The following article by my good friend, Benjamin Giselbach, is the recommended reading for today. Ben is a student at Freed Hardeman University and serves as the youth minister of the Independence church of Christ in Lexington, TN.
Many of us are aware of the heated debate surrounding the controversial construction of a mosque just a few blocks away from the location of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. Regardless of the strong feelings we may have about the issue, one thing is clear: Muslims have a constitutional right to build a mosque near Ground Zero. However, just because they have a constitutional right does not mean that they have an ethical right. One would be heartlessly insensitive not to recognize that this action is blatantly disrespectful to both the victims’ families and America as a whole.
The same logic may be applied to our Christian walk. We may have the legal right to embrace any lifestyle we choose, but every act of sin is inconsiderate of the sacrifice of Christ. We may participate in sexually impure actions, associate with lewd company, pursue unwholesome entertainment, and discredit the church – all with the world’s blessing! But how much pain does our sin cause Christ?
We have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23). How then could a Christian allow even a hint of sin to exist in his or her life (Ephesians 5:3)? How can we bear the thought of crucifying again the Son of God (Hebrews 6:4-6)? We must pursue spiritual purity with zeal! Many Christians are guilty of forgetting that being right in the eyes of the world is not equivalent to being righteous in the sight of God. Let us therefore model the standards of our lifestyle upon Christ.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (I Peter 2:9-11)