Question: “Can I dance naked on a bar room table since I don’t have to follow any rules to be a Christian?”
Last week I wrote that religion is no fun. By “religion,” I mean the man-made, “Can’t do that/thou shalt not”-rule-keeping-to-please-God type of stuff. Ya know, the kind of “faith” no one likes, wants or lives.
I must remind you that Jesus reserved his strongest condemnation for religious leaders who enforced rule-keeping as a way to have a relationship with God and that He died to set us free from all this burdensome regulation keeping.
So, inevitably, a sincere believer, (or unbeliever, for that matter), will take this to the extreme and think, “Hey! I can do anything!
I’m free to kick the dog,
join the Mob,
or shimmy in the buff
at the “The Drunken Bog.”
No! A thousand times, NO!
Yes…and no. Wait a minute. Let me explain: I did say that rule-keeping, like having to keep the Sabbath, having to wear ankle-length dresses, not wearing make-up, not singing to instruments in church—all these make no difference in how God views us.
When we come to Jesus as poor sinners, without hope, lost and condemned to Hell, and we trust him and his death on a cross for our sins, then turn away from our sins as proof we have trusted him, God forgives us—past, present and future! God now sees us as though Jesus were painted on the lenses of his sunglasses. (The light is bright in Heaven.)
Now we are free to live life to the full. We can enjoy everything God has made—unless our conscience tells us otherwise.
So back to that dancing naked scenario. Can you do it? Should you do it?
Well, if you have been “born again” by having your sins forgiven, your life will reflect what God wants. Your goal will be to glorify him; that is, your life will let other people know who God is by your actions.
The Apostle Paul answered this same type of question when those he instructed protested by saying, “I have the right to do anything.”
Paul’s response: “But not everything is beneficial or constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
Yes, you’re free, but does doing what you do benefit others? Do your actions reflect your new life as a Christian? Can people see Jesus in you?
A good rule of thumb: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, “Please, no naked dancing on tables.”
Go ahead. Stone me.
That’s this pastor’s point of view. Is it yours?