This weekend, we enjoyed what we called “Hymns at the Harvest.” It rained, so we sang indoors. Cozy. And there’s no such thing as a bad day for a potluck!
Yes, we do such things. We also decorate Christmas trees, exchange Valentines, and occasionally wear a Bit ‘O the Green.
Our experience has taught us (the hard way) the potential for disharmony and factions over gray areas. So, when it comes to matters of conscience, we find it refreshing to enjoy many liberties in Christ. Jesus prayed that His followers “might be one.” And He commanded us to “love one another.” To do that, we actually need to be together—at any opportunity that presents itself; as opposed to separating—over any little thing that presents itself.
These clear commands from “God with us” (for unity and love) make me shiver for those who would divide the flock over something manufactured. If the Scripture is silent, we ought to be silent. As for our own conscience, definitely go for it (says James). But imposing made-up rules on others, well, that’s meddling. And meddlers are often (albeit usually unknowingly) minions in the devil’s workshop. Think about it! Legalism is a corruption of the simple gospel: salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s it!
My pastor, regarding Romans 14, said it well: “Adding to the Scripture is not a sign of strength; it’s a sign of weakness. … Paul begins by pointing out that it is the one who is weaker who has manmade prohibitions.”
Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. … The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. … So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
Surrender to Christ.
Obey the Word.
Enjoy the Lord.
Enjoy His people.