Saturday, September 22, 2012

"You Don't Have to Keep Those Ten Things"

The title? those aren't my words, but a-sort-of-a-quote from a man who said he heard them fall from the lips of preacher Creflo Dollar. They were a sideswipe at the Ten Commandments during a sermon that emphasized Grace...which is something we all large and frequent servings.
Of course I started wondering which of the Ten Words should be trashed; that is if I choose to follow CD's advice. So I thought and thought until my mind hurt from thinking and still I could not find a "bad" Commandment that needed to be tossed.
Come to think of it...more brain pain...Jesus had a lifestyle...we know He did but what was it like? Did He steal; did He lie; covet the stuff of other's that He didn't have? Did He take His Father's name in vain (swear)? No! because if He had sinned in any way He would have been disqualified to be our Redeemer.
Didn't the Christ come to save mankind from sin? And how was He  able to do that? Or in today's parlance, how was He able to pull that off? By living a perfect and sinless life as a man and bruising the head of the serpent...Satan. It's all there in the first few chapters of the Bible.
If the Ten Words had an expiration date, when was it? At the cross? Again I have to say no. It is Satan, who is the enemy of all righteousness, who hates the Ten Words. Throughout the history of the world Satan has done his best to destroy the government of God; and on what is it based? Love to God and love to our neighbor as ourself (Deut 10:12; 30:6; Matt 5:43).
Interesingly, in Matthew chapter five, the first part of the Sermon on the Mount series (5-7), Jesus talks about the Ten Commandments, references two as examples (murder and adultry), enlarges on them and pronounces a blessing on those who "do" or keep the Commandments. How is this done? There is only one way; through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Read the whole 7th chapter of Romans. Paul is usually credited (quoted) as saying the law was done away with. Three laws were laid out before Israel's children; The Ten Words (Commandments), the Ceremonial Law that had to do with the sacrificial system for sin and the Civil Law. Which one(s) expired at the cross...and why?
No mean spirited criticism of Creflo intended...I believe the man is well intended with respect to grace and faith but in error regarding the foundation of God's government and His lifestyle...which BTW is the lifestyle of Heaven.
Think on these things. ec  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fear The Future

Fear finds occasion to affect each of us in one form or another; especially in these times, this economy and our violence-filled society: Witness the latest inexplicable shooting rampage in Colorado.
Should we stop going to movies because some deranged person may invade with intent to kill? Should we not get on an airplane because terrorists may use it as a weapon of mass destruction?
Silly questions! Overreaction! Perhaps.
Life brings surprises and some are going to be unpleasant; even painful. That's no surprise.
This being true, why do some choose to live in fear of what might happen? Why dim the light of today because life-circumstances may turn it off tomorrow? 
The sum of human pain and suffering at any one moment is sufficient; it's best not to invent fear of sorrows that may come...sorrow has a way of finding the door to our hearts without us marking out a path.
" The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." [Proverbs 29:25]
What it means: that by trusting in the Lord, our souls are safe in His keeping. What it does not mean: that we are safe from life.
It means that in YHWH we are safe in life. ec

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Silence As Deceit

Good morning. For those strong enough, brave enough, concerned enough to allow themselves to be discomfited by Man's evil designs toward other weaker souls in the World, here is a must-read book; The Good News About Injustice by Gary A. Haugen.
For background, Haugen writes an autopsy on injustice as he has (vividly) seen it while an official UN-appointed investigator in Rwanda, Africa, the Philippines, and other unfortunate parts of this planet.  Through his words we see writhing in pain of all species among peoples of all colors.
Haugen was so deeply affected by what he saw in Rwanda that after returning he established the International Justice Mission (IJM) whose mission is to intervene in the Name of Christ by rescuing victims and shining the light of God's justice into the darkness, cruelty, greed and deceit in the marketplace of man's inhumanity to man.
Young girls in their early teens abducted into forced prostitution; children forced to labor a lifetime for a family member's debt that can never be paid; men rotting in prisons without charge, without representation and without hope.
In the chapter, The Anatomy of Injustice, Haugen dissects injustice into its larger parts; 1. Coercion by force, and 2. Deceit. Those who coerce---by whatever means---cover the truth with lies.
 The Old Testament prophet Micah exposed the injustice of Israel's leaders (political and religious) when he wrote...
"Both hands are skilled in doing evil;
the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,
the powerful dictate what they desire---
they all conspire together." [Micah 3:7]
The prophet goes on to say...
"But as for me, I am filled with power,
with the Spirit of the Lord,
and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression,
to Israel his sin," [Micah 3:8]
It occurred to me this morning that there is another---perhaps equally evil---face of deceit: Silence.
Very often the trail of lies can be uncovered as evidence---documents and witnesses---are discovered and published; but Evil is not easily shamed.
 Silence on the face of evil deeds is insidious; more so than lies, I would opine. Silence is a faceless, expressionless, sinister attitude that cannot be read. It is a different, far different behavior than was the silence of Christ when he faced His tormentors and accusers the day He was crucified.
The silence of Evil is cynical; contemptuous in other's opinions; smug in its selfishness.
Those who believe there is Good and Evil; who differentiate between Right and Wrong...especially those who name the Name of Christ...cannot keep silent in the face of injustice because in doing so they become default conspirators with the Unjust.
Christ ended His Sabbath in the grave, emerging as the Judge and Conqueror of all Evil and Injustice. That being True, what shall we do?
The Christ answered that question: "Go ye into all the World...preaching the gospel..." even into the dark, evil, unjust, uncomfortable and unsafe places where corruption, coercion and lies flourish like an unchecked plague. Take heart dear souls. He is coming. Meanwhile, what will you do about injustice? ec