Sunday, November 7, 2010

What a naked woman in National Geographic taught me...

Look in a National Geographic magazine every now and again, chances are you will see some naked people.  For these people, they are not being rude or provocative - that's just how they dress. A woman with her boobs exposed is just a woman. She's got a grass skirt on, she's fully dressed.

It shows you that things aren't inherently sinful - it's the way we look at them.

It's like alcohol - for some people they may like to have an occasional drink socially or with meals, and they would be fine with that. For others, even having one drink would be the road back to destruction if alcohol dependency is a problem for that person.

So whether it's alcohol, money, sex, shopping, movies... These things aren't automatically evil - they can be good or bad things depending on how they are used. And depending on where our hearts are when we use them.

So does that mean we can do whatever we like, as long as it's not a problem for us?

Not exactly - even if it's not something that God has commanded against, like cold-blooded murder, we shouldn't do anything just because we can. If we take the naked people in other cultures as an example - Just because they do it there and it's fine, still doesn't mean we'd do it here.

Walking around without clothes on here is considered rude, provocative and illegal. Here it would offend people and make us uncomfortable, shocked or embarrassed. And if we did it knowing we would get these reactions then we're not doing anyone a favour.

Its the same with everything else. First of all you are accountable to God - so you need to be sure you are right with him.  Nothing is totally inherently evil, but nothing everything is worthwhile either. And secondly, we should be caring about how we are affecting other people. We want to build each other up, not cause others to stumble exercising our right to do what we like.

1 Corinthains 10:23-24 & 32
I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. ... Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-

1 Corinthians 8:13
So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live--for I don't want to cause another believer to stumble.

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