Discretion Holds the Church’s Virtue

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The Bible is called the “Good Book” because it reflects the will and character of a good GOD. The Bible must be interpreted with that in mine, meaning, it must always be interpreted from the perspective of that which is virtuous and good. The perversion of the gospel occurs when evil people try to justify wicked deeds by citing scriptures out of their true context. It is always destructive to the conscience of men and detracts from the integrity of the bible. It is one of the main reasons many people do not trust the bible as an authority. Many people go by what they have heard without ever verifying the facts for themselves. The deceiver, also known as Satan, uses ignorance to perpetuate lies.

An example of the misuse of scripture is how people in power have tried to use Roman 13 to get citizens to accept or submit to unjust and wicked government policies. A student of the bible would only have to recall the over throw of Egypt for the oppression of the Israelites, the deliverance of the three Hebrew men who defied the government of Babylon, or the deliverance of Daniel from the lion’s den for defying the King’s decree to commit idolatry. The author of Romans 13 himself was charged not to preach the gospel of Christ by the governing authorities of his day, yet he defied the decree and was imprisoned and beaten. After his release, Paul continued to preach the gospel, until his eventual execution. The obvious application of Romans 13 is where government policy does not conflict with the principles of GOD.

I see people conflicted and contradicted, as they call themselves Christian, and then try to reconcile their political party views with the teachings of Christ. It can’t be done. There are places where the policies of both republicans and democrats go against the teachings of Christ. If you really know Christ then you know this is true. I am not saying that a person shouldn’t exercise the responsibility to vote. Dr. Martin Luther King put it best, “laws do not change a man’s heart, but laws can govern the heartless.” That may not be Dr. King’s quote verbatim, but it captures the understanding he was relaying. I pray, preach the gospel, and I also cast a ballot, but I do not claim any political affiliation, because none of them align enough with my values as a follower of Christ. I would never adulterate myself by joining a political party, whose loyalty is to the tenants of its policies more than the word of GOD.

The teachings of GOD fortify us against the spoiling of our Christian morals and ethics, by steering us away from compromise. The word of GOD teaches us not to love the world. The world in this context does not refer to creation in general, but rather the social system of man which has orphaned him from the values established by the righteousness of love. Society today is governed by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. As children of GOD, we are called to be in this society but not a product of this society. The bible puts it this way, we are to be in this world but not of this world. As the word of GOD teaches, the only way to come out of this world is to be born again; to be born of the will of GOD, instead of the will of man. Many people say they love GOD, yet have the values of this world, they are deceived. They are deceived because the god they love is the god of their imagination, but not the true and living GOD. As the book of 1st John teaches, you can’t love the light but continually walk in darkness. You can’t abide in the Spirit of Love and actively hate your brother. You can’t be joined to the is world, and joined to GOD also, it is adulterous. In this context, the bible teaches that you can’t have to masters, you must love one and despise the other. Another way to say this is that you can’t have two governors, you should be governed by one and resist the other.

James 4:4 says it very clearly, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Though the call for a separation of affection is clear in scripture, you will seldom hear it taught in churches, or encouraged by people who say they follow Christ, especially not during an election year. Why….because people still love the world. People still love the world because their mind has not been renewed. Their mind has not been renewed because they spend more time focused on the things of the world than they do the things of GOD. Add to that, when most people do turn their focus to GOD, they draw from a source that has been adulterated by the values of this world, like most large churches (not all, but most). If your church leadership endorses a political party, it has been adulterated with the cares of this world. There is only one government that should have a platform in the congregation of believers, that is the Kingdom of GOD. Also, your main source should be the Spirit of GOD with in you. The congregation of believers are there to confirm and bear witness to what the Spirit is revealing to you in your own studies. I am not encouraging the forsaking the body of Christ, I am promoting uncompromised intimacy with GOD, that we each may become members of His body.

I will end with this; the Church is called the bride of Christ. As we are His bride, to stay pure, we should be joined to no other. We have been espoused to a jealous GOD so keep your heart pure. Remember the parable of the wise virgins that awaited the bridegroom in Matthew 25, how the bible says they made themselves ready and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Part of the readiness of the bride is a going forth, a separation, to be closer to Christ. Also remember the love letters sent from the Spirit to the bride in the book of Revelations chapter 2. There were key warnings for her to return to her first love, and to repent of adultery, and fornication. All of these deal with being vigilant to make sure we keep our hearts pure, and that we don’t unite ourselves with anything outside of Christ.

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Be A Lighthouse In the Fog

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Gray is the greatest darkness because of its tendency to hide light, through blending light with darkness. Gray can be compared to being warm, a blend of hot and cold. Christ calls for His followers to be either hot or cold. He says if you are warm, he will cast you out. We can’t be warm people. The culture of the world today calls for us to be tolerant of darkness. To tolerate means to accept, without contradiction or prohibition. We are expected to blend in. We can’t be gray people. This is the exact opposite of the work of sanctification, being carried out by the Holy Spirit, in those that follow Christ. GOD commands us to love Him with “all” our heart, mind, and strength. He even says we should love one another “fervently”, which means with plenty of heat. GOD wants us to be on fire for Him, just like a torch, giving off bright light. GOD’s spirit is a consuming fire. GOD’s essence is pure and fervent love. Only through our connection with Him, can we love fervently, and fulfill His commandments. Love is not a warm and cuddly feeling we have toward someone. Love has nothing to do with fondness. We are commanded to love our enemies, but we are not expected to be fond of those who persecute and abuse us. Love is the righteous behavior of treating others the way you would want to be treated. Love is living to please our Heavenly Father above anyone else, as well as above ourselves.

Trying to please both GOD and man leads to gray. There is so much darkness in the world today, we need the glorious light of Love. This requires singleness of heart, in devotion to GOD. If we believe and trust that allowing GOD’s love to flow through us is best for all those around us, then we find inspiration and motivations to be obedient to His word. We find that His commandments are not grievous. This is something we must ask our merciful GOD to help us with. We don’t always see things as He does, so we have to be taught, and counseled, and transformed, by His Holy Spirit. It is a glorious process, but He is faithful to complete the work of our salvation. The work of making us faithful vessels of His love.

We have the treatment of Christ for a witness that the world cannot receive the love of GOD. Holy scripture says, He came unto His own and they received Him not. Christ was despised and rejected of men. Christ forewarns us that we will experience the same. Christ tells us this to protect our hearts. Don’t take it personal when people reject His love through you. All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. This means people will more often base love on having their desires filled, more so than having their needs met. The prevalence of gray makes desires and needs almost indistinguishable, to those outside of Christ. The book of 1st John says it is easy to see who is in Christ and who doesn’t know Him. Those who say they are in Christ, should live as Christ lived. He testified that He came to do His Father’s will. He lived to please the Father…not people. Christ taught that if your eye is single, then your whole body will be filled with light. Those who walk in love, in obedience to GOD, are in the light. Those that hate others, living is selfish disobedience, are in darkness.

The truth, also known as the sword of the spirit, divides between light and darkness. The truth has the power to make people free. When we speak the truth in love, we create opportunities of freedom, opportunities for those seeking the light to renounce darkness.

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

( 2 Corinthians 4:1-6)