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Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Not Your Choice!

If you take the time to look around you at the 'religious' world, and weed out all of the non-Christian denominations and sects, you may be surprised at what you find.  I've read through my Bible several times, at least, and the last time I did it for a specific reason.  I was looking for something in particular, and I didn't find it.  Now that's not saying it isn't there, maybe I missed it.  After all, there are those who contend that if a person hasn't had years of specialized education in theology followed by years of being mentored by someone qualified that the average person has no business even opening a Bible. (I rambled on about that subject in my August 22, 2011 posting.)

Oh yeah, about what I couldn't find, the 'it' I was searching for.  Okay, here goes.  I couldn't find any reference to 'conservative Christians' or 'liberal Christians' or 'moderate Christians' or any other kind of Christians other than in the Acts of the Apostles.

'Then when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people.  And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.'  (Acts 11:26    NKJV)

The only other two times I could find that the word 'Christian' was used, not just in the New Testament but throughout the whole Bible, was in Acts when the apostle Paul was supposed to be defending himself but was actually witnessing the Agrippa, and then in I Peter in that apostle's letter to those who'd been scattered by the Dispersion.

'Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian."'  (Acts 26:28    NKJV)


'Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify GOD in this matter.'  (I Peter 4:16    NKJV)

This first Scripture is very revealing in that Agrippa, who was sitting in judgment of Paul over charges levied against him by those in the Jewish religious community, was so convinced by the apostles humble yet firm convictions that he conceded that he himself was moved in the directions of Paul's beliefs.  Then we have Peter, writing to those Believers scattered about by the Romans attempts to quash any kind of organization among the new Christian groups, whose purpose was to provide instruction and just as important to bolster the people spirits.  The point I'm after here is that even though I've searched through eight different versions of the Bible, I can't find any reference to being a 'liberal' or a 'conservative' Christian. 

Let's take this a bit farther.  I read just the other day on UCN that a longtime teacher of Theology had made the public statement that there was no way that the garden there in the east of Eden or Adam or Eve ever existed.  It's in the Bible, but according to this 'expert' it never existed.  What does that do, make GOD a liar?  I've also read recently that a very popular TV minister was asked during an interview about the virgin birth.  His response was that he personally didn't believe in it, but it was his policy to stay away from what he termed as 'controversial' issues.  Even more disturbing than two individuals, both prominent in the circles of Theology and what I call 'commercial religion', both making statements that challenges the honesty of GOD, is that these aren't isolated incidents.  More and more people, who label themselves as 'conservative' or 'liberal' or some other crazy kind of Christian, are picking and choosing what to believe and not believe out of the Bible.  What do people think the Bible is, some kind of Scriptural buffet that they can assemble their own belief manual from? 

I had to take a break for just a minute there.  I can get really stirred up when people try to destroy the truths that my LORD JESUS CHRIST sealed with HIS Blood.  And have no doubt, when anyone tries to take away even one little comma or period from the Holy Bible, then they've taken a huge step in the wrong direction.

'For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, GOD will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, GOD shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.'  (Revelation 22:18-19    NKJV)

Now let's get right down to the nitty-gritty about this.  If we dig right down to the bare bones of what our LORD GOD has offered us, through Grace by Faith, we only have one choice offered us by HIM.  That single choice has nothing to do with what part of HIS Word we'll believe, or how we'll change the parts of HIS Holy Scriptures to be more convenient for us.  The choice also doesn't allow us to be more 'conservative' or more 'liberal' as Christians.  That single choice gives us the final say in whether we accept the Blood of HIS SON as atonement for our sins, or not.  That's it.  Like the Scripture says, we're not to add to or take away from anything HE offers us, including HIS Word.  It's an all-things  or no-things thing with the FATHER, either accept through belief all-things of HIS Grace and all of HIS Word or HE'll have no-things to do with you.  Don't take my word for it, I don't want you to.  My prayer for you is that you'll do what I always tell people; READ YOUR BIBLE! 

'Not everyone who says to ME, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of MY FATHER in heaven.  Many will say to ME in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we  not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'  (Matthew 7:21-23    NKJV)

Now don't read this and put a 'conservative' or 'liberal' interpretation on it.  Just read it exactly like it's written, even if it's not convenient for you or if it isn't what you want to hear.  The fact is that most often what we don't want to hear is exactly what we need to hear.  Besides the Scriptures not being convenient for a lot of people, and so they try to change things to fit their plans, another factor in play here is motivation.  The reason why we do something most of the time is often more important to GOD than what it is we did.  Our motivation can negate something we've done that's a good thing into a negative thing.  It's as much why we do something as what we've done that determines the value of the act itself.  The end of story here is that there is never, and will never be, a proper motivation to try to change a single bit of Scripture.  GOD didn't make any mistakes, HE didn't need any proof readings or editors or spell check, I can guarantee HE got it right the first time.  So what makes any person thinks they have the right to correct HIM?  That's exactly what people are doing when they try to 'modify' HIS meaning about something Scriptural.  Like I said earlier, that is a huge step in the wrong direction, and good luck trying to 'modify' the Scriptures that says that!

My prayer for people are that we all accept JESUS as our personal Savior, and that we all allow ourselves to be nurtured by HIS Holy Spirit and taught by HIS Word, exactly as it's written and exactly as it's read.  GOD doesn't need our help in this area, HE's got it under control.  We each only have one choice before the LORD, so make it count.


Terry & Faith Keiner
Being Blessed in Absarokee MT!

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