Sunday, May 21, 2017

Little to Big Things

 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Gal 5

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Cor 6

Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" - Rev 21


Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.- Rev 22




That's quite a list.

Yet if you talk to anyone off the street they might tell you that they're going to heaven because they're a good person. It's pouring into the church with people that if they haven't out right endorsed certain sins as acceptable, they don't have the strength in their convictions to speak against them.
When I look at this list, I know there are things that I need to change and that there are more than one thing that could bar me from heaven. I'm holding to God's grace as I work on them, but I also know that it's important that they be worked on. I have evidence of the working of God's Spirit in my life as when they heave their insults and they pour out the hatred, I'm slightly less quick to anger than I used to be. I still have a ways to go.

In the past week I have been told that I am not a believer because I quoted Leviticus 11 in regards to a cheese stuffed lobster carcass. I was told that it was judgment and these "other believers" said that I was going to burn in hell and wasn't following God because he said " judge not". Never mind the part where he says to judge with righteous judgment or the fact that in the context of what I was speaking about, I've removed the log from my eye and am able to speak of the speck in others in that regard.
I was also treated to a fury of insults ranging from very light to quite vulgar because I had the audacity to say that homosexuality isn't an identity, it's a sin. I was called a bigot and was told that I was filled with hate, even though I stated that I am quite tolerant of those who struggle (or don't even struggle) with homosexuality. I stated one biblical truth, cited one scripture, and that was enough to illicit a heinous response.

One of the things that stands out to me louder than the rest is cowardly. I often wonder about how many that encompasses. I know in our culture we're conditioned to not offend others with beliefs and that Christianity is offensive to the culture. In the scripture we're taught that to have friendship with the world is to be an  enemy with God
 "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God"- James 4
Yet, we go out of our way to not really teach or preach the Truth, but kinda poke at it with a stick with tracts or neck ties with scriptures on them. Cowardly. Many of us are too timid to pray in public. Why? Why would we be so self conscious about speaking aloud to the God that gave us life and redeems us from our own lusts and selfish destructive ways?


A.W. Tozer has a line that says Christians don't tell lies – they just go to church and sing them” We say things like "I surrender all" and "God have your way in me" then the moment Church lets out we drive to the nearest burger place and tell them to pile bacon high on our meal in contrast of Leviticus 11:7 where God says expressly to the people who He made the New Covenant with, Don't do this.
We say we love God but we don't even keep the Sabbath, which is by design a day off to hang out with God and love Him, given to us as a gift. We wont even stand up to ourselves... but what are we supposed to do with the world starts getting really bad?
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful,unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.- 2 Tim 3


Would you hold up in China where there are raids on Christians for being believers?
Would you lay down your life for the love of God and your faith?


... how are we ever going to get to those places when we refuse to be obedient in the small things as not sticking some gross abomination in our face and eating it?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Passover Musings.


I forget how to start blogs these days. I try to start them like I am talking directly to you, but for some reason I get a few lines in and scrap the entire conversation. I doubt you appreciate that since, in real life it would be as if you were starting to say something and I glanced at my phone and walked away.

What I want to talk about this month is Passover and unleavened bread. I was privileged enough to be asked to help throw a Passover dinner with some friends and it was awesome. This was the first time that I had lamb and it tasted delicious, the only time before that was in a gyro so, now I don't know what to believe. It gives me hope because for me, I consider myself a symbolism guy and to say that "Lamb just isn't my taste" always made me a little uncomfortable theologically. I did a clean on parts of my house and removed (ate) the leavened things before they were Biblically off limits for Unleavened bread. This lead to an interesting predicament.

There are those who clean out the leaven out of their house and they usually give it away to those that do not observe the feast. I've done this in the past, but over the last few years I've adopted the mindset that if it's sin, it's sin. Aren't we as believers supposed to be about 1) removing sin from our lives, and 2) teaching others how to be that example of Christ?  If it is a sin for me to be eating unleavened items during unleavened bread, then it would be a sin for me to give unleavened bread to another person and therefore contribute to their sin. This is the conclusion that I have come to in my walk.

This post may be a little scattered and hazy, on account of my being Italian and not having full bread or pasta, it's taking a greater effect that I'd like to admit. Where was I? Oh right. So, I did a clean on parts of my house and knowing the time was approaching I didn't buy more things with leavening in them as to not be in a situation where I am purchasing things to just throw away.  Some times I attend a bible study with a well meaning guy who brings a teaching that is somewhere doctrinally comparable to what I believe being like Baseball, and what he believes being like Cricket. Might be a weird analogy, because the guy isn't British, but I think he is Jewish. Either way, we both have hearts to keep God's times. So I'm trying to get my house squared, but I've got roommates. They're believers, but compared to the theological analogy of Baseball vs Cricket, they're probably more Softballers.  Teacher guy decides to clear out his leaven and pass it over to my roommates. Now the leaven is in my house, with Softballers who I've been talking about major league stuff with. It's in my dugout.

This got me to thinking about other sins. Do we do this with other sins? Do we excuse certain sins because the players aren't in the same sport? I, am a terrible example of righteous living... but in my defense, which is no defense at all, I do tell people out right that when I am in sin, it doesn't excuse the sin. The sin doesn't cease being as such because I am in rebellion. It's still sin, and I should be a better example of resisting it. I don't think I have ever told someone that something in the Bible that God has defined as Sin ( not issues of personal conviction mind you, but God laid text) wasn't a sin to them if they did it because of  X_________. This is something that I have mused over, and researched some, but could stand to study more you know?  I'm getting that conversational rhythm back, you know. Yeah, you know.  I'm not trying to be unfair to the Cricket players standards because he's still working out his stuff and in fairness he hasn't been doing this for as long, and probably hasn't' had anyone on his wavelength that knew enough to check him on some of the things that he's brought about. Is that MY place? probably not. Do I do it anyway? Like a compulsion. I do limit my attendance for both of our sake.

The question still stands, If sin is the transgression of God's law, and God's law is His self disclosure to the world, Then should it matter if you're Jew or Gentile, Saved or not, Man or Woman, Child or Adult? Shouldn't Sin be opposite of God and therefore be avoided by all of mankind? I have a hard time seeing it not. If we look at it as some sins for one race and others for another, I think that fosters a sense of elitism and division between nationalities and it turns the Commands of God from a position of "living like the Savior" to a position of elitism.  If Galatians 3:28-29 is to be true that we are all believers in Christ and therefore descendants of Abraham, then we should be looking out for other believers in trying to keep them from sin regardless of birthright.

Chocolate covered matza is the best way to eat matza. I saw a video wishing people a happy Passover and they used Matza as like, construction material. It made me laugh because of parallels. Never fails though, I get two days into unleavened bread and every time I turn around, I am punched in the mouth with a longing for doughnuts. I've also learned how easy it is to live off of lunchmeat, honey mustard and a tortilla.  The tortilla is really just an eatable plate.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sons Of Abraham

Some of the things I hear often, usually when talking about scripture relating to not eating pork, is something like these comments:
 
 
The OT is for the Jews? The Law was just for the Jews? How many times have you heard this argument?  Yet is it found that way in scripture?
"But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him’” Numbers 15:30-31
So an Alien ( that people say isn't part of Israel) who blasphemes (the God of Israel) Is to be cut off from his people ( isn't he already cut off from his people, and an Alien in Israel, unless this means from his people ISRAEL) because he broke a commandment ( Aren't the commandments only for Israel? )


What about the commands for keeping the feast of Booths?
 You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.


Leviticus 24:22
22 There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the Lord your God.’”
 Numbers 15:16
 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. 16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”,

Perpetual statute means forever and it's echoed here in Galatians 3

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise


So, lets recap, Who left Egypt?
Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
39 They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.- Exodus 12

Sons of Israel and Mixed Multitude

Who were the sons of Israel?
These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,
Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.- 1 Chronicles 2

12 tribes and a mixed multitude of people.

What did the Mixed multitude of people and the 12 tribes do?
All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. - Exodus 19:8

Just to be clear, Deuteronomy 29:9-15
So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
10 “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14 Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today
The Torah is for
Chiefs, Tribes, Elders, Officers, All the men of the 12 tribes of Israel,  Little ones, Wives, Aliens,
Those who are sons of Abraham, those who are in Christ, Those who were there at Sinai and those who weren't.

Of all of those people, why do we say that it is only for Judah?

A perpetual statute with the Alien is a perpetual statute. A perpetual statute with ones not there, is still a perpetual statute. 
We hear things like "Christ came to free us from the Law" and then we say "The law was never for us because we aren't' Jews"
We whom are saved by Grace through Faith are just the same as all those listed in Hebrews 11, who were saved by Grace through Faith... and it results in obedience, but is not a pre-requisite of Salvation
The Idea that the Law or Commands of God were to be kept in order to be saved was a NEW heresy that was springing up in Acts 15. Never before was such a doctrine in place and it was never the case that God had laid out in the "Old testament" To believe that in the "old testament" people were saved by adhering to commands and then Jesus came to discard the antiquated system is to trample on God's standard of Holiness, and to paint Him as disastrously inept. The same ideology paints Christ not as an obedient Son and Savior reflecting the goodness of His Fathers will, but instead makes Christ to be a violent over thrower of the kingdom of God, diminishing him to the likes of the Greeks on Olympus.

Neither Jew or Gentile, we are one in Messiah, the Savior, the Christ, to walk as HE walks.




 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ayin Tova

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.- Matthew 6

Time is the only currency we truly have. We trade some of it for money, which we trade for food and shelter so that we can spend other time on things more enjoyable. We spend, aptly put, our time. 
These principals caught my eye lately when I confessed to a roommate of mine that I've been lacking spiritually lately. I do not spend enough time in prayer, and I do not spend enough time reading the Bible.  I do God stuff, like go to church and serve. I attend a Mens Bible study where I do what I can to be transparent. It was at that Bible study that I was prompted to investigate my heart.

The other day someone ate my lunch. I'm not talking like, they chowed down on a $1.99 sandwich that I was left in the fridge for a week, no. I'm talking one of those $3.99 premium mac and cheese dinners that are even better than restaurant style mac and cheese. Now, I had had some tension with this person before, and this set me further on edge. They ate MY lunch.  This injustice was the subject of a lot of my thoughts until it's resolution, a week later. Yeah, a week later it was dealt with. that was a lot of time, a lot of life, that I spent on being upset over something stupid. I was hung up on it. My eye was not full of light. My heart was not where it should be.

At that Mens group Bible study the men said that they'd pray for the whole situation. When they said they'd pray for "the situation" what I am sure they were saying was " we pray that everything works out for peace" but what I heard was "we pray that you pull your head out of your butt".  That caused me to take a step backward.

That is when this passage came to mind:

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.  But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’  But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.  So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.  Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’- Matthew 18


Anger and gratitude cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Had I had more of a discipline focusing on the gratitude that I have for God's mercy and patience and gracious giving in abundance, I probably wouldn't have been so indignant about $3.99.  How much of my life looks dim because of a darkness in my eye? How much of the world looks bleak, not out of reality but out of our perception.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.- Philippians 4


Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Breakdown








Things wrong with this by paragraph:
Paragraph 1
The Laws of God pertaining to His standard of righteousness and holiness are not just some set of rules to be followed. Granted obedience is credited to people as righteousness but this is only in response to their faith as stated in Hebrews 11. Hebrews also states that the blood of bulls and goats was never to take away sins in Hebrews 10:4 so the claim that that is how adam and eve got into heaven is also wrong. They put their faith in the coming Savior just like anyone else in the history of ever being saved by the redemption of Christ. Sacrifices were for a few reasons, but none of which were salvation oriented. If you wanna get really technical in Acts 21:17-26 Paul performs sacrifices after the death and resurrection of Christ for the express purpose of teaching people that this line of thinking that is being espoused in this post is categorically false.

Paragraph 2

Yes, Christ came with the express purpose of redeeming mankind by his sacrifice and pay the debt of the penalty of violation of the Law of God. his sacrifice is to free us from the bondage of Sin in our lives, allowing us to overcome sin. His words "it is finished" are not evidence of a destruction of the immutable words of God in the rest of the Bible, but rather a statement that the debt is paid. There are entire books of the Bible that discuss the returning of Christ and what that entails, this is by no means written off so glibly by the "it is finished" interpretation. This cites that Christ's death means that we no longer follow the law of God or the Prophets, but again that is EXACTLY what the FALSE teachers said of him Acts 6:10-15, and Matthew 5:17-19. Why do you think Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Paragraph 3

Falsely they make the claims about Christ. They make the same claim the false teachers said about him. The idea that they are saying is that if you are obedient to the very WORDS OF GOD as a RESPONSE to your FAITH in CHRIST, then you are invalidating the Cross. This is heretical garbage. What paragraph 3 is trying to say is that God was too weak and that he set up a faulty system that his son had to do a rush patch job on and nothing of that was the case. God's standard of Holiness is exactly what Christ lives. We, as followers of Christ are called to live the way Christ lives. Luke 6:40,Luke 24:27,John 5:46-47.
The irony of all of this is that it's capped off with a condescending message about actually reading the scriptures, when most of these paragraphs are talking points handed down or maligned from posts of sermons taken out of context. They're not what the Bible says. 
 
Now as to the Meme itself, Jesus says that He and the Father are one and He says that He is the Way the Truth and the Light, When he says that He is the word made flesh, that does mean that Leviticus 18:22: and Leviticus 20:13are from Him as well.