“Sex, drugs, and rock N roll”, often called “the holy trinity of Hedonism,” has been on the scene in America since 1969, but part of American culture for much longer. Where there is mischief to be had, mischief will commence. The idea is that sex, drugs, and rock N roll are linked. They’re bad. They’re poor life choices, and for almost five decades Christians have avoided them, avoided the people who partook in that lifestyle, television and creatives that promoted the lifestyle, and all the sin that’s connected with it.

Mistakes Christians Make

I’ve never not been a Christian. I was born into a family of Seventh-day Adventist Christians and heard all of the “angels stand outside” rhetoric growing up. Don’t go to movie theaters, don’t go to bars, don’t go to…public school? Don’t even date! While this may work for some, they aren’t healthy rules for everyone. They are not rules made by God. They’re rules made by man.

Now, instead of avoiding the movie theater, we go, but fib about what we’re seeing. We refuse to pick up our friend, neighbor, or brother from the bar when they need a ride home, because we don’t want someone to see us there. We will put ourselves in debt to manage a Christian academy, even if it means our kids don’t get the resources they need for dyslexia or trauma.

For years when I told people I went to public school, they gave me the same look they give me today when I tell them my dad has Alzheimer’s. How are those two ideas even similar?

How is it good for you to avoid sin, while also shunning the young children at your church who are noisy, the homeless man that smells funny, or the friend or brother who needs you to pick him up from the local jail? If a Christian wishes to avoid sinning  by avoiding sin itself, then the sinners will never hear the Gospel. They’ll never feel loved.

Lies I Believed

I believed as a young Christian, that I was doing okay as long as I kept the rules I was given.

I refused pork at school and parties.

I didn’t stay over or go out with friends on Fridays.

(I’ve said this before, but) I even broke up with my first boyfriend because of the differences in our beliefs. That made me a martyr!

But I absolutely had it wrong. I was striving to have a relationship with God, but instead was in a relationship with myself, so busy trying to impress those other Christians from which I desperately wanted approval that I didn’t realize I didn’t know Jesus in a real way. The lie that these people had some kind of say in my salvation and long-term happiness gave me the wrong idea about sins, ministry, and being like Jesus.

Just like the entire culture engrossed in “sex, drugs, and rock N roll” feels completely abandoned by Christians, I often feel abandoned by the “real” Adventists—the ones who send their kids to academy, whose kids are quiet in church, and who wear a suit and tie and dress shoes. Sometimes the best I can do is find jeans with no holes for my kids. Does that put me in the category with the rockers? Sometimes it feels that way.

If you are having trouble finding your place between the rockers and the righteous in your walk with Jesus or your ministry, check out Christ’s Way of Reaching People (currently out of print, but available online).