I just discovered a new podcast by Christian comedian Tim Hawkins. On the podcast, he hosts other Christian comics who sometimes get to talking about their beliefs and how they affect their comedy. On a recent episode, they started referring to the goodness of God and all that He has to offer. I agreed almost completely.
Where I differed with them was on their negative tone they took when talking about the Bible as “the law,” as if God’s Word is somehow overshadowed by His grace, forgiveness, and freedom. It came across (to me, at least) that they were SO infatuated with the GOOD things that God desires to give His children, that they took that to mean that God means ALL things to be for our pleasure. Almost like…everything we do is permissible to Him.
So, they later joked about the f-word coming up in the movie The Martian and making light of it with their kids. And they talk about their favorite secular musicians, movies, and other worldly things.
They don’t talk about them in a worldly way. They just talk about being in the world.
To me, it’s a bummer when Christians take God’s Word down a notch. I really believe there’s a way to enjoy the Christian life AND work to live a clean life. It’s not like everything that feels good is somehow sinful. But there are a lot of sinful things that God still thinks are sinful. Regardless of his forgiveness, He still has opinions about sin.
Obeying “the law” of the Bible is not meant to be a straight-jacket. Obeying the Bible does not lead to asceticism. But neither does it lead to this complete “freedom” from holy living.
If you’re getting sick and tired of conforming to all “the rules” of Christianity, you’re doing it wrong. It’s meant to be a life of joy. But if you look for joy and freedom by throwing out all the rules, you’re doing that wrong that way, too.
You might have music habits (see last week’s note) that are not glorifying to God. Freedom in Christ does not mean that ALL music is okay to listen to. But neither does God desire to suck all the emotional joy that draws you to your favorite kinds of music. Instead, he calls believers to “put off” the old man, AND “put on” the new man. Replace the old with new, and let God change your cravings. He will. Just give Him your life. God’s way is WAY better than the world’s. Any day!