Where to draw the line?

So, the bible readings for today (OYB) included a lot of “rules” that God gave Moses to share with the Hebrew people. Some of them we still treasure today. Others we have dismissed because they just don’t seem to fit us the same way they used to for one reason or another … like we don’t sell our children into slavery anymore, so we don’t need rules on how to or how not to. It all reminded me of a phone call I had last Thursday … from another pastor in Houston. He asked, “how do we decide where to draw the line?” When are the rules “cultural” and no longer applicable? How do we know? How do we decide?

I felt I only had a trite answer … “pray about it”.

But when I heard the context of the question it hit me personally. He was on his way to visit someone who was trying to talk a good friend out of experiementing with new age mysticism … it says we should stay away from mediums and psychic things in the Bible, afterall. Well … little did he know he was talking to a woman who has personal experience with people close to her exploring psychic and mystical expression of truth. (My mom is a very good meduim… one who sees her gifts as a gift from God to be used for the common good.) hmmm …. this is too close to home. Everyone KNOWS the Bible condemns consulting mediums. So how do we know where to draw the line?

I deflected the direct question (something I’m pretty good at) and talked about what a great opportunity this was to engage a person on a spiritual journey … if they are interested in psychic and spiritual things we have a natural “in” to talk and walk our faith with them. That’s really good, in my opinion. Is it so important to convince her that she’s wrong to explore this other path? Why not allow her natural curiosity to help lead her to knowing Christ? Why is it that Christians want to begin a spiritual conversation with someone by explaining how they are wrong? Why can’t we just meet them and have honest conversations about our own spiritual journey in the process? And thank God for the opportunity.

OK … so I’m biased … my brother is gay and my parents are “new age”. (don’t you think we’d made a great sitcom?) Seriously, though, I’ve had years of both learning from them and, I hope, teaching them a few things, too. Could it be that my job isn’t to change them? But, perhaps to allow God to use them to change me into being a little more like Christ? Could it be that my role is to keep building the relationships of love and acceptance so that we can all experience the grace of God in real and tangible ways?

I guess I know that knowing where to “draw the line” is terribly important for most people. It just seems that everytime I seem to know where to draw it, God challenges me again. Maybe drawing the line, isn’t the important thing …. maybe crossing it is more important.

Comments are really welcome … really …