Here is a post by unmaskedinsanantone posted on Escape From the Fellowship. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/ All things are lawful,Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2005View Source
Here is a post by unmaskedinsanantone posted on Escape From the Fellowship.
"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.(1 Cor 10: 23, 24 ESV)
A great number of people--many of them pastors, many others just "called to control"--view the idea of liberty as just another opportunity for people to "get away with something." For them, freedom is nothing more than something to abuse. Indeed, many Christians behave as if "All things are lawful," ended with a period instead of a comma.
And while some of the teaching on that passage appears to be balanced, we never really get to explore the true nature of freedom. I suppose that's why almost every discussion of liberty devolves into a debate about cussing and drinking. To me, that's not a freedom issue. That's a maturity issue (and not in the way you might think).
My impression is that Paul's remarks were offered in the context of his persistent state of mind to be "all things to all men." To me, that doesn't really give me license to do whatever I want. Better--It grants me the freedom to be myself--to relate to others in my own way. It's the freedom to acknowledge my inconsistencies and laugh along with everyone else at what an idiot I can be sometimes. It's the freedom to sit down on the curb with the homeless guy and understand that when he offers me a swig from his bottle, it's a gesture of hope for some sort of connection (and yes, I drank from it).
Reducing the argument to what we can or can't get away with is about as effective as the legalism that started the argument to begin with. It's like punching air.
If there's one common thread in virtually every blog I visit, it's that no one likes...no wait...everyone despises a phony. There are few things more disgusting and tragic than a Christian who has been convinced that he can act good enough, trying to hold his mask in place as it crumbles in his hands.
Liberty is my escape from the cookie-cutter that says, "if you want to be one of His, you've got to act like one of us." It's freedom from the wages of my sinfulness, so that I can go and BE. Be what? Well...myself...but not me...Christ living in me.
And what does that look like?
Love, baby. Love.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Cor 10: 31-33 ESV)