Force vs. Choice

I share a lot of my thoughts on here because this is MY blog, so obviously it will reflect MY thoughts.  I'm not a preacher, teacher or self-proclaimed prophetess (thank God!) - I simply share my thoughts, opinions and convictions/beliefs as a Christian wife and mother.  There are some people that will not allow you to have your own opinions because they simply don't think anyone should have a differing opinion from their own or they don't feel free to have their own and don't want you to either.

Here is the problem we face in the church-world today.  People are being forced to follow a method or opinion and they are not allowed to have a CHOICE by exercising their free-will, which is God-given.  You can't take your opinion and force people to follow it.  We should only follow the Bible and anything outside of that is open to interpretation and many people have differing views or convictions.  However, if it is something that is in the Bible, no Christian should have a problem following that, as it is biblical.

There is where legalism comes in - that word that most of the time is abused and thrown around by people who would rather sit back and live like a devil.  The proper use of the word is when men make rules to follow and claim it was God that told them so and if you don't you are sinning.  These are things that are not in the Bible or they are not clear and then they are taken to a new level and taught in a way depending upon a man's opinion.  I'm not talking about rules of an establishment - everyone has those and they are just that; rules - I'm talking about man-made rules that are claimed to come from God and the risk of not following them is condemnation to hell.  There is a difference and we must understand the nature of each.

Say a man thinks that wearing red is wrong for a Christian woman to wear.  He then claims God thinks so too (without any biblical proof) and he preaches that women that wear red will split hell wide open.  This is the force that I'm talking about - forced to abstain from the color red through fear of hell, based upon one man's opinions and not God's Word.  This is where men take away God-given free will of the people and force them to follow a man through false teaching.  Preachers must be careful when using the sacred desk to share their personal opinions that have no biblical backing, as it can not only become abusive to the flock, but will destroy countless people for all eternity.  The only thing about the color red, is it will be the color of this man's hands when he stands before God to give an account.

Remember, we have a choice in everything we do!  When you feel like you are forced, then you are probably doing something that you don't really choose to do in your heart.  If it is something that God commanded you to do (like be a keeper at home, dress modestly, etc.) then you need to get your heart right.  If it is something a man told you to do (not wear red, don't accumulate wealth, etc.) then you are following a man and/or false teaching.  The Bible is our baseline - we must not make up things based upon our opinions (unless they are based on biblical principles) and tell everyone else they should do them or risk hell-fire.  God has given us all FREE WILL, we have a CHOICE, don't let anyone FORCE you to do something that God Himself doesn't even require of you!