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June 23, 2007

Comments

Jimmy Miller

James, I think that the boundaries that enslave us as Christians are different than those that enslaved us before we knew Christ.

"Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?" (Gal. 4:8-9)

Non-Christians are slaves to themselves, money, cyber-communities, sex, the list goes on, but that is Paul 101. We all took that class and passed it long ago. As Christians I believe we can fall into those same traps, but we can be refocused through the Holy Spirit. The "Christian boundaries" that enslave us are similar, but come from something different. Non-Christian gods, or slave-masters, come about through people looking for purpose in the wrong place. These people think that they have found the meaning of life, and it is (insert idol here). What they do not understand, or understand all to well in some cases, is that the very thing they believe gives their life meaning, is the very thing that enslaves them. Businessmen who strive to make the most money are bound to chase the dollar only to discover that the Notorious B.I.G was correct in proclaiming "Mo' money, mo' problems."

As Christians, we strive to get closer to God through Christ and the Holy Spirit, who lives in us. Like you said, we set up boundaries for ourselves that we see as means to and end. These boundaries are usually called disciplines. I'm not about to say that things like going to church, serving others, or reading Christian literature is a bad thing, but I believe they can become idols in our lives.

I should find my worth in Christ. I should always believe that my actions do not define me. I say should because, in actuality, I base my worth on my actions. People call me smart because I graduated college, people say I'm a good person because I occasionally help people, people say I'm a good Christian because I go to church on Sundays and I blog religious thoughts with my friends, and you know what? I believe them. The problem with that comes when I fail at something. If I base my worth on my actions, then the moment I fail, people think less of me, and my perception of self-worth falls.

When it comes to my Christian boundaries, I become enslaved to them and not to Christ when the "the end" becomes going to church, or praying before a meal, instead of being "the means" to "the end" of knowing Christ. I believe this is why people become bored with church. Church (with a small "c") has become their god, not the Triune God. Church becomes enslaving because they feel obligated to go, not because it is a place where they feel closer to God. If Christ is truly my master, then I will do whatever it takes to serve him. If that means going to church, then I will go, and it won't seem a chore because He loves me.

Bottom Line: The boundaries that enslave us as Christians become that way, when we try to win God's approval through our actions.

David Dalrymple

"freedom does not include uninhibited self-sovereignty" Great thought.

Boundaries can be a great way of acknowledging God's sovereignty. I think people in other countries are way better at understand this; especially non-democratic countries. In China for example the government is big on linking rights with responsibilities. The people there unquestioningly acknowledge the governments rule. We are by nature rebels in America. I mean that's how we got started as a nation. Can I be so bold as to say we need a lesson from the Communists.

I think letting go of freedom and limiting myself so as to give God control is scary. But what is even scarier is the thought of keeping control of my own life. I've tried that before and it's horrible. I can't imagine repeating that portion of my life. I'd be dead, in jail or just plain ruined if I keep that up very long. I must put boundaries on my life that allow massive amounts of room for God to govern. Most of all, if I know God is really good, I shouldn't fear his sovereignty.

David Dalrymple

This seems to imply boundaries. Strict ones.

2 Corinthians 10
1By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away! 2I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

Drew Leatherberry

Wonderful thoughts...

Drew Leatherberry

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