If you missed it, first read Why You Should Care Part 1.
by Curtis Allen
One of the most essential truths a Christian can learn is the difference between applying scripture and having a perspective that is scriptural. In fact, the majority of the secondary issues that cause denominational conflict to happen, happen because of a failure to distinguish between the two. And believe me, there is a big difference between these two perspectives. But sadly, many of us blur the lines and actually get confused ourselves.
Take for example Colossians 3:9-10 “9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” There are many ways people can view this passage. And depending on your understanding of scriptural commands, you may or may not see the point here.
But in reality, there is one real application from these two verses, and it’s found in the first six words. “Do not lie to one another.” Simple enough. Now, here’s the $10,000,000 question. Is not lying the perspective of the verse, or just a way to apply it? This is not a trick question, I promise. And though the question may seem confusing, I assure you, the answer will make all the difference in the world as it relates to your walk with the Lord.
Before I answer the question, I want to make sure you understand the significance of what I’m asking you. This simple question is the reason why there are different denominations, church splits, arrogance as it relates to the Bible, different pastors preaching the exact same message with a different emphasis, and why there was even a “rap panel” in the first place. The way people answer the question above and questions like it makes all the difference in the Christian life.
So, are you ready for the answer? Well, here it is. Not lying is the perspective of the verse, not just an application from it. Now you may be thinking, huh? That was it? You built all that up to say something that I guessed without a second thought? Gee, thanks a lot (dripping with sarcasm)! If that’s you right now, repent, and then let me explain.
There is a big difference between having your perspective come from scripture and having your perspective be an application of scripture. BIG DIFFERENCE! And surprisingly, many well meaning believers lose sight of this all of the time. There are many things that the Bible tells us to do, believe, think, and speak. And whenever we do them, we are not just finding ways to apply the verse. The verse itself is the application. Whenever the Bible tells us to do something, our action is simply following the scriptural commands. But, there are probably just as many things we do, believe, think, and speak, that are not Biblical commands too.
For example, many of you who are reading this probably homeschool your kids. And you probably have Biblical reasons for doing so. May I ask what verse in the Bible commands you to homeschool your children? Now whatever that verse is, look closely at it and the surrounding verses. Is that passage really telling you to homeschool? Or are you simply applying homeschooling to the verse(s) that you are thinking of? My guess would be the latter. And there is nothing wrong with that at all. Unless you start saying that every believer who does not homeschool is not pleasing the Lord. That would be a bold, yet Biblically unproven statement.
If you’re not a Christian and you’re reading this, you have to be wondering what this has to do with you. Everything! If for no other reason than because you make a lot of decisions for your family based on values. They may be cultural and they may be historical, but the way you are managing your family has a lot to do with how you interpret culture.
What social aspects do you allow your kids to participate in? What music is fine for them to listen to? Can they spend the night at a friend’s house? Why or why not? You are an interpreter, and your children will get the foundation of how to interpret life through your example, whether accidental or intentional. And in a rapidly shifting culture, you’re eventually going to have to rethink why you do some of the things you do. Especially if some of the people you respect go in a different direction than what you think is wise. So yeah, this means you.
It was important for me to lay this foundation because otherwise nothing else I say will make sense. Especially as it pertains to rap music and whether it honors God or not. In the next post, I will explain why those who oppose rap and those who accept it are both right Biblically speaking. As well as how Jesus’ death gives us an accurate Biblical lens through which to view all cultural differences.