The Post-Modern Christian and the Gray Areas

How would you like to have a cool and relevant young pastor like megachurch pastor Steven Furtick (above) to give you plenty of latitude on decision-making in those gray areas that really nag the post modern Christian?

Gray area topics have become a legalistic battle ground for the lukewarm Christian today.

What gray areas are we talking about?

Watching HBO shows and R-rated movies, drinking alcohol (I will add smoking marijuana where it is legal under this topic), cussing, going to bars, and many other items that world loves to indulge in but which are not necessarily spelled out in the Bible as sins.

Steven Furtick and his Elevation Church have touted that they are not afraid to talk about anything in their church, so in a current series of sermons he addressed some these gray area issues.  The problem is that there wasn’t much denouncing going on.

“I’m not going to try to make black and white issues out of what’s gray in the Word of God. That would be malpractice on my part,” Furtick said.

On the issue of alcohol he says “The Bible has more to say about gluttony than it does about drinking,” leaving the door open for those who wish to consume alcohol to go right ahead… but… stop short of getting drunk.

On R-rated movies, again, he does not denounce exposure to lust, sex, cussing, and occult in them, but points out that there are more “sinful” things in network comedy shows than in R-rated movies.

He is more concerned with the personal testimony of a Christian who attends R-rated movies, something which I respect.  Furtick  points to the fact that believers and unbelievers may be watching us going to these movies and stumbling on that fact.  But this is not enough.

It is not the gray area act that is sinful for Furtick, but the fact that others are observing the Christian perform that act.  In other words, Christian liberty reigns supreme even in areas where sin may be involved… but just make sure you’re not a stumbling block for others.  Nice…

To his credit he does give a filter for gray area decision-making using the formula “Is it best? Does it build (others up)? Does it bind?”  But he does not categorically denounce things like rated-R movies that may lead to lust, for example.

The main issue at hand is that spiritually infant Christians need concrete guidance from their pastor.  Wishy-washy statements like Furtick’s may lead the Christian to indulge in sinful behavior.  An alcoholic drink may lead two, three, ten and then everything breaks down. Also, why not address specific subject matter of movies and shows?

The Word of God is our ultimate guide and we should avoid anything that has to do with the deeds of the flesh listed in Galatians 5: “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies…”

Remember, when in doubt “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians  5:22

How much can the post-modern Christian lean over the cliff without falling to his demise?

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