Monday, June 20, 2016

Christianity 101: We Do Not Think The Shooting In Orlando Was Good No Matter What Some Radical Preachers Say

Christianity 101 
In the Light of the Orlando Mass Shooting

Summary: (because this got so long)
If you cannot eat a meal with, give blood to or sit in a church service beside these people, you are not following Christ: Bruce Jenner (transgender), Richard Dawkins (a militant atheist), Mitchelle Blair (a mom who killed her children and put them in the freezer), a person fiercely opposite your political position, a person in a different denomination, a Muslim, a prostitute, a drug addict, a person who went to your rival university (A&M, Tech, UT, OSU), a person who wants to take your freedom away, your abusive father, the mother who abandoned you…on and on.

Jesus ate meals with them, sat among them when he preached and gave his blood for them and he asks us to follow his example.

Christians do not have the right to NOT forgive. There is nowhere in the Bible where it says “Forgive if…”, or “Forgive when…”. Christians are to follow Jesus’ example and he forgave the whole world, however some do not accept his forgiveness. Along with forgiveness, Jesus showed compassion and mercy. Christian should to do the same as Jesus if they are representing Him well. Jesus said he did not come to condemn. Christians are not to condemn. We are to leave that up to God. Not approving of a way of life (or any other sin) does not equal hate as many non-Christians say it does. The Chik-Fil-A people are a good example of not approving of a choice, but loving the person making the choice. They are not hypocrites. Showing kindness to the hurting does not mean they approve of their choice, it means they care for human beings. Mature Christians CAN do both. Immature Christians hate, yell, picket, find fault and represent Jesus horribly. 

#1 Worldly arguments and Spiritual arguments Do Not mix together.
#2 Christianity is all about acting Contrary to how you Feel. 
#3 Don’t put all Christians in the same category. 

************************************************************************** 

Non-Christians and many Christians alike seem to be confused about the treatment of gays and the one’s offering support by donating blood…and I know two reasons why. It is so simple it is hard. Simple in that ‘easier said than done’ is applied nicely. First, how do they show their confusion? I have seen two examples reported on the news.


Confusion Number One
Non-Christians and many Christians alike show confusion by calling a kind act from one human to another ‘bad’. They are confused why an establishment that recently (2012) voiced its stance on marriage—between a man and a woman— and homosexuality—disapprove of the choice— would also donate their time and products for free to the many gay people and non-gay supporters who hold the opposite stance. Let’s face it…these confused people have not only  called it bad, they have called the compassion and mercy shown so many things I dare not write. Their confusion: Question #1: How can someone who is against homosexuality help homosexuals? (answer to follow)

Confusion Number Two
Another way that confusion reared its ugly head was shown by hate in the name of God spewed over the victims, the families of the victims, the responders, the volunteers and the people of Orlando as seen in the hateful signs and heard in the hateful speech of a so-called ‘Christians’ protesting gays and protesting anyone doing kind deeds for them. One sign said, “God sent the Shooter!” That breaks my heart they believe God wants them to be hateful when it is totally against His teachings. Can’t find an example of this kind of approach in the Bible anywhere. Their Confusion: Question #2: How do people who say they represent Christ treat people with so much hate? (answer to follow)

This ‘course’ explores two reasons for this confusion. In my experience, non-Christians, non-practicing Christians and very faithful, fervent Christians make these mistake over and over. They are easy to make because they are unconscious. I could possible be making them in this post. If not intentionally kept on track, they will derail the best conversions, explode into hate and leave the consistency of God in question. What are these reasons for confusion?

Truth Number One
Worldly and Spiritual arguments do not mix, however we mix them together all the time and try to make it truth. It is impossible to be consistent in action and speech and emotions when combining worldly and spiritual arguments together as truth. You see, while speaking, we mix in our human nature, human culture, human traditions and our human experiences and subconsciously believe it is truth. Then we try to sell others on our point of view and our righteousness. We think others are wrong because they do not believe our truth.

For example. Many people state Leviticus 19:28 for the reason you should not get a tattoo but ignore the verse right before, 27, that says “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”? People pick and choose to fit their own agenda and view of righteousness all the time and use verses to debate and sway others. It is confusing to non-Christians and some Christians when you pick and choose which verses you will follow. That makes God seem inconsistent. So you are wondering, “How do you have standards?” Two ways: Romans 14:22, “So whatever you think about these things, keep between yourself and God.”, and 2 Timothy 2:4, “Do not quarrel over words, it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” And remember Philippians 2:3, “think of others as better than yourself.” Romans 14:14, “But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.” For example, there are a few stores I do not shop at because I do not like where they donate their money. No one knows what those are. I keep it between me and God and I don’t care if other shop there. I don’t tell them not to. This is also my personal relationship with God. He guides me and speaks to me differently than with others.

People also believe every person has had the same experiences we have had and they just misinterpreted theirs. For example, when someone posts an experience on FB (which is fact for them), it is inevitable that someone will interject their somewhat similar experience and disagree, demean, ridicule or bully the person because they did not come up with the same conclusions as they did. Thus saying: You are wrong, I am right. That is not valuing others above yourself.

God’s Standard
It is true that God has one measuring line; one plum line; justice and righteousness (Isaiah 28:17).  God does not change (Malachi 3:6) with the temperature of the culture or political correctness. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8) “Differing weights and differing measures the Lord detests them both” (Proverbs 20:23). The writer used everyday things listeners would understand, but the meaning is the same: be consistent and true because God is consistent and true. And what should our consistency be based on? Not on ever-changing worldly whims, but on God’s steadfast character and eternal concepts. 

I can sense that some are confused about why things happened in the Old Testament that are clearly no-nos in the New and vis versa such as God sending armies to destroy whole towns. All I can say is that you can’t read half of the blue prints and think you can figure out all the details of how to finish the house. You can’t read half a map and get where you are going. Hebrews 10:9 says, “He set aside the first to establish the second.” What is the second? What did God set aside? He set aside condemnation for not following all 613 Old Testament rules when He sent Jesus to pay the condemnation for us. NOW, we are under grace which is the ‘second’ He established. Simply put, 613 rules is boiled down to 2: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and Love your neighbor as your self. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37.  (set aside the impossible 613 to establish the possible 2 and when you screw up following the 2, there is grace)

In everything you do, ask yourself if this glorifies God and shows devotion to him with my heart (motives), my soul (a part of the Holy Spirit in all of us) and my mind (worldly or Godly). And ask yourself if what you are about to do, you would want people to do to you. Oh, how we are so inconsistent. We do things because we desire it or based on our feelings towards people or situations all the time or because we want everyone to be on our side and walk in the way we do. We are so wishy-washy. Satan uses feelings to trick us all the time and make us think we deserve to demand our rights. Jesus said turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). He said better to be cheated and wronged (1 Corinthians 6:7). 

God knew we would have a problem being consistent—reading only portions of His word and understanding even less—so He warned against being tossed around by the waves of cultures and every wind of teaching by cunning and crafty people in their deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14). 

Truth Number Two
Christianity is all about acting contrary to the sinful nature. Flesh is another word for sinful. “Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other. So you do not do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal 5:16-18). Re-emphasizing truth one, spirit and flesh do not mix. Life is all about which you will live by: flesh or spirit. The goal for Christians is to live by the Spirit. So, who in the two examples was living by the Spirit? The people handing out food or the ones yelling hate?

Christian should be putting people first and their choices second like command #2. The Chik-Fil-A people were a great example of this. Non-Christians and hateful Christians are not understanding this simple truth and are confused when they see applying-Christians preform acts against their ‘standards’. 

I cannot find one verse in the Bible where God says he hates the people he created. God is grieved that his creation is acting badly (Genesis 6:6). God hates the choice of divorce (Malachi 2:16). God hates the choice of homosexuality and says to flee from it (1 Corinthians 6:18). In Proverbs 6:16-19, God hates ALL THESE CHOICES: haughty eyes, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, heart that devises wicked schemes, feet quick to rush into evil, a false witness, stirring up conflict.  HOWEVER, “The Lord is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  Want to know why God does not just come now? He is waiting for more to come to him and I believe what people in Orlando witnessed by true Christians that apply their faith, more are wanting to know more about the God they are serving.


Conclusion
Christians who can separate God’s creation with the choices that creation makes; love the creation but not the choice; help the creation and at the same time not approve of the choice; show love to the creation even when the choices are detestable…these characteristics show real maturity in Christ. Christ did these things.

Maturity in Christ looks like this: You can eat a meal wit or give blood to Bruce Jenner (transgender), Richard Dawkins (a militant atheist), Mitchelle Blair (a mom who killed her children and put them in the freezer), a person fiercely opposite your political position, a person in a different denomination, a Muslim, a prostitute, a drug addict, a person who went to your rival university, a person who wants to take your freedom wasy, your abusive father, the mother who abandoned you…on and on. 

Jesus ate with these people. Jesus sat among them as he preached. Jesus gave his blood for them...can you do as Jesus did? How mature in faith are you?


No comments:

How to Make Your Plans Succeed

I heard our karate instructor, Rudy Smedley, say, "You have to have desire, will and motivation." This has a great application not...