Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"tobacco, alcohol, tattoos" OR "how to get 83% of western evangelicals to disagree"

Teaching is great. Teenagers ask good questions. Predestination. Dating. Free will. Physical intimacy before marriage. The rapture. And my favorite... Did Jesus' poop smell?

But there are three questions that they always come back to and are attentive to: What should Christians do or not do about smoking, drinking, and tattoos. The questions persisted so much that I summed up what I think the Bible says Christians should think about those things.

Merry Christmas:
  1. THE LAW. If it says you can't ___________ because you're too young, then don't do it. It is sin. Respect authority [Rom 13]. God has put it there.
  2. STUMBLING BLOCKS. If you know another brother or sister in Christ has a different conviction than you, then don't participate in ___________ around them. If you cause them to stumble, it is sin [Rom 14].
  3. STEWARDSHIP. A nice tattoo, a good bottle of wine [like the kind Jesus served in John 2], a good cigar... these things cost money. Our Father has made us stewards. Don't waste what He gives you. Paul says contentment is a roof over our heads and food in our bellies [1 Tim 6.6-11]. Don't waste money. It is a sin.
  4. BODY = TEMPLE. Paul told the Corinthians that they are God's temple. God's temple should be kept holy. There is definitely wiggle room for what this looks like practically. It could mean: no tattoos. It could mean: exercise more. It could mean: quit smoking. It could mean: eat right. It could mean: have more sex with your wife. BUT it definitely means: be humble; be holy; be happy; be a servant. If you don't, it is sin.
  5. HONOR YOUR PARENTS. This is especially for the kids. Somehow video games have caused them to think they run the universe? Obedience to parents is the only commandment with a promise [Ex 20, Dt 5, Eph 6, Col 3, etc]. If you don't, it is sin. Ask them if this means college. They likely still pay the bills.

3 comments:

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Those are tough subjects. A few weeks ago, a guy in a class at my Baptist seminary actually said *out loud* that the Bible never expressly forbade drinking, just drunkenness. This is at a school where half the profs feel the need to include in their lecture plans the 'alcohol talk' with grad level students. I thought the guy was going to be lynched.

Brandon Sandifer said...

Good stuff!

Jeremy Keever said...

simple, basic, yet profound...nice work...now if we can just get the next generation to believe it!