Thursday, February 9, 2012

You're a Christian and you do what...?

My dear friend whose name I won’t mention sent me an email earlier this week about an iBible parody and then sends me the email below. Here is my response:

Dear friend,
It seems like this week you are on loan to the devil to make mischief and poke fun at my decision to be Christian :) First you send me the video with this antiquated technology for a Bible application that is supposedly a “new invention” and highlights “Jesus words” and “ass” in different colors.
I agree that religion has created so much dissension that it does more harm than good. Instead of uniting people, we are segregated on minor differences such as on the basis/preferences of meat, clothes, day of worship, drink! This is exactly why I opted for a relationship with God, rather that religion which is full of laws and legalism. Now that I have my disclaimer and long introduction, let me respond to your actual email. I know you would rather if my response were “lol, hilarious” so this is why I am choosing not to. :)
{The email below is a forward that is being circulated. I will just respond to the most common myth of the email.}
***Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. ***
Rose-Anne: People have created levels of sin but God sees sin just as it is...sin. So that little white lie I told so that I would not have to commit to something or every time I did something that I knew was wrong but did it anyway (broke the speed limit, overeat/glut, etc- it is the same size as the sin of homosexuality/sexual immorality, murder and theft!
Real holiness does not mean separating from impurity (even though impurity is clearly a lack of holiness). Real holiness means having one mind with God “what God says is right, you say its right”. Real holiness means imitating the way God talks, thinks and acts.
God requires more of Christians than when we were sinners because:
1. He gives us the grace to do more
2. Our nature has changed from being naturally devilish to naturally righteous
Matthew 5 is the Sermon on the Mount and speaks extensively about what is required of us. In verse 17 Jesus states “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” and in John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The Mosaic law (the law of Moses) is a watered down version of the truth. The law says 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
This is for two reasons:
1. God credits you with the sin before you commit it
2. God gives you the grace not to commit the sin
Let’s explore –
1. God lives by faith and everything He does is by faith (I mean think about it, saying “Let there be light” and actually expecting it? That’s faith! In a nutshell, God said in Matthew 5:21 “Murder? Forget murder, I don’t even want you to be angry!” Bitterness leads to anger which leads to unforgiveness which leads to hatred which eventually leads to murder/death. When you are in your state of anger/bitterness, there is no guarantee that it will go as far as murder BUT you are credited (or debited!) with it in advance. Well that’s not fair!
Well is it fair that Jesus sent His son to die for us so that even before we sinned God credited us with forgiveness for all of our future sins? That’s faith! Is it fair that while we were sinners, God loved us and called us righteous? It’s the credit system in the Kingdom of God. Make it work for you!
2. What would be unfair is if God had these high standards and did not give a method to deal with it! 1 Corinthians 10:13 states that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God gives us the grace to resist or endure the temptation! So you don’t have to commit the sin! (Also, notice that the person who says “you fool” is in danger of hell, not immediately sent to hell, so you have the grace to repent!)
In religious ceremonies, grace is used as a cover-up for sin. Yes, grace will cover a multitude of sins because Jesus died for past, present and futures sins. But, this is only half truth. God’s grace will empower you so you won’t even have to sin. We should have more faith in what Jesus did (died for our sins) than what we can do in our own natural sin (try to be good). Through the law, you do everything in your own strength and it seems impossible. Through grace, you do everything in His strength and everything is possible!
And just so we can cover the issue of food/day of worship, note that
Colossians 2:16 says “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”

LOL? Hilarious? You can’t handle the truth :) Love you!

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