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Good discussion. (As a side note, I would like to extend my condolences to you in regards to your husband. May God show you mercy, comfort, and goodness in this difficult time.)
I would like to follow up on my previous post by asking the following questions based on 1 Timothy 4:1-5:
1) What makes the practice of calling "evil" something that God created good (or calling it "worldly"), what makes that "demonic"?
2) What are some of the things that supposedly devout Christians have called "evil" or "worldly" throughout Church history that are actually meant to be received with thanksgiving?
If we adopt the wrong framework through which we understand Christianity, we can get things warped out of shape. If we have a framework through which we determine that some Christians are superior, whereas other Christians are judged to be inferior, something is wrong; especially if the reason we judge others to be inferior is because they are enjoying the good gifts of the Lord.
If something is NOT EXPLICITLY classified as sin in the Bible, we cannot call it "evil" or "worldly". If we do, we are the ones who are in the wrong (James 4:11-12; Romans 14:4).
So, that being said, if your children want to play a board game, as long as the subject matter isn't sinful (such as witchcraft), you can praise the Lord when they are enjoying the good gifts that He has given to them. As for their attitude while they play the game, that's just part of life. They can learn to glorify God in their attitudes as well.
| 2013/4/8 15:58||Profile|
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Renoncer, I think I agree with you on this, but this is also missing another aspect.
For example, sports in themselves are not "evil" but they can lead one on the slippery slope of idolatry. The many people that spend their weekends sitting in front of a TV watching these games proves this point. TV also in itself is not evil. Obviously, there are evil things on TV. But there is also a lot of "educational" stuff on TV. So what is wrong with it? TV shows are created to suck you in, and they are very effective at that. I have seen TV as something that Satan has created to numb the minds of people to God, to Christ, to the necessity of spending time in the Word and in prayer- have been guilty of it myself.
So while it is true that many things are not "evil" they can still lead to evil.
Also, there is the question of how your actions affect another brother or sister. You (or someone else?) mentioned alcohol before- even for someone who is able to be restrained in the use of alcohol, by asserting that there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, that person is being a stumbling block to the person who cannot drink just a little.
Having said all this, it seems to me now that it is ok to let my kids play these board games. As I said, I am examining everything I allow in my home to see if it glorifies God. The last words that my husband told me before he died were: "Very soon everything is going to turn black and white." I am trying to get rid of all the greys in our lives. It is what I need to do to honor his words, which I know are THE Truth because they match Scripture.
By the way, my younger children do NOT think of me as legalistic in any way. They are understanding the purpose of this life and see why I do the things I do. The older ones have always thought of me as "extreme" because I forbade the watching of witch and vampire movies and refused to allow non-Christian music in my home. My recent stand on holiness is just something they do not get.
Just in case, I just wanted to state that I am not the least bit offended by anything that was said here. I have taken it all to heart and submitted to prayer.
| 2013/4/8 17:51||Profile|
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MaryJane: I thank you for this advice. You have put into words what I could not, though in my Spirit I could feel something like this but when I would put it into words it sounded so harsh. Not so in your words. You have been used by God to answer my prayer. God bless you!
| 2013/4/8 20:24||Profile|
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I think Mary Jane gave you some excellent advice in how to help your younger child speak respectfully to his older siblings. There are many ways to show God's love and truth; it isn't only through words.
It is also wise to have a heart-to-heart with your daughter before she moves back into your house. I would counsel you to try and keep the "rules" to a minimun however; and keep them to some of the bigger issues. As other posters have mentioned we need to be careful what we call evil and to allow the Bible to guide these decisions. One of the biggest hindrances I see to allowing someone to really walk with Jesus is the dreadful "spirit of religion." By that, I mean a man-made system to rules and regulations that have the appearance of holiness/godliness but it denies the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5).
Consider Paul's words to the Colossians:
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)-in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. (2:20-23)
Notice that Paul considers all of this self-striving to only appear wise but it does nothing to affect the heart. We can make our own rules, but they do not change our hearts' motivations. We can hide away from activities that COULD lead to sin, but we never deal with the deep issues of our hearts and souls that would cause us to be attracted to those sins in the first place.
Contrast that lifestyle to freedom spoken of in Psalm 119:32:
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. (KJV)
I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart. (NAS)
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. (NIV)
And then back to the New Testament: "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1) The slavery that Paul speaks of here is a religious slavery. (And yes, he does tell us in verse 13 that freedom does not lead to sin, but to love.)
It may be helpful to ask your daughter what she expects your relationship to look like now and then to let her know your expectations as well. Because she is an adult now, she is now at a place where you will need to treat her more as a sister (in Christ?) than one of your little ones. Share your heart with her. As you open up the depths of your soul to her, it will allow her to see how Jesus lives in you. (In my life, the men who have impacted me the most are the ones that I've seen up close and personal and their lives speak volumes more than their words.)
It may also be helpful to talk beforehand about how you two will deal with the inevitable disagreements that you will have. Life does not turn out to be as cut and dried as we would like it to be. Paul acknowledges, that even in his own life there is a mixture of good and bad (Romans 7). If we could control everything, life would be rather dull and in reality we wouldn't need God at that point. So when these situations arise, have a game plan: will she leave the room, will you usher the little children into another room, etc. On that same note, it would seem to me, to be quite helpful to have a similar discussion with the little ones. One important lesson is to let them know that people can disagree on something and still love one another and remain respectful. Also, it is vitally important to let the little ones know that if you do need some distanct from your oldest daughter for a time, the time apart is so that you can eventually come back together even stronger than before.
Thank you for sharing about your children's lives. I can't imagine how difficult this season of life must be for you and your family. Hopefully the outlet you have here at SI to share your heart and soul will offer some measure of healing and encouragement for the journey.
Grace and peace,
| 2013/4/9 0:42||Profile|
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I understand the challenge with regards to making bad use of the good things that the Lord has given to us.
It's a sad fact of life that sinners twist God's creation and misuse it; but we have to be careful not to overreact and to fall into the ascetic or dualistic snare of the devil, which, like Paul says, is not glorifying to God but rather the teaching of demons.
In my previous post, the first question was meant to shed some light upon the factors at play in this matter. If you can see through not only the details, but also the overarching paradigms at play, that will allow you to make sense of the matter.
Thank you for your humble heart in this discussion. May God give you understanding and grace as you seek to follow Him faithfully.
| 2013/4/9 8:43||Profile|