Last week I posted an article 'Christianity is a lifestyle'. It was met with a lot of different reactions. That is why I felt it necessary to explain myself further. Here goes nothing!
Many people have a wrong perception about Christianity and the word of God in general. Even more worrying is the fact that some of us Christians don't know ourselves. We often don't know what we're supposed to do and how. There're so many different churches, each having its own way of doing things that it becomes very confusing in the end, but it doesn’t have to be. The bible says that the anti-Christ will come (2 peter 2:1, 1 john 4:3) and bring confusion in the world and so far it looks like people aren’t sure of the truth anymore. The bible says clearly that we are in the world but we're not of this world. What does that mean? Should we then not interact with people if they are not Christians? Remember the word says "come out from amongst them".
Once you devote yourself to being a Christian, challenges start coming. People have a certain mentality they have towards Christians (and I’m not talking about atheists here). Once you become a Christian, there's a lifestyle society expects you to live, and therein lie the problem. As a Christian, it is not your responsibility to live up to people's expectations of how you ought to live your life; you only have to listen to what the word of God says. It is for sure that you'll never please everyone in this world; the bible states that you should live a life holy and acceptable unto the LORD. But a dilemma can arise (and usually does) in this situation because God gave us an instruction to go out into the world and preach the gospel.
So as much as we must only live a life pleasing to God, if we want to succeed in winning people over we should live a life that is inviting to them as well, and that's where the whole debate about lifestyle comes. The bible talks about a lot of 'issues' concerning how one should live. Many subjects like drinking, talking, and dressing are all controversial. 1 thes. 4:7 says "for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holly life". The thing is as a Christian you can not sin, Jesus defeated sin when he died for us on the cross. Which therefore means that you can do what you want when you want, but 1 Corinthians 10:23 warn us by saying "everything is permissible- but not everything is constructive/ beneficial". It's no wonder why there's so much confusion.
The challenge as a Christian is that the things that you do must first of all be constructive, and at the same time portray a 'holly life'. The fact is that a person is a triune. Let me explain that for people who might not understand. A person is made up of three beings, the Soul which is the real you, the spirit which is that part of you which is sensitive to the divine, and the body. In your soul, that's where all your emotions, feelings, decisions come from. The soul and the spirit are enclosed in the body so that you'll be able to inherit the earth; the body contains all your five senses which take information from the earth to the soul. As a result, your soul (you) is always caught in a battle between the flesh and the spirit and it has to choose a side.
When you became a Christian, you chose to neglect the flesh and its desires to follow the spirit. The bible teaches us how to talk in 2 Tim. 2:16, it plainly says "limit talking rubbish". Further more it tells us not to be involved in foolish arguments, because all they do is produce quarrels (2 Tim. 2:23). Sometimes when people didn't agree or approve of him, Jesus simple withdrew from them. It is true that we must be cautious when talking to those that are still doubting not to offend them (Rom. 14:1). Our utterances can either win them back to the kingdom or draw them further back.
Appearance is another issue, people expect a Christian to dress a certain way, especially woman. The truth of the matter is, although there are things which when you're wearing look more respectable than others, it does not matter how one dresses, the bible says you can decide for yourself (Corin. 11:13-16). To quote another verse, Romans 14:20 says "All things are pure, but if it offends others, it is not". It is for that reason that we say Christianity is NOT a religion. A religion is when they give you a set of rules of how you should dress, what you should eat, at what time must you do this or that. In Christianity, God simply says come as you are my child, it does not matter what you do, it does not matter where you go, just as long as you believe in me you're my son. There, and only there is where the true beauty of Christianity lies.
God does not even ask you to quit drinking, although Ephesians 5:18 does say "do not get drunk, but be filled with the holly spirit", it's not a direct order that you should never in your life consume alcohol, it just goes back to the issue I was saying earlier about doing things that are constructive and beneficial, not that it's disallowed. The thing we must understand here is, a Christian can not sin, it is impossible for a Christian to sin. Which means a Christian can go and sleep with prostitutes if he likes, but the reason we say you shouldn't is this: The spirit of god lives inside of you, which means your body is the dwelling place of the most holiest of beings, why would you want to go and defile it by joining it together with the body of a harlot- remember you were bought at a price, Jesus had to die for you on the cross to pay for all the sins you've committed and are yet to commit.
Christians therefore have different ways of life, unlike other religions where you must adhere to certain rules and regulations at every moment of your day. This however can sometimes lead to divisions, the bible in 1 Corin. 1:10 says that we must have the same mind and same judgement; we must have unity amongst ourselves. One person must not think highly of himself than others, we must however encourage one another (Romans 12:3).
Now to the most difficult part of being a Christian and I’m sure many who are reading this today will agree. The bible says bless them who prosecute you, and learn not to recompense to no man evil for evil (Romans 12:17). It does not stop there, in Romans 12:20 it goes on to say help your enemy, if he's hungry, thirsty or whatever, help him. And that's where a person is truly tested indeed. So there you have it, it's not a religion, CHRISTIANITY IS A LIFESTYLE! It is when a person (not a group) chooses to live his life not according to the standards of this world (which are set by man) but according to what he thinks will be holly and pleasing to who he believes in. There're no judgements in Christianity, there's no scrutiny, no discouragement or prejudice, only hope! Only hope!
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