By Ralph Woodrow

In the World, Not of the World

64 Pages | Over 100 Illustrations | Price $5

A balanced, biblical study regarding Christian standards. How strict must we be? Where do we draw the line?

What should the Christian standard be regarding movies, plays, dancing, swimming, billiards, bowling, country music, cards, and gambling?

Is the Bible against the use of wine—or the misuse of wine? Are the restrictions of the Old Testament clean and unclean law still in effect? Must Christians abstain from eating pork? Is salvation based on external things like what we eat, drink, or wear?

Shows why true standards are not based on straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

When driving through a long tunnel, it is a common safety practice to turn on the car headlights. Upon exiting the tunnel a sign may say, “Turn off lights.” We understand, of course, this does not mean to turn off the lights if it is nighttime! The legalist, however, could argue that the sign means just what it says. He allows no exceptions. So, he turns off the car lights. In the darkness, he may run off the road, hit a tree, or harm someone else—but he did just what the sign said! He obeyed the letter of the law.

While attending a large Bible conference in Europe, Bible-believing pastors from both sides of the Atlantic gathered for dinner. The American pastors began to look twice at their French brethren who ordered wine with their meal! And, some of them questioned why their American counterparts ordered coffee!

Some say the reason Jesus sent demons into the swine, causing them to drown, was so pork would not end up on someone’s dinner table (Matt. 8:30-32). But he also cursed a fig tree (Mk. 11:21). No one takes this to mean we should not eat figs.

If one follows kosher rules, he cannot eat a taco or cheeseburger. The reason: According to the rabbis, meat and milk products (like butter and cheese) cannot be served at the same meal, supposedly based on Exodus 23:19.

Avoiding the extremes, finding the center of God’s will, and being biblically balanced is not a watering down of standards. It is keeping the focus on things that are of greater importance, so that we don’t major on minors, “straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel” (Matt. 23:24).