I was sitting in the drive-thru at Starbucks the other day, and something peculiar caught my eye. The Tahoe in front of me had some very interesting ornaments on its backside.
You just don’t usually see these things together on the same vehicle. At least, I haven’t seen them together. A fish. And a bunny.
An ictus. And a Playboy bunny. On the back of the same vehicle. One wouldn’t have bothered me. Both surprised me.
Granted, I’m judging. And I admit it. I don’t know the person driving this vehicle. Maybe they just purchased it that way. Or maybe they purchased it with the Playboy bunny on it and put the ictus on later after they couldn’t the Playboy bunny on it. Or vice versa.
But the fact that it could be intentional is a sad statement about the wellbeing of American Christianity.
Today’s verses are 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:
“I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Okay. Heavy topic for a Thursday morning. But stick with me for a moment because this bears talking about.
How many times in your own life have you seen issues where you know something is wrong but you do it anyway? I’m guilty. It happens to me more frequently than I want to admit. I know something is wrong according to what God says, but I do it anyway. I ask for forgiveness. I repent, and I do my darnedest not to repeat it.
The problem I’m seeing in our culture is that people don’t understand what’s right and what’s wrong anymore. And that goes for Christians too.
Just because you accept Christ doesn’t mean you get all the knowledge in the universe. Just because you decide to follow Jesus doesn’t make you perfect. It takes work. It takes study. It take dedication. And it takes making the decision to not be a part of the world anymore.
But what does that look like? This is the sticky place where legalism can start to creep in. So let’s just lay it out there, okay? If you cuss, you aren’t going to hell. If you drink, you aren’t going to hell. Whatever you do, whatever you’ve done, whatever you’re doing right now isn’t enough to condemn you. Nothing you can do or say in your life makes a difference whether you go to heaven or hell. That outcome depends on whether you choose to believe in Jesus or not. It has nothing to do with how you live your life.
That being said, if you claim to be a Christ follower, you should desire to live in a way that pleases God. And that means not participating in relationships or activities or anything else that contradicts what God says is right.
No, if you believe in Jesus, you won’t lose your salvation, but don’t think you’ll get off without consequences. And don’t think you’ll escape without getting burned eventually.
And what’s worse, you could be the reason that someone else stumbles. Maybe you think you aren’t being affected. And maybe you’re not. But what about the people around you? What about the people who look up to you? What are your choices doing to affect them?
You don’t live on an island, Christian, and people are always watching.
If you’ve committed your life to Christ, you should be different. It used to be that “different” meant wearing skirts and collared shirts and singing hymns all the time. But it doesn’t take things like that anymore to be different. All it takes in today’s world is to love people, to love God openly, and to take a stand for what He says is right. That’s all the “different” you need to really royally piss people off.
God has called us to live lives that show His love to the world. And maybe you think you can show God’s love by letting the Bunny and the Fish partner up, but they stand for different things. They contradict each other. They have nothing to do with each other.
So think twice before you do that thing you aren’t sure about. Take a moment and ask God about it, read up on it, and ask yourself honestly if it’s something that someone who’s given their heart to Christ should be doing.