I started to reply in comments and realized this was a follow-up post. I’m sorry, Eaglewood. I truly do love you like a brother and I’m not picking on you. Just the opposite. You challenge me and give me an opportunity to address the issues that I started this blog to deal with. I know I’ve done this to you before, but it’s not personal and I’m not attacking you. You simply give me great opportunities to make my point.
I’m grateful for that. Seriously. I truly say that in love.
I am glad to see you posting again. I know we have had our differences in the past and we will probably have some here as well, but I want to agree with you first. Kirk and friends are doing things the wrong way. Scaring people does nothing but scare them away. I will even agree with you and the third commandment. But where we part company here is on whether or not the ten commandments are now two. I know what you are referencing here and it comes from the Pharisees attempting to trip up Yeshua in asking him what the greatest commandment was. He summed up the ten commandments into two. He did not say that they replaced the ten or that what he said negated them in any was as part of the Law. Yeshua himself said that He came to fulfil the Law not to destroy it. Also by saying the ten are now the two you are in danger of making the claim that He has changed when he has specifically said he is the same past, present, or future.
We are all guilty of trying to put Him into a box that fits our comfort level. I know we have discussed this before and I know where you stand but others may not. There is a great danger when we simply approach Him from one angle and only discuss one aspect of Him. Love is only one aspect, He is Holy, Righteous, and The Great I AM. He has more facets then we as mere mortals could even begin to comprehend. You know there have been times that I needed Him to be Daddy, but I have never forgotten that he is the all-powerful creator of the universe and is more than worthy of my total worshipful adoration.
I get all that. I don’t think we differ all that much on theology. Where we differ (and where I have a problem with Ray and Kirk) is on focus.
We have been sent to seek the lost. Our Father, and His first begotten son (not only) have never done it by pointing out to people that they’re sinners and need a savior. They do it by simply being available when the sinner realizes that.
The law is flawed and never was intended to be anything more than a way to show us our need for a savior. But you can’t start there with the unsaved.
“It is the goodness of the Lord that brings a man to repentance.”
How many times do I have to quote that before people start believing The Bible and paying attention to what Jesus said? (Yes, I know Jesus didn’t literally say those words. That was written by Paul in Romans 2 and I’ve paraphrased it, too. I suggest you read it in context before you get back to me.)
They will know us by our love. Religion is a gigantic distraction from our Father’s love and the only thing our enemy has ever done well. Ray and Kirk are just two of many that missed the point and gotten caught in the trap. Some times you talk like one, too. That’s not an insult. I grew up in it. I understand.
It’s a lie.
He cares not a whit about rules. He really honestly doesn’t. Living a life with Him is never, ever about the house rules. He doesn’t care about that. He cares about people. That’s it. He’s about nothing but Love, people and connecting the two. All that stuff you say about His Holiness and Righteousness and all that – it’s all true because it’s describing who He IS. It doesn’t describe how He ACTS. First Corinthians 13 and First John 4 do that. (Pair those up and try to reconcile it with what religion has taught you. If you’re not convinced when you’re done with that, call me; I have more ammo.)
He’s not asking you to obey anything! He just doesn’t. Ever. Do. That. That’s religion that does that. He just wants you to get to know Him and spend some time with Him now and then. Everything else will grow out of that relationship. You can’t start at the end. That’s what religion does. You can’t keep any commandments without Him. With Him, you want to and He’ll teach you how.
Love is only one aspect, He is Holy, Righteous, and The Great I AM. He has more facets then we as mere mortals could even begin to comprehend. You know there have been times that I needed Him to be Daddy, but I have never forgotten that he is the all-powerful creator of the universe and is more than worthy of my total worshipful adoration.
You missed it in the first five words there. You cannot possibly say that “love is only one aspect” when He said that He IS Love! Can I make that little word anymore powerful in any way in this medium? How big, how bold do I need to make it before you give up your religion and realize that He’s not enforcing rules? He doesn’t need you to keep apologizing for His alleged contradictions. He simply needs for you to represent Him accurately to the lost.
I couldn’t help but think when I read what you wrote there, “You haven’t begun to touch worship because you’re still playing with the religious ideas that were designed to keep you from actually knowing Him.”
He doesn’t demand or require worship! He recommends it because it’s good for us and He IS Love. I don’t worship Him because He requires it. I worship Him because He’s worthy. When I got to know Him, it was a natural response. Do you see the difference?
Lemme put it another way – I thought I was worshiping Him for years because I grew up in church, I was “saved” when I was six years old and preaching at eight. It’s what I was taught. Much later in my life, I actually got to know Him on a personal level. When that happened, everything changed. I don’t worship Him because I feel like I have to or because He demands it. I worship Him because knowing Him inspires it. It’s the only natural response to His Love.
Getting back to the point: Knock it off with the religion and the rules. That’s not what He’s about. He just Loves you. He just Loves “them.” He is love and He’s patiently waiting for you to get past your religious contamination so that you can get to know Him.
While you’re arguing over the rules of your doctrine and having “theological” debates over scripture with people like me, people are going to Hell because they don’t know what He’s really like. They’ve been sold a lie about Him. I would reject the God most churches teach, too. That god is unreasonable, irrational, obnoxious and demanding.
Fortunately, that’s not who He is. He’s peace. He’s love. He’s joy. He’s my Daddy. And He’s looking to grow the family. Everyone is welcome.
UPDATE: Upon re-reading this, I realized that I was unfair to eaglewood. It was merely sloppiness but that doesn’t excuse it. Much of what I said was not directed at him personally but at the religious ideas he raised and I was addressing.