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    Posted May 13, 2012 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    Selective Religiosity


    First  let me say, I still hold to my Christian faith. I still maintain my  ordination as a minister of the Gospel. I am also the son and grandson  of men who were fundamental, conservative, Evangelical, Pentecostal  preachers. I cut my teeth on the back of the church pews.

    The  first time I read the Bible from front to back I was 5 years of age.  Since that time I have read the Bible from cover to cover many times. I  truly believe in "studying to show yourself approved by God". I am a  firm believer in "rightly dividing the Word of Truth". I stand for the  reliance that all Scripture is given for "doctrine, reproof and  instruction in righteousness" or right standing with God.

    Yet,  if I am honest and if the Christian community is honest...especially  the clergy...there is a malignancy that is growing of people using  selective religiosity...not religion, but a sense or air of being  righteous, but not grounded in reality. Too many within the Christian  community have become as the saying goes, "so heavenly minded, that they  are of no earthly good."

    What do I mean?

    People  in the pews and those who claim to be Christian, but without benefit of  a church or affiliation tend to take one verse and exalt it into a  commandment while ignoring another verse, rationalizing that it does not  apply today. People will snatch a line or two from the Bible, but leave  out the words before and after, which changes the context and meaning.

    Under  Christian theology there are 2 covenants or testaments. The one was the  covenant between God and mankind before the coming of Jesus. The second  is the new covenant established by Jesus between God and humanity.  Under Christianity we are now in today's world under the second covenant  and not bound by the "law" or the first covenant.

    The Old Testament is the blueprint for the first covenant. The New Testament is the plan for the second covenant.

    Paul,  who wrote most of the books of the New Testament, said that we are no  longer enslaved or shackled to the old law, which was a schoolmaster,  but now are free under the new covenant. He also stated as did Jesus  that if we take and bind ourselves to one part of the law or first  covenant, we are bound to obey all of the law or first covenant.

    In  the current debate over whether to allow same-gender couples to enjoy  the same rights and benefits of opposite-gender couples, Christians  often keep referring back and drudging up admonishments and rules  condemning and against homosexual activity. That's well and good except  these same Christians ignore or fail to live by the rest of the first  covenant rules and regulations. By doing this according to Jesus and  Paul, those Christians are sinning and in danger of their salvation for  not living up to the standards of the full first covenant.

    If  you are going to pull out Old Testament verses and saying those still  apply then you must also then abide by the law that calls for stoning to  death a disobedient child. You must also then advocate death for those  who commit adultery. You must also preach and call for the rounding up  every Wiccan and every witch and fortune teller in the nation and put  those people to death.

    If  you are applying the Old Testament rules, you must not marry anyone  from another country, but the country of your birth. You must eat no  pork. You can't munch down on shrimp, lobster. You must turn and pray  toward Jerusalem every day.

    You  have to make sure, if applying Old Testament strictures, that your  clothes are made with the same thread. You must make sure your hair is  trimmed and combed per a precise code.

    There  are so many more rules, laws if you will, that you must abide by. But  instead too many Christians are using selective religiosity and claiming  that it is Christian doctrine and teaching, which flies in the face of  what Jesus and most of the writers of the New Testament preached and  taught.

    Selective religiosity was the sin of the Pharisees.

    Have you forgotten what we each were taught in Sunday School?

    "Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart."

    Have you forgotten the lesson of David?

    He  was a usurper, a thief, a renegade, a murderer, an adulterer...and yet,  it was written that he was a "man after God's own heart". He was chosen  to be the royal seed that would produce the Christ Child. David was the  apple of God's eye.

    The best words that fit the current discussion come from Jesus when He said, "Let him that is without sin cast the first stone."

    We  are all versed and can recite John 3:16, "For God so loved the world  that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believes on Him should  not perish, but have eternal life".

    But  we forget the next verse. "For God sent not His Son into the world to  condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

    If Jesus didn't condemn, then its past time for Christians to turn off their condemners.

    Jesus  also said, "You hypocrite, first get the splinter out of your own eye  before you try to get out the 2x4 in your brother's eye."

    When  the question came up about the converts of Paul who were not Jewish,  the Apostles meeting in Jerusalem said the gentiles were welcome into  the fellowship. The Apostles also said the only restrictions on the  gentile Christians were to refrain from eating blood, abstain from  fornication and from eating meat offered to idols.

    The  Apostles meeting at this first council of Jerusalem did not place any  of the Mosaic Law or Old Testament rules and strictures on the  non-Jewish Christians. So why are Christians today trying to add burdens  that are not based on doctrine applied by the Apostles?

    Those  who would deny blessing to monogamous, same-gender couples do in  essence deny those Christian couples the right and ability to obey the  ruling of the Apostles that they abstain from fornication.

    What  happened to obeying the verse that tells us to help the brothers or  sisters we find in fault back into the fellowship with prayer, guidance  and love?

    Should  we not, as Christians, make sure there are no roadblocks to these  monogamous, same-gender couples to being able to fulfill their duty of  abstaining from fornication by granting blessing to their union?

    From  the Cornfield, it's time to rid the nation of selective religiosity.  It's time the Church acted like the Bride of Christ instead of being  puffed up and too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.

    Remember Peter being told directly by God when Peter became full of religiosity about going to the gentile Cornelius' house?

    "That which God has made clean, don't you call it unclean."

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