Saturday, November 1, 2014

Christian Principles

This thought on "Christian Principles" could be only "Principles" because principles are moral issues. However, there are many people who do have principles who are not Christian, but yet, other than for self-satisfaction, there are no bonus points scored for doing things "right". There are even other religions who do "right" things. The reason Christians are to have principles is because it pleases God!

But getting to the point, principle must be defined in context. Therefore "Christian Principle" is about ideas associated with Christ. "Christian Principles" are Christian beliefs which help a person discern right from wrong and that influence Christians to do what's right. It's a given, because Christians sin, that although they know right from wrong, they do wrong! Pleasure, power, anger, wealth or whatever for a moment, out weights "right" and the Christian fails God.

Paul said this about that:
Romans 7:15 (ESV) "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."
We are all like this. We hate unrighteousness, but we still do it! Why?
Romans 7:25b "I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
We all are in conflict, even after we're forgiven for our sins. Paul likens that lack of congruence between mind and body to death (25a). The conflict which is always going on between mind and body is one of "Christian principles". We have a moral code, we know right from wrong, and if we choose "right" we have Christian principles. Sometimes things seem benign. Benign things are where "shades of gray" exist. It's just not outright clear what's right and wrong. I'll use as an example the things we put into our mouth. Scripture tells us that's of little consequence, but in other places it's important. It seems that circumstances and the attitude of the person has much to do with sin!

I am of "the better safe than sorry" school of thought. I know that taking the road less taken isn't the Way to heaven, but because I know the Way, I desire to take "His road". That should be done out of love, not coercion which are rules and regulations. When in doubt take the most right route! That attitude and it's corresponding actions  are Christian principles!

Using myself as an example, I love the taste of bourbon. I can rationalize, even using scripture, that it has little influence on my salvation. However, it does have an effect on my existence, my sobriety and my health. Furthermore, and as important, if others are tempted because of my influence, I'm in the wrong. Therefore, I abstain from alcoholic beverages of all types out of Christian principle. God's not impressed, but I do that to do the best I can harmonizing my strong beliefs in the war between the mind and flesh.

One of my pet peeves are Christians who KNOW right, but still support those who propagate wrong. I make no attempt to put a wall around my beliefs when speaking of civil issues. I turn to God in ALL things to seek his wisdom. So that I KNOW; I read history, listen to political discussions, pay attention to how politicians vote, check their credibility, and examine whether the issues are "right" according to my interpretation of scripture. With that knowledge, I now have a belief system based on truth, facts, and God's wisdom. I use that knowledge to evaluate before I vote. If I don't know the positions, I just don't vote for or against the person, but I DO KNOW the party platforms.

All viable parties have "party platforms". It's a statement of the beliefs of the party and provides a format for what they intend to do. Neither platform is endorsed, but as with everything else, Christians, when operating in the secular world, must do the best they can with what they have! Parties, to give candidates support, require them to run on the party platform. With that said, if I haven't heard contradictory statements by the politician, it's reasonable to believe that if they run as a Democrat, then they are Democrats. Democrats are those who claim to be the party who espouse the Democrat Party Platform.

For me if they claim to be Democrats, they subscribe to the platform and are anathema to me. Within the Democrat Party Platform lies support for same-sex marriage and abortion, along with many other "unrighteous" proposals. Out of "Christian principle" I can't vote for a Democrat just because he's a Democrat!

To understand the dogmatism in that principle, one can look at other examples. Being an evangelical Christian I could never turn to a Catholic priest to teach me about God! It may be that the Catholic priest is a nice man, friendly, popular, etc., but he's "pushing" what I oppose. The same is true for the Democrat Party. Their platform and their politicians "push" what is at odds with my Christian beliefs. If I was to turn to the priest, or to the Democrat, then my actions are at odds with my belief system! I will never do that again! I've learned my lesson, but millions of Christians go to the polls every election and vote for a party or candidate whose policy is to oppose the Christian who just voted Democrat! Those Christians are either ignorant of what's in the Democrat Party Platform or have incongruity in their thinking.

My intent is making these points is not to offend. It's to get people out of the same rut that Paul was in! It's not only political issues, but life issues. Principles, again, don't get you to heaven, but following God's tenets are what pleases God. God loves for the Christian to put the focus on him and quit thinking about "who will give me the most"; good stewardship of money being another Christian principle.

No comments:

Post a Comment