This blog post has evolved. I don’t know that I have any regular readers. So, even though it’s been published for a few days, I haven’t received any comments and I hope the unimportant things went unread. So, much of the things I wanted to say in the moment, I have removed. I checked and rechecked. Some mistakes may still be in here. I tried to answer some questions as much for me alone as anyone who might read this post. I had so much to say, but I edited out many things that when I thought about it, were temporary things and not eternal things. I wanted to speak about the culture, but culture is temporary. The issues up for grabs these last weeks are a prison…a trap. I was reminded of the picture on the internet captioned “Cat traps” or maybe “Kitteh traps”. They are just boxes placed randomly on the ground and every one had a cat in it. That’s what these cultural issues remind me of. They are culture traps.
I was talking to my daughter recently about conflict with others. I asked her why she thinks I might be having trouble communicating with some people and she reminded me of a story called the parable of the naked truth. The story relates the character ‘naked truth’ walking through town and no one will look until ‘story’ explains that truth must dress up so people will look. Even though I greatly appreciate story, cold, hard facts comfort me personally more than sentiment. It may be difficult and even infuriating for many to look on the naked truth. I am not skilled at dressing it up properly to make it easier on the eyes…or ears. Storytellers do a better job with this, but alas, I’m not one.
Here are some responses to several things I mentioned in my previous blog post about scripture and current events.
I found a kind blogger with a generous post about this issue. If you are truly interested:
What is sin
In the old testament scriptures we learn of God’s law, of His character and of His people. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s law. In Christ, when we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe what scripture says about His life, death and resurrection and abide in Him and obey Him, we are His. ( Romans 10:9 and John 3:16) When we are His, we become slaves to Christ and no longer slaves to sin. Here’s a Romans 1 treatment of our slavery to sin. I’m sure if you’ve been in on this discussion for awhile, you are familiar with this passage. As you can see, these sins are the result of not glorifying God and being thankful to Him. We all have been there, but in Christ we don’t have to stay there. Continue reading Romans. Read and read. It is my favorite.
No other gods
In regards to the old testament verses referenced by numerous others over the last weeks in regards to marriage and homosexuality, The image I couldn’t get out of mind was that of the Israelites, having walked out of Egypt, away from slavery, through the Red Sea, having been saved by God, they grew impatient and reminiscent for their ‘security’ in Egypt. They decided God and Moses didn’t care about them anymore, and they created a ‘god’ from their gold…dancing around the golden calf, giving up on Moses ever coming down from the mountain. If you want to read that story, go to Exodus 32. This is what happened to God’s people when they worshipped another ‘god’ and this was even before the law! So, the old testament verses of God and His law as it relates to Israel are what you are reading and hearing. If you say, “Well, I am not a slave to Christ and I’m not an Israelite, and I don’t think I’m a sinner. So, all of this doesn’t apply to me. It applies only to religious people.” Ok. You can say that. At the moment, our laws still permit us the liberty to do that. We can still reason together.
If you are interested, for more about God’s Law:
What can wash away my sin?
While reading in the book of Exodus, turn back a few chapters to the plagues of Egypt and see what happens to Pharoah and the Egyptians.
I read this quote on Wikipedia:
This story was also made into an epic movie called the Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston and Yul Brenner. Also, there is a Disney version called Prince of Egypt. There’s a lot in this story that is very interesting as it relates to God’s relationship with man, the people of Israel and a foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and how to be saved. Consider the 10th plague. It’s referred to as the Passover. (Passover is still celebrated as a holiday today)
Here is what it says in Wikipedia:
Death of the firstborn (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Ex. 11:1–12:36
|“||This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.’||”|
— Exodus 11:4–6
“Before this final plague, God commanded Moses to inform all the Israelites to mark lamb‘s blood on the doorposts on every door in which case the LORD will pass over them and not “suffer the destroyer to come into your houses and smite you” (chapter 12, v. 23), thus sparing all the Israelite first-borns. This was the hardest blow upon Egypt and the plague that finally convinced Pharaoh to submit, and let the Israelites go.”
For those in Christ, His blood is marked over His people, and they stand before God, saved by Jesus. He takes their place, He takes away their sins, He loves them and covers them. This offer is to all who will receive it. Praise and thanks to God! What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. However, in the new testament, it says that this news is an offensive message of death to those who harden their heart to Him. Seek God while he may be found. Call to Him while He is near.
For all have sinned and the wages of sin is death
Has the world heard this message? It’s an important message, but there is a second part “..but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is the gospel at it’s starting point. Several of my brothers and sisters feel the first part of the message is being shouted from the mountain tops, but the second part isn’t being conveyed to the world. These are the ‘story’ Christians and they are grieving over the avalanche of ‘naked truth’. The gift of God must be conveyed together with the wages of sin. They belong together. To my more sympathetic brothers and sisters, I would say we are the body, with different gifts among us. Perhaps we have forgotten how we fit together.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants,a for the servantb does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The Hatred of the World
18“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,c but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
26“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”