“I can be a Christian and still…”
You fill in the blank: drink, party, live with my girlfriend, go to R movies. I lived a good part of my life by those words, and I still hear them thrown about in Christian circles.
Part of the sentiment is a reaction to ultra-legalistic religion that made rules that have no basis in scripture into restrictive and smothering laws that entrap us in guilt and condemnation. The gospel of works, based on rules that are man made and not God made. I get that. There are a lot of things they tell us Christians do and don’t do, but the Bible doesn’t necessarily agree.
Much of it, however, is simply lazy Christianity. We just don’t want to be bothered by living life God’s way. I know when I used the “I can still be a Christian and…” justification, I had no idea what authentic Christianity looked like. I never read my Bible, so I had no idea what God really required of me. I was living my life by my own rules, trying to jam my square peg into God’s round hole.
I suspect other who use those words are probably doing the same thing: just winging it.
The truth is, when I started really seeking God, I stopped looking for what I could hold on to. I started looking for things I could give up instead. Not out of some man-centered desire for righteousness by works, but because I would sooner lose all than disappoint my Savior. I found that being His slave is the only way to true freedom.
I’m not telling you what you can and cannot do. I’m simply begging you to know God. Have the courage to read His word…to dedicate yourself to it. You might be surprised at the result.