|Norman Rockwell: “Saying Grace”|
Is it wrong for girls to go to college?
Is it wrong to send your children to public school?
Is it wrong for girls to wear shorts/dye their hair/pierce their noses?
Is it wrong for a girl to move out of the house before she is married?
Is it wrong for a woman to have a career?
Is it wrong to call it “dating?”
|Norman Rockwell: “Courting at Midnight”|
Is it wrong to kiss before your wedding day?
Is it wrong to watch T.V.?
Is it wrong to read secular books?
Is birth control wrong?
Is it wrong to only want a few kids?
|Norman Rockwell: “Shall We Dance?”|
Am I reading the wrong version of the Bible?
Am I attending the wrong denomination?
Is it wrong to drink alcohol?
Is it wrong to dance?
The point is, we have long been asking all the wrong questions. I wouldn’t recommend every one of these practices that I just stated were “not wrong”…I wouldn’t even say that they are all “right.” I am just saying that you cannot say “this is wrong for everyone, always.”
The Bible is sufficient, but it is only so long. There is not a book on purity rings or hemlines or specific sitcoms. There is scripture addressing every issue, broadly and clearly. It is when we begin to put things into subcategories and search for law within the law that we feel that the Bible is not longer sufficient. It no longer answers our questions when our questions are so nitpicky.
No matter how much we argue, no matter how clear our arguments are, we will never, ever all end up agreeing on everything. And honestly, I don’t think we’re supposed to! I find myself easily offended by viewpoints that differ even slightly from mine. Sometimes mere vocabulary sends me in a tizzy (terms like “feminism” or “courtship” which really have no true definition anyway!) Yet, God created us all as unique beings…and that results in (to my horror) unique opinions and unique callings.
I can rarely get this into my head, but the truth is, what is right for me is not always right for you. Likewise, what is wrong for me is not always wrong for you. And your convictions and callings will never line up perfectly with mine.
|Norman Rockwell: “Double Trouble for Willie Gillis”|
Many times, the things I add to The EPV Bible (Everly Pleasant Version, if you will) are things that I think others would benefit from. If I learned to share how I’ve benefitted from home education and not how it is the only way to do things, I think I’d have a much bigger influence on those I share with, not to mention, probably express a more Christ-like attitude toward them.
I’ve realized over the past few years that if I accept the gray areas in people’s lives and respect them in their own personal walks with the Lord, I’ll end up with a lot more friends than if I hold them to my own personal standards. There is nothing wrong with personal standards until they become impersonal. This doesn’t mean that you accept sin as “okay for that Christian” but it does mean that only some things are “black and white” sin and what is sin for you may not be sin for them.
|Norman Rockwell: Sporting Boys, Basketball|
“The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.AG)”> Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:22-23
You are always going to be more liberal than one person and more conservative than another, and that is okay. As a matter of fact, it’s good! That means that you aren’t following people, you’re following The Spirit. You’re not looking at the girl next to you dance class to learn the fancy footwork. Rather, your eyes are on the instructor.
The Bible never says “be as conservative as possible.” No, it says to live free from the bondage of sin, ask for wisdom, gain discernment, listen to The Holy Spirit, read scripture and enjoy the gifts God’s given us!
One girl lives outside of scriptural boundaries and moves in with her boyfriend. Another tries to apply scripture and kisses her boyfriend. Another tries to apply scripture and saves her first kiss for her wedding day. Another tries to apply scripture and saves her first embrace for her wedding day. Another tries to apply scripture and dedicates her life to missions, never marrying. Only one of these girls, in my opinion (haha) has sinned, and she cannot be expected to meet Biblical standards. The other four, if acting in faith, are all blameless.
Yet, they’ve all chosen different paths! Can it be?
So may I let my opinions remain what they are…my opinions. Something to be shared, not nailed on your door. Something to hold loosely, despite their strength. Something to be kept far away from my beliefs, for the two would mix instantly.
And let me be graceful toward friends, families and strangers. For no two of us are alike and that’s the way it’s meant to be.
|Norman Rockwell: “Freedom of Speech”|