The Relativity of Our Christian Freedom

The world that surrounds our younger ones and even our middle class is infected by the attitude, aspirations, speech, conduct, thinking and fleshly desires of those who are alienated from God. Satan’s world caters to the imperfect human desire to do wrong and runs counter to God’s Word. If we take in this satanic air [mental disposition], we will begin to adopt, its attitude, aspirations, speech, conduct, thinking, and fleshly desires.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

14 But the natural man[1] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are examined spiritually. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness;”[2] 20 and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.”[3]

THE OUTSIDERSome young ones in the Christian congregation flirt with Satan’s world by walking on the line between the Christian world and the satanic world that surrounds them. They feel that if they are walking right along the line, but are on the Christian side, no harm will come to them. In other words, this is the idea that there is no need for punishment, apology or retribution if no actual damage occurred because they are on the right side of the equation. However, when trying to play both sides, and they stumble; they could fall on the opposite side. Is the loss of eternal life really worth the risk of a few moments of pleasure? To these, the world is an exciting and glamorous place, and instead of replacing irrational thoughts with rational Scriptural thoughts, they entertain wrong thinking. These do not have the right mindset about getting high on drugs or drunk with alcohol and end up in the act of fornication all because they dared walk along the line. Even small leanings toward Satan’s world is a slippery slope, because when away from the Christian home and church, they start hanging around those who can have a significant influence on their way of thinking. Because of the great desire to fit in, they start imitating their speech, listening to their music, watching their movies.

3 John 1:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

11 Beloved one, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.[4]

In the last paragraph, we spoke of those who walked on the right side of the line but attempted to walk right along the edge. This section covers those that are straddling the line, with one foot in the Christian congregation, and the other in the world. This danger of slipping into the worldly ways is not always found outside of the church. There are those who live a double life within the church. They come to church dressed like they are going to some rock concert. They have long hair, are dressed in shorts, a T-shirt that has an inappropriate band on it, and flip-flops. They try to present themselves as being Christian, and even the pastor tries to reach them by having them play guitar in the church band. However, any responsibility in the church is a privilege and should be earned. Some of the younger females come to church dressed like they are going out to a nightclub. They have on dresses that accentuate their body parts by being too high above the knee and expose their cleavage. These crave attention and excitement in their lives, and they just want to have fun. They influence the other young Christians into the belief that they are missing out on things, that they have no freedom while at the same time these are slaves to their flesh.

2 Peter 2:18-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.

Sadly, there are dire consequences for those walking on the right side of the line, but right up to the edge and those straddling the line, with one foot in the Christian congregation, and the other in the world. It can end with a sexual encounter, which alone will cause some emotional torment. Even worse, it could lead to sexually transmitted disease, an unexpected pregnancy, and if one of the partners is married to someone else, the ruination of a marriage.  (Pro. 6:32-35; 1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Thess. 4:3-8) If it ends up being drugs, it can lead to addiction that could destroy multiple families. It could lead to a car wreck and the death of the impaired driver or the victim they may run into. (See Proverbs 23:29-35) Even if it does not result in a vehicle accident, the addiction can lead to stealing to support the habit.

It all begins with trying to be like the world in word, indeed, or failing to do what should be done, or in mind or heart attitude. These and the Christian congregation that surrounds them know what the outcome can be for slipping off into drugs, alcohol, fornication, and other wrong activities. The problem lies in the fact that Satan’s world is designed to cater to the fallen fleshly senses. This can be hugely influential, contributing to the young one closing their eyes to the end results. Moreover, those who surround them are watching them wade into deeper and deeper waters, failing to pull them back from the fire. Initially, they justify things as this is not so bad, or they have the freedom to do certain things because they are older, or they are an adult now; however, they merely become a slave to their flesh and sinful tendencies. These will quickly will become their master! When these cast aside Bible standards, do they gain freedom? Paul wrote, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? . . . The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:16, 23) What is the process, and can we head it off before it consumes us?

Galatians 6:7-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

7 Do not be deceived: God is not to be mocked, for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

[1] I.e., an unbeliever

[2] Quotation from Job 5:13

[3] Quotation from Psalm 94:11

[4] This attitude and conduct certainly do not come from God.