As Christians, we strive to live a life that aligns with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the sacred scriptures that guide our faith, the Holy Bible (NKJV). While the loving message of our Lord is one of acceptance and understanding, this doesn’t mean there aren’t clear dos and don’ts in the Christian walk. In fact, the Bible offers specific guidance on what is deemed acceptable, and what is not, based on God’s divine wisdom.
In this article, we will delve into the various things that are deemed unacceptable or “not allowed” in Christianity. We will draw from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible to explore biblical teachings on right and wrong, as well as learn why these restrictions exist. Our aim is to provide greater understanding and clarity for those seeking to live a more Christ-centered life – the kind of life that is pleasing to our heavenly Father.
So come, join us as we delve deeper into God’s Word and explore the boundaries established for our spiritual well-being.
I. Understanding Christianity’s Prohibitions: The Basis for Restrictions
Before delving into specific prohibitions, it is important to understand the general biblical principles that inform these restrictions. First and foremost, the Bible teaches that we are to love and honor God, as well as to love and respect other people. Matthew 22:37-39 states, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” By keeping these core commandments in mind, we can see that Christianity’s prohibitions are primarily concerned with cultivating a strong relationship with God and contributing to the well-being of others. Here are some foundational principles that underlie many biblical prohibitions:
- Keep God at the center of our lives: Christians are called to put God first and foremost in their lives. This means making choices that constantly prioritize their relationship with God and avoid anything that might compromise this spiritual connection.
- Pursue sanctification and holiness: The Bible calls Christians to live lives that are set apart from worldly passions – living in a manner that is holy and pleasing to God. This pursuit of holiness involves self-discipline and self-control, as well as a dedication to personal transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Seek the good of others: By loving our neighbors, we are called not only to refrain from causing harm but also to take proactive steps to support their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. This means considering how our actions and choices may impact the lives of those around us.
The specific restrictions and guidelines discussed in the Bible flow from these general principles and aim to help Christians grow in faith and demonstrate God’s love to others. In deciphering these prohibitions, it is valuable to keep in mind that the Bible addresses a diverse range of cultures, times, and contexts. As such, some prohibitions may be more explicitly relevant to certain historical circumstances, while the broader principles remain applicable to believers throughout history. Ultimately, a strong foundation in God’s Word and reliance on the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit can help us navigate these aspects of our faith journey with wisdom and discernment.
II. Forbidden Acts in Christianity: Exploring the Seven Deadly Sins
In Christianity, there are certain acts and behaviors that are considered to be sinful. These acts, known as the Seven Deadly Sins, are forbidden because they often lead to spiritual death and hinder a person’s relationship with God. The concept of the Seven Deadly Sins can be traced back to early Christian teachings, and they are mentioned in various scriptural texts, though not explicitly listed as such in the Bible. These sins include:
- Pride: A dangerous arrogance and self-love, leading to a disregard for others and for God (Proverbs 16:18).
- Envy: A resentful jealousy or desire for someone else’s possessions, traits, or accomplishments (Galatians 5:26).
- Gluttony: Excessive indulgence in food, drink, or resources, often to the point of waste (Proverbs 23:20-21).
- Lust: An overwhelming craving for physical pleasure or worldly possessions, often leading to immoral behavior (Matthew 5:28).
- Anger: A wrathful or vengeful spirit, leading to acts of violence, hatred, and unresolved bitterness (Ephesians 4:31).
- Greed: An insatiable desire for wealth or material possessions, often leading to selfishness (1 Timothy 6:10).
- Sloth: A spiritual apathy or laziness that prevents one from fulfilling their God-given purpose and responsibilities (Proverbs 13:4).
As followers of Christ, we are called to continuously examine our thoughts, feelings, and actions and strive to overcome these sinful tendencies. The Bible provides guidance on how to resist the temptations of these deadly sins and build a closer relationship with God. For example, in order to combat envy, we can practice gratitude and find joy in the blessings we have received (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and to fight against greed, we can cultivate a spirit of generosity and selflessness (Luke 12:33-34). No matter the sin, God promises to provide an escape from temptation and a way to build a life centered on righteousness and love (1 Corinthians 10:13).
III. Navigating the Grey Areas: Balancing Personal Choices and Christian Principles
One of the challenges we face as Christians is coming across situations where the Bible may not provide a clear answer to our questions. In these scenarios, we can find ourselves in grey areas and may feel unsure about how our actions align with Christian principles. While there can be ambiguity in these instances, God has still provided us with wisdom, guidance, and biblical principles to help steer us in the right direction. Here are some tools to help us navigate these areas:
- Pray for guidance: Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and provide wisdom in unclear situations (James 1:5).
- Study scripture: Look for biblical principles that may apply to the grey area you are experiencing (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Seek wise counsel: Confer with other mature Christians, your pastor, or mentors for advice and perspective (Proverbs 15:22).
- Consider your conscience: Listen to the Holy Spirit within you, and assess if your conscience is convicting you or giving you peace about your choices (Romans 14:22-23).
As we strive to live according to God’s will, we should also remember that we have personal liberties through the grace of Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:1). This means we can engage in activities or make decisions that may not be explicitly mentioned in the Bible. However, it’s essential to balance our personal freedoms with the following principles:
- Edification: Will your actions help build up others and yourself in faith? (1 Corinthians 14:26)
- Glorifying God: Does your choice honor God? Ask yourself, “Can I do this in Jesus’ name and give thanks to Him?” (Colossians 3:17)
- Stumbling block: During your activities, consider if your actions could potentially harm or cause confusion to other Christians who may have weaker faith (Romans 14:13-21).
- Servanthood: We are called to serve one another, so align your choices with the interest of others and ask, “Will this help or hinder my ability to serve?” (Galatians 5:13)
By applying these guidelines and principles, we can navigate through grey areas with confidence and foster a Christ-centered life that honors God and edifies others.
In conclusion, Christianity offers a way of spiritual growth and personal transformation that is grounded in love, compassion, and selflessness. Although there are various restrictions and rules to adhere to as Christians, it is essential to remember that these guidelines exist to bring us closer to God and help us live more in line with His loving nature (Matthew 22:37-40).
As we’ve explored, some activities and attitudes that are not allowed in Christianity include idolatry, sexual immorality, stealing, and dishonesty, as well as hypocrisy and hate. However, we must always approach others with grace and understanding, remembering that we are all on a journey of spiritual growth and that no one is without sin (Romans 3:23). Our role, then, is not to judge, but instead to encourage one another in our collective pursuit of righteousness (Hebrews 10:24).
It’s important to consistently study the Scriptures, pray for wisdom and guidance, and stay accountable to other Christians as we navigate through the complexities of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Remember, Christianity is about more than just following rules and avoiding certain activities—it’s about cultivating a personal, transformative, and life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ.
As Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV). With this in mind, let us strive to honor God in all we do and pursue deeper intimacy with Christ, remembering that our ultimate goal is not merely to avoid sin but to become more like our Savior (Ephesians 5:1-2).