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Is There a Line Anymore?

Judges 21:25 says “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

Historians will tell you that we must never forget the past, for when we do, we will surely repeat the mistakes of old. Have you ever personally done this? I know we can look through history and see example after example of people and countries trying to do the same thing that had already failed them once before. Maybe you know of some specific examples?

Today I’m challenged considering how over history, when people abandon God’s plan, they always end up coming back to God and begging for forgiveness. It does not fail. Over and over the Israelites went through this crazy cycle. Many people also personally go through this cycle of fighting God’s plan in their lives only to come to the foot of the cross in repentance when they realize the folly of their “own plan”.

So, how does this statement, “everyone did as he saw fit” from Judges, which is the very last verse of the entire book, become relevant today? In the USA I see this mentality becoming the norm. Don’t you? Nobody is allowed to tell anyone they are wrong. There are riots over the simplest things. The Satanic Temple is suing over a Nativity Scene, really! (1) Where is the line to be drawn? It must be drawn! We know this from history and we delude ourselves if we think it will not keep moving.Crossing-the-Line-300x191

The government in the USA is by the people, for the people and of the people. Too many of us do not care, and we are seeing the results. Believe it or not LAW is not TRUTH. Law is made my man; Truth comes from God. Laws change, truth does not. Argue about this fact all you want, but it’s true.

Everyone does as they see fit, and if they cannot, they throw a tantrum. So many of us are like whiny, undisciplined kids! Think about it! No one acts as a parent anymore, we all just run around with not an ounce of self-control and look where we are today. If you are thinking that things are great and so much better, you are one of those undisciplined kids who has truly missed the big picture. I’m so sorry.

When Israel got done whining about not having a King like all the rest of the countries around them (envy), God relented so they could learn a lesson. Israel ended up being split into 2 kingdoms, Judah and Israel, wars were aplenty, then came Persian and Babylonian enslavements, and the list goes on and on. All they had to do was trust in the Truth God presented. It IS that simple.

Is there a line anymore? Absolutely, so many of us just can’t see it, or chose to ignore it. It’s not okay to think everything should be okay; lines must be drawn or else everyone will continue walking off the cliff of ignorance.

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/04/07/satanic-temple-sues-indiana-county-over-courthouse-nativity-scene/

Civil Rights? My butt.

I had to look it up.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was true, though.  I must share this cockamamie story.

A woman is seeking a Christian roommate and she is being sued for discrimination in Michigan.  She placed an ad in a church.  What is this world coming to?  Really, who wants a Christian roommate if they are a Christian?  I would go for the Muslim roommate so we would have great discussions, or how about a Jewish roommate so we could argue about Kosher food?  Better yet, an Atheist or a legalize Marijuana activist.  Yes, she is being sued because she has eliminated people of other faiths from answering her ad…

The ad “expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths,” according to the complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.

Um, I won’t be moving to Michigan any time soon.  Seriously, my ad would be very detailed.  Something like, Wanted: Male in his 30’s, Christian preferred, no arrests, no drugs, has to be a Purdue fan… BANG, the police would bash in my door.

The ad included the words, “Christian roommate wanted,” along with the woman’s contact information. Had the ad not included the word “Christian,” Haynes said, it would not have been illegal.

Illegal?!?  Who passed this law?  Most likely there are good intentions behind the law, but like so many poorly worded laws, this one has blown up in Michigan’s face.  BOOM.

Article Reference: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/10/22/civil-rights-complaint-filed-christian-roommate-advertisement/

Acknowledgements:

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Commandments I-IV

A somewhat updated blast from the past, I’ve linked to my articles on the first four of the Ten Commandments.  Commandments 1-4 have to do with our relationship with God.  Commandments 4-6 are about our relationships with others.  Here are the first four!

The 1st Commandment

The 2nd Commandment

The 3rd Commandment

The 4th Commandment

Disparity?

Illegal Immigrants are being sought out and arrested.  Why is this news such a hot topic?

Thieves are being sought out and arrested. Tax evaders are being sought out and arrested.  Granted, no President ever came out and said that thousands of thieves could come out and be forgiven and all would be okay…Illegal immigrants were given that option several years ago.  I’m referring to the amnesty laws from the Reagan era.  STILL, that was then, this is now.

Now” happens to be an era where we are economically in the pits and we want jobs.  We don’t like the idea of jobs being taken illegally, thus, true citizens of the USA are not needed and in the end cost everyone more money due to unemployment benefits.  An illegal alien, whether from Europe, Africa or Mexico who is here working is helping to create a greater problem overall.  The illegal alien who is here may simply think another Reagan era amnesty package will get rolled out and they can then stamp their free ticket.  The problem is that there is no free ticket, and they are breaking the law.

So Arizona passes a law that will help locate illegal immigrants.  Sounds reasonable, right?  I can understand fears of some type of perceived persecution, but really, let’s look for a better idea instead of rioting and complaining on a national scale.  I mean think about it!  This is huge, and it’s effectively in support of giving illegal aliens some form of rights…..!!!  That is utterly illogical.  And don’t try to fall back on the fact that “Reagan did it.”  Everyone makes mistakes.

I want to explain one thing.  Yes, this does primarily affect Hispanics.  Secondly, I understand our neighbors from the south a bit.  I’ve been to Mexico several times on mission trips.  I’ve been to Cuba on a mission trip.  I’ve vacationed in impoverished areas such as Jamaica, Cancun and closer to home in The Bahamas.  Believe me I can understand the desire to come to the USA.  I may even think that we should give everyone a chance, but frankly we need to obey the law.

Even though Ronald Reagan arguably made a mistake with his amnesty law, he did say:

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” 

A law breaker is accountable for his actions, period.  Do we condone this action or do we uphold the law?

Disparity, the title of this piece means: The condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree; difference

We are on thin ice here.  People are fighting for, standing up for and rioting over an attempt to uphold the law of the land.  Thus, the problem as I see it.  This isn’t some gray area like some separation of church and state issues.  We are talking about black and white clarity here.  If you weren’t born in the USA, and if your parents weren’t born in the USA, then you have some legwork to do in order to become a legal U.S. Citizen.  Period.  I know there are more subtle details surrounding all this, but in essence, those are the facts.  There is clear disparity here.

Living in the USA illegally is illegal.  1 = 1

Stealing something or driving too fast is illegal.  1 = 1

Why then are many people trying to portray these obvious truths as unequal?  Why are many trying to protect illegal immigrants?  By this logic we should be protecting all law breakers.  Sounds crazy, right?  It is.  Just ignore those signs in the park next time and see what happens.

Why is all this news about trying to enforce immigration laws such a hot topic?  I have no idea.

What’s in a Commandment? #1

commandsOf late, I’ve been wanting to look more deeply into the foundation of the Law, the 10 Commandments.  I’m not sure why, as often is the case, so maybe some interesting insights will present themselves.  What got me thinking about the Law is some scripture in the New Testament.  James wrote something that I haven’t run across in a while, yet is most important.  James is writing to the “scattered” 12 Jewish tribes of believers, discussing prejudice.

From James 2:8-11 (NLT)

8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

Often, I’ve heard even the most devout Christian wrongly interpret the impact of sin.  AS it reads in verse 10, any breaking of the law equates to breaking all the laws.  Why?  Because sin is sin, there is essentially no difference in the eyes of a Holy, Holy, Holy God.

So, I want to take it a step further and truly show the reality of sin.  We’ll start with the first commandment as  written in Exodus 20 and defined by the typical Protestant church.  (Note, some scholars combine commandments 1-2 or 9-10 and use “I am the Lord your God” as the first commandment).

1.  You shall have no other gods before me.

This command seems simple enough.  Let’s look at a reverse meaning.  “I shall be the only god first in your life.”  Can we truly make it so simple?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  What is a “god”, small “g”.  Something we put our faith in, something we worship or love above all else.  Could it be money, stuff, people?  Sure!  God, YHWH, is to be first.

If we place our golf game before worship of God, then who or what is first?

If we place NFL football before our relationship with God, then who or what is first?

If we place sleep, cleaning up the house, work, family time or eating before our relationship with God, then who or what is first?

Here’s the kicker.  Have we ever placed someone or something before God, even just once in our lives? Don’t lie to yourself.  What’s the answer?  Just once, No, Yes?  Now go back up and read James 2:10.

Man, we’ve only looked at one of the 10 commandments!  Next post, #2.

Jesus and The Law

lawJesus’ sermon on the mount.  The Law.  Jesus himself.  What is the one big topical question that comes from these three things?  That would be, “Are we still supposed to follow everything laid out in the law?”

After a recent discussion I found that I wanted to dive into this question a bit more than I have in the past.  I have my own opinions, but I wanted to read some other Christian views on this.  Here’s what I found that I thought was of interest:

A.  Straight from the Bible

Jesus came to fulfill the Law (and the Prophets). – Matthew 5:17

Nothing will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. – Matthew 5:18

He will magnify the law and make it honorable. – Isaiah 42:21

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40

Just from these verses it seems apparent that Jesus wasn’t coming to rid us of the Law.  He didn’t come to “let” us forget about anything.  If anything Jesus represented what obeying the Law would be like.  He honored the law and showed us what was truly important.  One could argue he condensed the Law into the two laws mentioned in Matthew 22.  If these two laws are followed then all of the Ten Commandments are naturally kept.

B. Ceremonial Law versus God’s Law (Ten Commandments)

I found this very interesting as I had not thought much about the difference.  In retrospect it’s pretty obvious.  When one would break one of the Ten Commandments they would have to follow the Ceremonial Law in order to atone for the sin.  Since Jesus died for our sins, the Ceremonial Law was abolished for the Believer.  The Believer must repent and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior in order for his sins to be atoned for completely, once and for all.

So, again, Jesus came to fulfill the (Ten Commandments).

Nothing will disappear from the (Ten Commandments) until everything is accomplished.

He will magnify the (Ten Commandments) and make (them) honorable.

All the (Ten Commandments) hang on these two commandments…

C. What about the dietary laws etc

Honestly, I can’t find a great explanation on this one.  There are New Testament verses that aren’t crystal clear.  Of course, I have my own views, but overall, I can’t seem to find any consensus on whether the dietary laws were ceremonial or part of God’s Law.  To me they seem to be more God’s Law than anything…since dietary laws would be hard to see fit into the two laws Jesus proclaims in Matthew 22…ALSO, many aspects of the dietary law appear to be ceremonial with regard to feasts and sacrifice as well.  Personally, I don’t follow the dietary laws.  The “breaking of these laws”, if we are in fact breaking a law, will have to be one of the sins I didn’t recognize that Jesus will absolve me from punishment.  However, for this to be the case, we must first be a Believer.

I welcome your input!

Blessings!

Insight for the mold infested flood victims

 How appropriate!  With all the flooding in the Midwest and other places, my reading in Leviticus has some truly ‘applicable to the moment’ instruction.  I could paraphrase, but it really speaks for itself, read it!

34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in that land, 35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like mildew in my house.’ 36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. 37 He is to examine the mildew on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days. 39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. 41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
43 “If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean. 45 It must be torn down-its stones, timbers and all the plaster-and taken out of the town to an unclean place.

46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. 47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes.

48 “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mildew has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the mildew is gone.

 So, without trial and error, the Israelites were given a Law from God that is pretty much the code we live by today when dealing with mold in a home.  I can almost guarantee you Moses didn’t know about mold spores, thus verse 46 speaks of a knowledge that is most likely supernatural, aka God.  Once again God’s law makes sense and seems it was presented intuitively before it’s time.

God bless,

Jeff