Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hiding Behind What Jesus Allegedly Did Not Say!

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" --- Matthew 25:37-40

Ah, the intense discussion continues on the issue over a “social” gospel of numerous good deeds done and what some seem to consider a “do-nothing” gospel that consists only in the preaching of words and pounding a Bible behind a pulpit somewhere!

Some recent comments posted on one of a multitude of blogs got into the issue of what Jesus said we should be doing such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, etc. In addition it was stated that Jesus never mentioned issues such as homosexuality and abortion. It seems that the conclusion drawn is that we should not be bothered with such things and just do the things that result in the social well being of people as previously mentioned.

However, should we not also give a fair hearing to what Jesus said beyond the favored statements about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc?

Should those radical demands He placed upon us not seriously be considered? Such statements as He made regarding the absolute necessity of being born again, repenting, being converted and becoming as a little child and an experience of partaking of His very life? (See John 3:3, Luke 13:3, Matthew 18:3, and John 6:53). Some at least would agree these are quite serious statements calling for certain conditions to be met in order to be a part of and participate in issues which have to do with the Kingdom of God!

The parting command of Jesus seems to be one much avoided also, but since He said it, is it not to be taken seriously and literally, or is there some kind of twisted reasoning in place as to why this does not have much ranking when it comes to what we should be doing? What does it mean that we confront the nations with the message of Jesus Christ – that we baptize people in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – that we teach all those things which He taught and commanded?

Now here’s a winner – a prominent United Methodist bishop is on record as saying we should forget about that command given by Jesus at the end of Matthew 28 – we should not disrupt people in other cultures or try to convert them to Christianity – they have their religious ways and we should not attempt to change that in any way! It appears this apostate thinking is picking up speed with more and more saying that the other religious expressions in the world have a legitimate claim on addressing the issues of life, its purpose and its eventual destiny in the hereafter!

True, Jesus never used the word “abortion” in His many statements. And He never spoke directly about the issue of homosexuality. But such matters are covered in a rather sweeping statement made by Him when He said,

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” --- Matthew 5:17, 18

The moral law has much to do with human sexuality and a number of other issues such as murder. Since God does identify us and place us in the category of persons even before our conception and birth, then to intentionally terminate the life of a human still in the womb is to be guilty of the criminal act of murder -- what else can you call it? What would you call an act of going in to a hospital nursery, taking a knife and cutting a one day-old infant to shreds? The prevailing thinking that goes on in secular society and which has penetrated the church these days would likely say it is simply a delayed scheduled abortion! Because of weather conditions the "doctor" (term used very loosely) was unable to get on site two days earlier!

At the present time confusion rules outside and inside the church because we prefer to use impersonal terms such as embryo or fetus when referring to the unborn. That way it’s so much easier to dispose of them without so much as blinking an eye! But that will change one of these days when God makes His undiluted response to what is referred to in the Scriptures as the “shedding of innocent blood.”

The homosexual issue is plainly addressed in the moral code as given at the time of Moses. But we aren’t allowed to touch that are we? All we are to do is just feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, and visit those imprisoned – and all the while keep our mouth shut about sexual issues or life issues or the need to be born again – these do not apply to our Christian responsibility.

Addressing those issues that destroy a culture is never easy or pleasant. The most unpopular breed in any generation are those persons whom God raises up for the express purpose of confronting a nation, its religious and political leaders, and its citizens of the need to repent of personal and collective sins. They are called prophets and mention is made of such even in the New Testament Scriptures. In fact it is one group that God says is gifted to function within the church as are others. Classic examples are given in both the Old Testament and New Testament with one of the most well known in the 1st Century being John the Baptist! Talk about a Bible-thumper! He did lose his head due to being a bit radical on moral issues, did he not?

So what will it be? Take seriously ALL that Jesus said about what we are to be doing or place some self-imposed limitations on our activity and just pass out the food and the clothing with a smile?

Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the LORD. They continually say to those who despise Me, 'The LORD has said, "You shall have peace" '; and to everyone who walks according to the imagination of his own heart, 'No evil shall come upon you.'" For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury; a violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings." --- Jeremiah 23:16-22

No comments: