I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I compromise my Christianity. There are things that I rationalize in my mind to make myself to feel better even though I know God would not approve. Take the Sabbath for example (as an SDA I believe it’s Saturday), it’s a holy day which I am to spend with God in meditation, prayer, and worship and also fellowship with like minded individuals. The Sabbath is a day in which I rest from labor, tasks, and other exasperating STUFF required of us during the rest of the week (doesn’t mean I only spend time with God on my Sabbath).
Of course the Bible doesn’t explicitly say, “don’t watch TV on the Sabbath” but the SDA church discourages it presumably because watching TV is a form of entertainment that detracts one’s attention from spending time with God. The Adventists I know either only watch religious programming (3ABN, TBN) or don’t watch TV at all on the Sabbath. I love the Discovery Channels, Animal Planet (whatever happened to Meerkat Manor?), Science Channel (Cosmos anyone?), and National Geographic so I rationalized that it was ok to watch those channels because it was educational and showed the beauty and splendor of God’s creation. However, I only thought of God periodically while watching (as in “God that’s amazing” *air high five). I suppose watching TV on the Sabbath is also discouraged because it’s hard to resist flipping the channel to something else (“I’ll just see what else is on”, sound familiar?) and watching something that is not only inappropriate for the Sabbath but probably inappropriate for a Christian. <<period>> Why tempt myself that way? With the proliferation of video games and the prominence of the internet, there’s even more ways to break the Sabbath (yeah, just what I don’t need).
Another incident involves one of the most unobtrusive, non-threatening things ever… soap. (Did she say “soap”?) Yes, soap; body wash to be exact. As an Adventist, I don’t eat certain foods that are deemed “unclean” in the Bible (See Leviticus 11and Deuteronomy 14) but it doesn’t stop there. There are a myriad of products people use every day that are made using derivatives of unclean foods as ingredients; in this case, it’s pork (dun, dun, duuuhh). I brought a bottle of Dial NutriSkin body wash with “microbeads of ultra hydrating, yet naturally light fruit oil”. When I finally read the label, BAM! There it was “Gelatin”, right between “Helanthus Annuss (sunflower seed oil) and “Acacia Senegal Gum”. Apparently the microbeads were made of gelatin. What’s wrong with gelatin? I’m glad you asked. Gelatin is derived from the cartilage, bones, and connective tissues of pigs, cows, and other animals (presumably livestock). Unless specified as vegetable or kosher gelatin, it’s pretty safe to assume it is made from pig parts. Also, for you vegetarians out there, kosher gelatin is also derived from animal parts just not “unclean” ones. I had a lingering feeling that I should have stopped using it but I didn’t want to throw it away so yet again, I’m compromising and using it until it’s gone. Of course, I will not use it again once I’m done with the bottle I have but I really feel like I should have thrown it away.
All this is just to say, we should all work on not compromising our religious principles to do things that God would be unhappy with no matter how minor or harmless it seems. Until my desire to obey God overrides my secular desire to do what I want to do, I will continue to pray for guidance and handle each situation as it comes.