CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Christians and the furry/punk/steampunk/Ren Faire/cosplay lifestyle.
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Now Paul did not lie to all these people to become accepted into their group. He didn't dress like them, act like them, participate in their sinful lifestyles, etc. Although he became all things to all men, he never compromised himself in doing so. Basically, we don't need to be a part of the group to minister to them. You don't have to be a cosplayer to share the gospel with cosplayers, just like I don't have to dress like a punk to continue ministering to my old friends. In fact, by not joining we might help others who are unsure about the lifestyle. There's nothing wrong with dressing up in a costume, but there's everything wrong with chasing our own pleasures. Not only this, but it's important to note that even if you are not involved in cosplaying because of sexual desires, it certainly could lead to a struggle in the future. We're told to "flee immorality," meaning even if something isn't "that dangerous," if it could possibly lead to us or another brother stumbling, we are to refrain (1 Corinthians 6:18, 8:13). As Christians, our lives are not our own anymore. As we read in Romans:
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteous ness. (Romans 6:16-18).As servants of Christ, our lives are to be lived to His glory, not serving our own pleasures and desires. Some things do not compromise or hinder us very much, while some do. As Paul says, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify" (1 Corinthians 10:23). While we are free to express ourselves through dress, the question is: does it glorify God? Standing on a corner sharing the gospel would be hard dressed like a punk or a furry. Again, it's not what people think of us, but rather what people will think of God and the change He's made in our hearts. Do our lives bring glory to the Lord? Do we shine our light before men in how we approach the world? We must remember that we were "bought at a price." We read this in 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." As Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).
There are many things that I wanted to do, as there are many things we all desire. But those things change when our heart is changed. Not that we won't struggle with them, but that as you have, we will begin to consider things closely, examining them to determine if they're right before God. As for fandom Christians, I cannot say if they are truly saved, but I can say there's about every "blank-" Christian out there you could think of. Just because someone identifies as a Christian doesn't mean they are. For example, they recently released a Queen James Bible with all the scriptures on homosexuality changed; that doesn't mean they are truly Christians. Other people aren't the determining factor, only the Lord and His Word. And in His Word we are told that our lives are not our own:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2In closing, I'm not telling you what to do. My desire is not for you to refrain because of something I said, but my desire is that you look at this Biblically, and determine what God has said. We must fully understand what we're doing and why we're doing it. Not ever because "we have to," but because we want to! The Lord is glorified not when we drag our feet in good deeds and obedience, but when we act with a full heart in joyful service to Him. As we're told in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Ephesians 4:20-24).
Image: The author and friend, back in the day.
Tags: Christian-Life | Current-Issues | Personal-Life | Personal-Relationships | Witnessing-Evangelism
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Published on 4-22-14