion or group that sets up a person as the utmost authority in someone’s life, even to the point of binding or releasing them from their sin, is questionable. Remember that the next time someone doubts God’s grace in another’s life.
The declaration has been made. You are forgiven. You are set free. Your sin is no more. You are a new creation. The truth is there, the only thing the truth is waiting on is for you to catch up.
When a person stands, He stands before his Master. When a person falls, he falls before his Master. “To His own Master, he stands or falls.” We serve a Master who holds people up so that they can stand before Him.
I love these scriptures because it releases the white knuckled grip of religion as a corporation you have to be a part of and buy in to in order to get the ‘out of this world’ vacation. When you’re released from religion, you don’t have to rely on the approval of anyone before you can move on into the freedom that Jesus came to give you.
Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. –1 Corinthians 10:23-24 MSG
‘Everything is permissible…’, but not to the point of being owned by something. You can enjoy the things in front of you, but not to the point of putting those things or yourself first. For an example of this, think of the addictions people form that end up taking over their lives.
Your freedom is real. The point of your freedom is not to get out of hell, it’s to serve others in love. (also read 1 Cor. 6:12) It’s the only way to get more freedom. If you use your freedom to serve yourself, you’ll lose it.
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? -Galatians 5:13-15