Friday, October 23, 2015

What matters

What Matters

It seems in Christian or religious circles we tend to focus on non-essentials or things that don't matter as far as salvation is concerned.  What I mean, is when we look at any subject, topic, or doctrine, we have to ask ourselves is this a command or instruction in God's Word or is this a preference, tradition, or a place where we have individual freedom to decide.

There are things in the Bible that are black and white, but there are also things that were cultural or social at the time of their writings.   There are also differences between the law of the Old Testament and the new covenant of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.  The problem we face in any case when discussing what is sin and what is no sin or what is right and wrong is our "interpretation" of scripture or sometimes our "lack of interpretation" of scripture.

It's easy to pick and choose bible verses out of the Bible forgetting that the bible wasn't originally written in this book and chapter and verse format.  Also, not all books of the bible are written the same, meaning some are historical accounts, some are letters, some are poetry, and some are eyewitness accounts, etc.

We also forget that when we read God's Word we need to read it in context, meaning we can't just pull out random verses to defend our arguments, justify our actions, or back up our doctrinal stances. We need to look at the text as a whole and ask the Who, What, When, Where, and Why and stop taking individual verses out of context or trying to use or misuse certain scriptures to defend or support our beliefs.

Sadly, many people don't study the Bible as they should, they rely on others to tell them what it says or they are influenced by their parents, a preacher, an author, their own agendas, or someone else to tell them how or what to believe. They are indoctrinated by their particular denominational or church group as to what or how to believe and reality and truth is these groups aren't all teaching the truth or biblical doctrines correctly.

Even more sadly, is the fact that many of us judge, condemn, condone, or support things based on our skewed  or ignorant view of scripture based not on actual study of scripture, but on what we are taught about scripture from our parents, family, preacher, or church group, or what we do on our own We look down on others faith, will not fellowship with them, or even like to argue/debate with others in a negative way, none of which honors or glorifies God, even if you were correct.  You can be right and still have the wrong attitude.

We are lying to ourselves if we don't think the devil is using Christians and churches to do his bidding.  Satan is the father of deception and confusion and he wants Christians and churches splitting, fighting, arguing, dividing, and fighting amongst ourselves, so that the world will see that and not want anything to do with God or His Church, but also if Christians are busy always fighting, arguing, or on their personal crusades with their favorite doctrinal issues, then you aren't focused on busy on things that really matter, which is reaching the lost, making disciples, and serving others.

It's time we all get back focused on what matters.  Don't be known for what you're against, be known for what you're for.  Instead of boycotting, picketing, debating, or blasting people on social media, how about praying for others, sharing your faith with others, serving in your community, and finding ways to love people, or read your bible.

When we stand before the Lord someday, I don't believe He's going to be asking us if we sung with or without instruments, if we sung hymns or contemporary songs, used the King James or NIV bible version, if we went to the Baptist or Methodist Church, or how many religious debates are arguments we won.   He won't asked us if we dressed up for church, or accepted changes is society and culture. Yet, many of us live like this is the case every day.

We've got to get back to reading our Bibles and studying God's Word.  In it, is how we should be living, how we should be acting, what our attitudes should be, what we should be doing , and what really matters.  We need to ask ourselves in any situation, is this really a salvation issue? Is this really essential or non-essential to mine or others salvation? Is this a command or personal preference?  Is this truth? God is God, and He desires our obedience and faithfulness to Him and His truth, but at the same time he's not as fundamental, legalistic, liberal, and narrow-minded as we try to make Him out to be.   The truth is we don't really know Him, we are just doing what we've been taught, modeled for us by others, or we've allowed satan to use us to hurt the church.

Let's all get back to being people of the Bible and being people who focus on the things that really matter. 

Romans 14:1
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

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