Recently Kristen of Walking Circumspectly pondered aloud the question of whether Christians should be involved with the Lord of the Rings. The ensuing discussion has, I think, been very salutary.
In my mind, this raises a much larger issue: It is possible to enjoy the saving grace of God and to exercise uncompromising orthodoxy without obeying the Lord Jesus? I often hear church members ask, “Can I be a Christian and still do this?” “Why can’t I do that?” “What’s wrong with …?” Sometimes I fear that what they are really asking is, “How much like the world can I live and still be a Christian?”
When we ask such questions, the devil has scored a triumph. Borderline Christianity is actually worldly Christianity. When we find ourselves conforming to the spirit of this age rather than condemning it by the contrast of our godly conduct, the love of the Father is not in us (1 John 2:15).
It has been pointed out many times that Christians are better acquainted with the promises than with the commandments of Scripture. We live in a day when so many fall for everything and so few stand for anything that the normal Christian life seems abnormal. Beware of the Christian profession that is comprised of mere words without music. It is easy to insist upon our standing in the Lord but not stand up for Jesus in our daily walk.
Martin Luther once said, “Here I stand.” Today he would be viewed as an extremist. He would be urged to attend a seminar or to convene a summit conference. It is always much easier to come to terms with Mammon than to stand alone if necessary for conviction and principle.
We had better have deep convictions about what we allow and what we prohibit. Above all, there must be obedience to what the Lord has told us: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Take heed, therefore, to what you hear! We may well enjoy the privileges of the Christian life, but we should also accept its responsibilities and thus avoid the penalties of disobedience.
No man can die to self and follow Christ and live peaceably in a world like this. Nowadays we make God into a Santa Clause, but we cannot use God just for our satisfaction. As the Master, so the servant. If Jesus had to fall into the ground and die, how much more must we?
So as we debate what is acceptable and what is to be shunned, let us be careful of patronizing God instead of obeying Him without question or reservation. Much of the frivolity we call entertainment is a substitute for the real thing. This is a far cry from facing a holy God and obeying Him as Lord.
Beware borderline Christianity!
March 10, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.