This phrase popularized by country music legend Johnny Cash has an interesting history. Written to his new bride Vivian, Cash wanted to pledge his devotion. Looking back, we note that the song was composed in 20 minutes, was recorded on April 2, 1956 and released on May 1, spent 43 weeks on the Billboard charts, sold 2 million copies and is noted as being #30 on the list of top 500 songs of all time.
Interesting as these facts are, they point to a current phenomenon among Christians. Allow me to pose it in the form of a question. Modern believers seem to be asking, ‘How close can I walk the line between darkness and light and still consider myself to be holy?’.
Here is an example. Candice Cameron-Bure garnered publicity lately as a result of her appearance on the reality show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ wherein she attempted to dress and move in a way ‘more fitting for a believer’. She wanted to show the world that Christians can have fun and still not join the world in all of its ‘fallenness’. Controversy has now erupted around her because of the choices she makes about her fashion style. Many are watching her choices and wondering about her attempt to ‘walk the line’ between darkness and light.
Some believers, it seems, are trying to imitate her efforts: attempting to find a ‘modest’ way of dressing immodestly, attempting to live together before marriage with ‘chastity’, attempting to drink responsibly without being a ‘wine bibber’, attempting to use revenge as an expression of ‘righteous anger’, attempting to use pornography and call it ‘art’ or attempting to gossip by calling it ‘sharing a concern’. The list goes on. But I have a question.
Has Jesus called us to ‘walk the line’ between darkness and light OR ‘walk in the straight and narrow road of righteousness?’. He says in I Thessalonians 5:22, ‘Avoid everything that has the external appearance of evil’.
Let’s be a people who realize that being righteous does not make us arrogant or intolerant just as being worldly does not make us relevant or in touch.