Some time ago, I learned about a situation involving one of the elders at my church.  It is pretty well known that he is an avid beer drinker, and he had posted something online about the brew he was working on.  A member of the church (I am not sure who) took offense to this statement and complained about how he was ‘not setting an appropriate example’ as an elder and youth ministries leader.

Although the story was told over lunch, and to quite a bit of laughter, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of annoyance.  This elder is a really good man, with a wonderful family.  He is smart, kind, and a natural leader, and here was somebody questioning his example because he brews his own beer!

I feel sometimes like we get so focused on the little details and the technicalities of following Christ, we forget that ultimately we are called to a life of freedom.  We get to enter into a relationship with the God of the universe, and here we are debating about alcohol and tattoos!  It’s annoying, to say the least.  In fact, it’s more than annoying.  It’s wrong.

I’m not saying that we get to live however we want (we don’t), nor am I saying that Christians are not called to a better, set apart way of life (we are).  What I’m saying is that when Christianity is treated as a ‘religion’ with rigid rules and a specific do and don’t list, the true beauty of salvation gets lost in the details.  This ‘set apart’ life we are called to is not always easy, and it comes with expectations, but it is so amazing and free and beautiful that it makes me sad when it is trivialized by legalization.

I could go on and on, but I think I’m going to go have a glass of wine and look at my tattoos.