I've sort of posted about this before. I'm pretty sure I'm about the only person that struggles with this, but, here we go.
(James 4:7-8) "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded"
OK. Sounds good to me. No devil, no evil, near to God. Good, good. Wash my hands, purify my heart... Wait. How much do I have to wash my hands?... What EXACTLY are you saying?... Perhaps you are right, I may be double-minded... But what do you REALLY mean?
Maybe you don't understand. You see, James person, I like the deathy, scary music and other various things. Is that on my hands? Is it on my heart? More importantly, does it make my heart somehow less pure?
(Hebrews 12:1-2) "Therefor, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
Ah. Hmm. Yeah... We are very surrounded by witnesses, people who hear me say I am a Christian. I see what you are saying. We have to act it if we say we are it. Posers suck no mater what they are posing as. They give the reals a bad name.
(1 Corinthians 8:13) "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat
meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall."
Makes sense. (In this case he is talking about meat because some of that meat was also meat used to be offered to false gods) If eating meat was considered evil to his brother/acquaintance, which could have very well been, then if he ate it and was like "it's ok," his brother/acquaintance might sin or get a wrong idea in his head because of it. I also think this could mean that a non-believer could also see what you do, even if it's not really a sin, they may see what you do as an oxymoron with your faith. They would see it as "Hey I'm a christian everyone! Now I will go eat devil food." Even though God is ok with us eating meat, seeing it as a horrible offence would have been something that would happen back then.
In modern terms it could be like this: You are a Christian, but you look emo and listen to emo music. Some people may associate emo anything - poser or cutter, simply a style choice or really a suicidal kid - with evil. Understood right? Just meat, or is is false god, devil offerings? Just a hair cut, or is it a sign that you are a troubled, evil punk? If it is something like that that could be very unclear, Christians should probably avoid it all together. At least if they know someone around would have a problem with it. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1-2) so we shouldn't do anything that would confuse the cloud of what we are actually wanting to say, witch is "I am a Christian I live for God and for righteousness..." Or something of that sort.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 again "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles...") Is eating meat something that would hinder me? Is it a sin or dose it entangle me? Does it effect my thoughts and take a hold of me? No. Maybe it did for some people back in the day, or maybe seeing someone eat meat would be hindering. Not anymore. But what about liking dark things or certain kinds of music? Dose that hinder me? Is that a sin? Dose it entangle my thoughts or my life?
First off I want to say that Miss Jackson had a good point. Sin is basically anything that violates God's law and hurts someone. Stealing hurts people, lying hurts people, murder hurts people... I mean all these things definitely are not loving people. So if something such as music causes you to hurt people, it is a sin. Sure, you could just work really hard to listen to it but NOT hurt people, but it is harder, and it is hindering you. Or say it fills your mind with thoughts about things that are not necessarily helpful. Dose it fill your mind with thoughts about zombies and death and killing people and hospitals and blood and evil and the end of the world? (That is NOT what I listen to just so you know. haha... Maybe only the blood and hospitals. Vampires sometimes.) That is probably not helping you love others or fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Crap. So, James person, must I wash off what I, as a human, like and enjoy? Do I HAVE to wash my hands and heart of all of this? Does this mean I can't wear black or listen to music I enjoy? UGH! Does this mean I have to wear white cheesy "Jesus Loves You <3" shirts (actually I don't mind those :D ) and be a Janelle Dahnert - all polite and good and ballerina-y? I just can't be that way to the core! I'm not very good at it. Listen, I'd love to be like Janelle, I've tried. I was a poser. A sucky one at that...
OK, ok. Elizabeth, calm down. 1) You DO enjoy happy, Christian music. A LOT! You just haven't found any that you've totally fallen in love with. 2) You've sort of forced this upon yourself. Yes. Liz, I'm sorry to break it to you, but you are on the brink of poser once again. You know that deep down you like being a goody goody Christian ballerina blond. You just don't like it because you can't really pull it off on the outside. At least that's what you think. You just know you are different and weird and you want to hide behind a smoke screen and warn people before they jump to the conclusion that you are a regular person.
This is how I meditate on scripture and think through my life. I start writing like I know where I'm going with it, but I get to the end with a completely different viewpoint.
So. I was hoping by now I would have figured out the answer. Totally ditch it and be an angel poser because anything else will cause stumbling and confusion for the "cloud or witnesses"? It's ok, you can still hide behind your smoke screen but shine for God at the same time? Neither sound right. At all. In any way. They both seem contradictory either to themselves or to what I am as a human. My Soul wants to just be a good church girl. My flesh is kind of like "dark things can be pretty rad."...
What am I saying? OK. whoa, whoa, whoa. I think I've been wrong about my self this whole time! I think I was right in saying that I just know I'm a weirdo and I want a shield and a warning sign from people and for people to see - a "smoke screen" as I put it. Come to think of it, I mean I guess I like some dark-y things, but they kind of disgust me and give me the chills at the same time. Truthfully I basically just like the smoke screen.
Anyway, just don't go thinking I'm an evil, little scary, dark person. I don't mean to be.
Hm. So, we've learned a lot about me today. OH! Awful! Why do I even tell you these things?! I'm such a turd. -_-
I think I'm back to where I started: What the heck am I supposed to do?
I have, however, come to recognize interior motives, and I have figured a bit out.
I wana thank God right now for His like-a-boss Word with which I can analyze my life according to His will and plan. And for His love even for me, a pathetic girl who wallows on things that should be so simple...
Lord, please help me to run with perseverance the race marked out for me. Let me fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2) And please help me to know weather my smoke screen life is bad or alright. "You are my hiding place..." (Psalm 32:7) So... I'm guessing it's bad... You can be my smoke screen. Please make a way and show me how I could 'live out loud' but still be my weirdo self and not have to be a ballerina blond, if it's your will...
This has been a really awkward post...
Just so you know I don't want to post this.
But I will.