By Okey Onuzo
If he unwittingly touches any of them as he stands preaching, the people who are coming out of fetish practices might think the chain and the bangle were symbols of his power. The gentleman promptly removed them. It is always a good principle not to do anything that could hinder the Gospel wherever we are.
The fourth principle is what has been called: â€œothers may, but you canâ€™t.â€ This is the Holy Spirit imposed constraint on us as individuals or as a group because of the anointing that we carry â€“ individual or corporate, which is part and parcel of our consecration to the LORD and has a great deal to do with our Holy Ghost empowered effectiveness as Godâ€™s representatives in the community to which we are called. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alluded to this when He said to the Jews in Matthew 11:16_19 (NLT) 16 â€œTo what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, 17 â€˜We played wedding songs, and you didnâ€™t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didnâ€™t mourn.â€™ 18 For John didnâ€™t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, â€˜Heâ€™s possessed by a demon.â€™ 19 The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, â€˜Heâ€™s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!â€™ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.â€
The ascetic John the Baptist coming in the wake of utter degeneracy among the people lived like a recluse and preached a message that resonated with the people and they trooped out practically en masse to repent of their sins. He was the forerunner preparing the way of the Lord. Our Lord Jesus Christ on the other hand mingled freely in society with saints and sinners alike but stayed totally uncontaminated. John 8:46 (KJV) 46 â€œWhich of you convinceth me of sin?…â€ Also in Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV) we read: 15 â€œFor we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.â€
There are some who may say and I hope less seriously, â€œwell, I am like Jesus. I can handle all these stuff and not get messed up.â€ Here is the testimony of Jesus at the graveyard of Lazarus for a test:Â John 11:41_44 (NKJV) â€œ41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, â€œFather, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.â€ 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, â€œLazarus, come forth!â€ 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, â€œLoose him, and let him go.â€ Here is the testimony of Jesus by Peter who was there: 1 Peter 2:22 (NLT) 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.â€
In the end it all boils down to plain honesty when it comes to matters of lifestyle and what we allow socially as we relax and recreate in our different environments. The bottom line is spelt out by the phrase: â€œand yet without sin.â€ The Bible has this to say about our liberty in Christ: 1 Corinthians 6:12 (AMP) 12 Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power. 1 Peter 2:15_16 (NLT) 15 â€œIt is Godâ€™s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are Godâ€™s slaves, so donâ€™t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.â€
Here is what I consider the last word on this matter of contact without contamination. It spells out the burden we all as Christians carry in the world wherever we live: Matthew 18:6 (AMP)
6 But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought], it would be better (more expedient and profitable or advantageous) for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea.â€
â€œAm I helping or hindering any oneâ€™s faith?â€ That should be my constant check question on this matter of contact without contamination. The LORD will help us all, amen.