Accommodation vs. Obligation

written by Haley King, Children and Family Ministries Coordinator (January 22, 2023)

We live in a world where everyone wants to be accommodated and accepted. No one wants to be ridiculed or judged. It is natural for humans to want to fit in with the people or culture around them. Hence why peer pressure can be such a strong tactic of Satan. While accommodating is not always a bad thing, it can be hurtful and wrong. As Christians we are not called to reflect culture but to reflect Christ. 

The principle of accommodation is good if it is restricted to a method, but if applied to truth, then it is evil. In his approach to Jewish people, Paul accommodated himself to Jewish customs and dietary laws. He had no obligation to keep the Mosaic Law (Romans 6:14), but he chose to keep it for the Jew’s sake.  Paul also realized that even though he accommodated to different cultures and laws his obligation was always to the authority of God’s law. He would not give in to that. Paul was still under the law of Christ even though he wasn’t under the law of Moses. It is important for us to remember as followers of Christ that God’s Word is not a suggestion, it is an obligation. If you have partook in the redeeming love of Christ for your salvation then you must submit your life to His law. 

Paul does a good job of showing us how to accommodate and love others in different cultures, denominations, and laws without compromising the law of Christ. As Christians we should always look to be loving and gracious to those around us, even if you do not agree with what they are doing or think it’s necessary. Galatians 6:2 tells us that “when the concerns of others concern you, you are fulfilling the law of Christ”.  Step one to fulfilling the law of Christ is to be concerned with other people and what they are going through. Being judgmental of someone's situation or choices are not going to bring that person to Christ. Everybody's behavior makes perfect sense to them. Try to understand and accommodate someone's needs or desires but let me be clear, accommodating culture or preferences is one thing, but approving sin is wrong. 

We should be disturbed and irritated when we see wrong, but we should also be able to stand for Truth without being hateful or rude. The law of Christ never calls us to be accepting of sin, instead it calls us to love sinners as Christ loved us. In the words of David Platt, “We want to be super serious about sin, and at the same time we want to be super serious about grace, forgiveness, and restoration for fallen and broken people…” 

The law of Christ should inform our conscience. Our collective conscience should love and respect other people, and the law of Christ should affect our collective conscience. Christ’s law is loving. God’s laws and commands are meant to help you, not to hurt you. Christ is a loving God and He wouldn’t hold anything good back from you. Yes, strive to accommodate as much as you can, but never to the point where your obligation to Christ’s Word is compromised.