I know it’s not popular.
It’s not vogue.
It’s not politically correct or even religiously fashionable.
It’s conservative Christianity, and I’ve been asked more than once why I embrace it.
In a world where everything goes, tolerance is in and traditionalism is out, why on earth would anyone choose to “live like that”?
Why do I choose to “live like that”?
Postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. source
I’m going to tell you why I live conservatively.
Why I’m unmoved by criticism and misunderstanding. Why the media doesn’t shake my faith. Why the failures of others in Christendom fail to disillusion me.
These are the reasons-
I believe God meant what He said in His Word.
Scripture is God-breathed. It supersedes cultural philosophies and man’s opinions. The Word of God is the one Truth that out lives every generation.
If I believe that, then I must also believe that the culture is wrong on a lot of issues. Abortion, homosexuality, and feminism are a few issues that come to mind.
The world and Scripture can’t possibly both be right. I choose to believe God’s Word.
I believe that I will give an account one day to God.
Contrary to what our culture tells us, this life is not all there is to live for. My choices now determine how I will spend eternity. As a mother, the choices I make also impact my children, and whether or not they will choose to live for Jesus Christ.
My words, my actions, my thoughts, my daily choices- these all matter in the scope of eternity. They matter a lot.
I believe that I cannot possibly influence the world if I am just like it.
Followers of Christ have always stood out in their generation. The apostles stood out in their time, and the same has been true of every generation of Christians in every century.
Who are we to believe we have a right to fit in? To be socially accepted by the world?
The further our culture moves away from Judeo Christian values, the more “obvious” believers become. I’m not ashamed to look and live like a Christ-follower.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? Matthew 5:13
I believe the church world is confused about grace.
The words “legalism” and “grace” get thrown around a lot these days, especially in the context of Christianity.
I believe in grace, but I don’t believe a lot people understand what it really means.
Romans 6:1 & 2
Grace is God’s benevolence toward us; His undeserved mercy. Grace is never, ever a license to live in sin. God does extend grace to us, but it is with the intent to deliver us from the power of sin, not to leave us there!
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Romans 6: 17 & 18
What about legalism?
Legalism says, I have to work my way into Heaven. I’m doing thus-and-so to earn my salvation, or to stay in favor with God.
Legalism is earmarked by peer dependency (“I have to please others“) and a critical spirit (“no one is right unless they live just like me“).
Legalism exists in every religious realm and it is bondage. Some religions (such as Islam) are structured entirely around “works”. A religion that depends upon your goodness for salvation is a dead religion.
As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one. Romans 3:10
I don’t live a set apart life to earn my way into God’s favor. Or so I can be “holier” than someone else, or feel like I am “good enough” or anything “enough”.
All of my righteousness is worthless in the eyes of God. Only through Jesus Christ am I made worthy.
And it is His life in me, His Holy Spirit, that sanctifies and sets me apart from this world. Not according to some rote religious method, cast system, or list of rules.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8: 3 & 4
Christianity is not about rules, it is all about life. The life of Christ.
And His life makes me free.
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.