|Holiness Is A Lifestyle
Monday, October 23, 2006
Written by Jenae Atkins
This article was written to address a very fundamental question that many young adults struggle to answer. The question is, "Does being a Christian mean you cannot go out and have 'fun'?" The answer to this article sparked controversy among the Christian community, however, I don't believe there has been any outward response to the publication.
As a young adult Christian woman, I found it very difficult to accept the article that was offered.
The fundamental answer to the question "does being a Christian mean that you cannot have fun?" was answered correctly. Just because you are a Christian, does not mean that you are not expected to have fun. Jesus said "I came that you might have life and have it abundantly". (John 10:10b) However, there are very drastic differences between what the world considers fun and what Christians living "holy" consider fun. The place to start is by defining the word fun. The Merrian-Webster dictionary has defined fun as what provides amusement or enjoyment; specifically: playful often boisterous action or speech. This definition does not spell out precise activities that fall into the category of "fun". This is where we as Christians seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct us into living lifestyles that are holy along while having fun.
Fun is a personal decision. What constitutes fun for one person; may not constitute fun for another. Fun for some include shopping, talking on the phone, reading a good book, listening to jazz music, dancing, etc. Fun is a universal word, however for the Christian believer; it should be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Next, we must address the concept of holiness. Just because you are a Christian, does not mean that you are living a lifestyle of holiness. Holiness is attained by cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus.
Now does this lifestyle mean you cannot go out and have fun? I answer NO. I am a young Christian woman, and the truth is I never had more fun than when I chose to live a lifestyle of holiness. A lifestyle of holiness gives birth to the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Holiness causes you to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service and to be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you can attest to what is pleasing in the sight of the Lord (Romans 12:1-2). This fundamentally means that God directs your every decision, not man.
Now, this is the same scripture that was used in the article that promoted Christians having "fun" by the world's standards which defines fun as those activities that appeal to the flesh of man (drinking to get intoxicated, premarital sexual activity, gambling, homosexual behaviors, etc.) The problem with that is that we have been instructed to "come from among them and be separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17). How can we be separate when we choose to define and participate in the concept of "fun" like the world does?
This fight is not a fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:10-12). Understanding this invokes me to ask this question of myself: "if I am living in God lightness, how can I find comfort among the world's darkness?"
The bible says "how can two walk together accept they agree?" (Amos 3:3) Now from a personal standpoint, I have attended club 621. After having been in Lansing for three months and a friend and I chose to stop by because we wanted to go out for a nice time.
Upon entering, we saw women dancing with other women in very provocative ways, men dancing with women in the same manner, people were intoxicated, smoking, and many of the women were dressed provocatively. I left the club after staying only ten minutes and loosing the cover charge because my spirit was so annoyed and felt out of place by what I saw.
For a while I thought there was something wrong with me because I was so turned off, but I found comfort in Amos 3:3. How can we as Christians choose to fellowship in a place where the works of the flesh (Galatians 5: 16-21) greet you at the door even before you pay the fee to enter the establishment?
There are some guidelines that Christians living in holiness must adhere to. First of all we must understand that our daily lives are a testimony to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and knowing that we are redeemed by his blood. The bible says in (Hebrews 4: 4-6),
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away to be brought back to repentance because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."
As a Christian woman who has made the determination to live a lifestyle of holiness, I have to be very attentive that I will live in such a way that my spirit man will be edified by everything that I do and by every place I choose to fellowship.
If I were struggling with whether or not to live totally sold out for Christ, the recent publication would have me thoroughly confused. The column totally focused on the issues that attract or reject the physical nature of man (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, 1 John 2:16). But if we are to live a lifestyle in the name of Jesus we must walk by the spirit. The bible says to walk by the spirit so as to not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
The issue is not if 621 is a club or a restaurant, but whether or not my spirit man is edified by fellowshipping in such an establishment? This is a question that your spirit man should answer no matter what activity you are engaging in or what places you choose to go. Holiness is a lifestyle. It is not something we put on when we know we are going to attend church. The issues isn't whether or not it is right or wrong to fellowship at certain establishments and partake of certain things, the issue is whether or not my behavior is holy and righteous unto God. That is a question that God gives the answer to through constant prayer and study of his word (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23).
For me as a Christian young woman, it is very compromising to find comfort in having "fun" according to the world's definition. I encourage us all to continue to be prayerful and attentive to the Holy Spirit when choosing where to fellowship and what activities to participate in.