Madison Christian Church

Devotional for 2-18-19

Political
views and biases cause many people to do strange things.  One’s bias against a particular President can
cause that person to see bad in everything he does.  People can have a view on some issue when
their candidate is in charge and then, when their political rival comes along
and has the same view, those same people will suddenly flip and become opposed
to it.  Ironically, they see no
inconsistency in this even though people watching see it all too clearly.   Another party will call something their
candidate is doing “okay” and “just getting the job done”, but when a candidate
from another party did the same thing they had said, “Well that’s just
wrong!!” 

My
point?  Our biases can affect us more
than we realize.  We need to keep those
things in check.

For
example, the passage I preached from yesterday where Jesus turned the water
into wine (John 2:1-11), has caused some to miss the point of the passage by
leading them to focus on whether or not the wine was fermented. Some Christians
who have a bias against all drinking actually believe and teach that the wine
Jesus made and used was unfermented wine – and was basically grape juice.  Of course it was fermented!  Do these people really believe the master of
the feast was so amazed by it and was essentially saying to the bridegroom
“You’ve kept the good grape juice until now!!”? 
Years ago someone said, “Jesus turned water into wine and some
Christians turned wine into grape juice”.

There are
some Christians who believe eating certain foods is wrong.  Others believe watching certain T.V. shows is
wrong.  Some believe all T.V. is wrong.  Others believe Christians are sinning if they
listen to any kind of secular music or certain kinds of secular music (just not
the kind they listen to) and others believe it is sin to use tobacco in any
form.  The list could be almost endless!

Paul said
in Romans 14:13 “Let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather
decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a
brother.”  He goes on to say to those
whose faith would allow them to eat or drink anything need to understand that
there are times when they need to dial it back a notch from that freedom for
the sake of those whose faith may be damaged by a brother or sister exercising
that freedom. 

We should
not insist that all other Christians come to our positions on such
matters.  If they believe that behavior
is sinful, don’t flaunt your freedom before them just because (in your mind)
you can.   Some of us need to be watchful
that we don’t lean toward legalism while others need to be careful not to lean
toward lawlessness. 

Which way do you lean?  Legalists have to be careful not to make the
Bible say something is wrong when it doesn’t. 
And they have to be careful as they cannot live out that legalism with
perfect consistency.   Those who lean
toward freedom, need to be careful not to make the Bible say something is okay
when it clearly says it is sinful.  Some
of us need to do our best to guard against judging those who use their freedom
in ways that offend our hang-ups.  Others
of us need to guard against flaunting our freedoms to the point of offending
others and/or giving a bad witness to unbelievers who may be confused when
seeing us use certain freedoms.