Summary: There are things we face in life that do not fall neatly into the right or wrong categories. There are some things we’re faced with, some areas of conduct that the Bible really doesn’t address. That’s what Paul is addressing.
Open your Bibles, please, to Romans 14. Today I want to talk about, “Hey! A Christian Can’t Do THAT!” I heard about a guy who crossed the street in front of his house to go to the mailbox and get the mail. And after he got the mail he was walking back across the street, a car was bearing down on him, so he sort of darted back toward the mailbox. The car darted in that direction. So he changed direction and darted back in the other direction. The car swerved and headed toward him again. He headed back toward the mailbox and sure enough, the car was zeroing in on him there. Finally he just stopped in the middle of the road. The car screeched on its brakes and stopped. The guy walked around there and the driver’s window came down, and there was a squirrel behind the driver’s wheel. And he said, “I just wanted you to know what it feels like.”
Whether you dart to the left or the right today, I think the Holy Spirit of God is going to run you down. This is one of those sermons that is going to make some of you mad and some of you it is going to set free. You know, Jesus said, “The truth will set you free, but it will also make you mad.” This can be a very liberating sermon or this can be one that just kind of makes you mad enough to want to slash my tires or something, but we’re going to go in that direction.
Okay, by way of introduction, I have here a gold earring loop. How do you like it? How do you think I would look with a pierced ear? I can’t ever remember which ear you’re supposed to do it in, guys. I get so confused. I’ve kind of been thinking about getting one of my ears pierced. How many of you in this room, and I know most of us are Christians, how many of you in this room think it’s wrong for a guy to have a pierced ear? Let me see your hand. Yeah, okay, good for you. How many of you in this room that are Christians, and you say, you know, hey, no big deal if a guy wants to pierce his ear, let me see your hand. Wow. You know what? Both groups that raised their hands are Christians. Hmm.
Well, how about this. I’ve got some cigarettes. These aren’t mine. I borrowed these from Mike Parks. How many of you think it’s wrong for a Christian to smoke a cigarette? Let me see your hand. All right, good for you. How many of you say, you know, it’s no big deal if a Christian smokes a cigarette, let me see your hand. A bunch of you. I’m not going to smoke, because you know what? I think if I lit up a cigarette, it would probably offend some of you. Amen? I’m not going to get my ear pierced either, relax, because you know what? It probably would offend some of you, and to me it’s not that important.
Here’s a cap. How many of you think it’s wrong for a man to wear a cap inside of a church? Let me see your hand. There are a lot of people that believe it’s wrong. How many of you say, well, it’s no big deal if a guy wears a cap inside a church? Quite a few, especially up there in the balcony. Take those caps off up there!
All right, what does the Bible say? Let’s look up “earring.” Doesn’t say much about it. Let’s look up “cigarettes.” Look in your Bible concordance under ‘C’ and see if you can find the word cigarette. It’s not there. What about wearing a hat in church? You say, doesn’t it say something in I Corinthians 11 about a man not covering his head when he prays or prophesies? It does, but it’s not talking about this head, it’s talking about Christ the Head. I’m not going to wear this cap either, you know why? Because it would offend some of you. And to me, it is not that big a deal. But you know what? I’m going to respect the right of those of you who think that smoking is wrong. I’m also going to respect the rights of some of you who think a Christian can smoke and they won’t go to hell. They just smell like they have been there. I’m going to respect the rights of some of you who say, “Well, you know a guy shouldn’t wear an earring, that’s wrong.” I’m going to respect the rights of some of you guys who say, “Yeah, no big deal.” That’s what I’ll do, because the Bible doesn’t speak to those things.