PARSON TO PERSON
A MENTAL CHALLENGE FROM GOD
All who take the name of Christ Jesus in salvation and discipleship are issued a distinct mental challenge from God. To ignore it is folly, incurring great loss. To take it up is to benefit in both in time and in eternal reward. What is this mental challenge? It is to have the same mindset as Jesus did in His earthly ministry. Now wait! Don’t you dare to shut your mind down to this challenge under the puny excuse that you can’t do that because you still live in the sinful flesh. Don’t you think God knows that? Do you think He is playing mind games with His people? No? Then think with me!
There is always an excuse for failure. He addressed that in Phil. 2: 3-4, but the biblical admonition is to overcome the excuses by dedication to the practices set forth in the grace and word of God. The apostle Paul appealed to the church at Philippi, and by application to the Lord’s true churches throughout the age, to press forward in Christian maturity to fulfill both his joy, as well as the joy of the Master. He was specific in the challenge.
Said he, if there be any consolation, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, any compassion and mercies, they would fulfill his joy by being of one mind in these Christian qualities. The bottom line is concisely stated in Phil. 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Consider then the exaltation/abasement of the God-man Jesus. He was in the form of God. He did not consider it robbery to be counted equal with God, but did not seek a reputation for Himself. He took upon Himself the form of a slave and humbled Himself in obedience even to the death of the cross.
Folks can twist the scriptures of Philippians 2:1-5, as many do, and surely will, but they remain in their purity the inspired Word of God, a challenge to every Christian to, as Peter puts it, “that ye should follow in his steps.” Still, many prefer to whine: “I can’t do that! It cramps my style, and I simply am not able.” What can one say? Poor ole God! In His infinite wisdom He asks us to do what we cannot do even with His divine help. Doubtless, all of His people would do well to remember more of the inspired Word, such as “Ye are bought with a price; therefore, Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Here then is the meaning and challenge of true Christianity. It is sad that in too many churches the main motivation is social instead of spiritual, and the whine may be oft heard: “There is nothing to do at our church!” If that indeed be so, may I introduce you to biblical Christianity? God has a mental, and spiritual, challenge especially for you!
Freedom of Religion and the Indiana Law
Freedom of Religion and the Indiana Law: On the verge of Government Run Faith
by Bro. Jeff Haney
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
Biblically speaking, there are two times, and only two times when it is necessary for the children of God to disregard, disobey, and defy the laws of the land and simply refuse to obey their government: 1.) When the government by law forbids someone from obeying God – Daniel’s praying against the law that forbade it; 2.) When the government by forces someone to disobey God – Hananiah, Azariah, and Meshael, (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) being forced to bow to a false god. Only when circumstance fit within the framework of those scriptural principles can a child of God rightly and flatly refuse to obey the laws of the government ruling over them.
I have never seen a time in our nation when either one of those scenarios were the case. To my limited knowledge there has never been a time, when I, anyone I know, or anyone I have heard of, was forced into disobeying the God of the Bible. Conversely, to my limited knowledge there has never been a time when I, anyone I know, or anyone I have heard of was forbidden from obeying God. Within the scope of my vision frontwards, backwards and all around I have never seen either of those cases play out in our society . . . until now.
Though not here yet, we are standing on the cliff of Government Run Faith. Of course we have seen government run health-care on the front porch of the evening news for a while now. Government regulations grip every industry from education and finance to bean sprouts, pot holes, and outhouses. If what is happening over the law being passed in Indiana is any indication of the direction and mood of those wanting the government to regulate body fat, and hairstyles, the next big thing is government approved belief.
The central issue in those shouting the accusations of discrimination is the fact that they cannot and will not stand for someone believing a particular behavior is wrong. As one commentator said, “No one would dare expect a black baker to prepare cupcakes for a KKK rally.” Why then on earth would someone expect a Bible believing Christian to endorse a gay marriage?
Regardless of how loud it gets said, how long they say it, or how many people chime in, in agreement, the scenario they present of a Christian florist refusing flowers for a gay couple is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be discrimination. It is discernment, conviction, and belief based on the Word of God not to aid and abet a sin that has always been, and always will be a sin. It is not bigotry, it is not hatred, it is not intolerance. We do not provide alcohol to alcoholics, we do not carry people with gambling problems to casinos, we do not drive get away cars for bank-robbers.
Acting upon homosexual attraction is not acceptable to the God of creation. It is not okay, it is not to be embraced, applauded, aided or abetted. From what God has said to man, it is morally illegal, it is spiritually illegal, it is eternally illegal, it is outright bona fide, sin. Period. That is the end of the subject for Christians, and it will never, ever, ever, change. As I have said before, if God said something different, then every Bible believing Christian in the world would say something different. We do not take our cues from “how we are born” we take our cues from “What God has said.”
If those who’s tolerance is a one-way street would speak in plain honest language, what they would says is, “You are not allowed to believe what you believe, and you are not allowed to behave according to that belief. You cannot believe the Bible, you cannot obey the Bible, and you cannot proclaim what you say the Bible says.” Of course that’s my words in their mouths, but that is what I’m hearing from those who have more heat than light.
According to the direction of the mood of this country, the heart of their heat, and their hate is aimed at regulating what Americans are allowed to believe. It is not socially acceptable to “believe gay marriage is wrong.” If that course of thinking continues to be fertilized and fed, it will not be long before it is not legally acceptable to continue to “behave” with the conviction that gay marriage is wrong. Changes are definitely coming, and they are the kind that are not worth making
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Tagged as and Abednego, Bible, faith, government, Government Run Faith by Bro, Indiana Law, Meshach, regulations, religious, Shadrach, spiritual, Word of God