Often times, in my Christian walk, I will hear people say things like “Smoking/drinking a glass of wine/dancing/(insert activity here that somebody doesn’t like) is a sin”. My response to them is usually something along the lines of “Show me where Scripture says that”, or “Did God really say that?”. After the initial hemming and hawing, I’ll get the usual vague NT verses about “not all things are profitable” and “don’t make your brother stumble”, etc., which clearly are not a condemnation of a certain activity as “sin”, but rather admonitions to treat others in a Christlike manner.
As I get confronted with these issues and the Biblical ignorance they stem from, I find myself asking this question: why is it that Christians will get so bent out of shape over things God never said was a sin, ie, dancing (which is actually encouraged in Scripture), certain musical styles (musical notes have no morals, they are a tool like a hammer or a rake), or having a glass of wine with dinner (*psst* Jesus drank wine, it can’t be a sin); yet, somehow, when confronted with crystal clear Scriptural commandments from God Himself (ie, the Sabbath, eating pigs), these same Christians will fall all over themselves to tell you how that’s not really what it means, or that was just for someone else to obey, or that God changed His mind, or some bizarre combination of those excuses? This baffles my mind, and quite frankly, I find it utterly laughable. That’s the lie of the serpent all over again. “Oh, God didn’t really mean that we should not work on Saturday. He randomly changed His mind about the day He made holy from Creation for some nonsensical reason.”
Christianity truly has become Pharisaical in nature. The very attitude that Jesus condemned in Scripture is alive and well among many of those who claim to follow the Messiah. Mark 7:6-8 says, “He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘ This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me, and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”.
Folks, did you know that only God Himself has the authority to give a commandment? There is a reason that all of the writers of Scripture don’t make up their own commandments! Every single time a commandment is uttered in either the Old or New Testaments, it is a DIRECT QUOTE from something that God already said. Paul gives no new commandments, Peter gives no new commandments, the prophets give no new commandments; all of their writings are purely commentary and exposition to certain people (and us by extension) about things that God already said (or is currently saying, in the case of the prophets). Therefore, unless you can show me where Yahweh Himself says “don’t do X”, I will be forced to conclude that it cannot possibly be a sin.
I hate to break it to everyone, but 99% of the stupid things we argue about as believers have nothing to do with what Scripture actually says. If we would spend our time reading ALL of Scripture and DOING what God’s Word actually says, instead of making up our own rules and looking for reasons to be offended when people break MAN’s rules, maybe we could be that light to the nations that we are supposed to be.