Friday, October 28, 2016

42670 :: Pondering arrogance and hypocrisy

Having tread through many blogs and video teachings, not to mention countless social media comments from those who now count themselves as part of the Hebrew roots / Netzarim / Messianic movement and having watched the vitriolic attacks against any one or thing that doesn't line up squarely with a certain teaching, these thoughts have been simmering for a while and I just feel the need to sort them out...

In regards to "Religion", at what point in our "being right about this" do we come across as arrogant and self-righteous to those who are not on the same page as we are?

And, what does that profit us, or the truth, when we act like that towards others?

I prefer to think that I am not so much "stooping to compromise" when I do not cry "Pagan!" or berate someone who decorates their house with skulls and jack-o-lanterns for the month of October or bunnies and eggs in the spring, as much as I am taking the time to sow into a relationship to where I will hopefully earn the right to have a voice to speak what I have learned into someone's life, rather than souring them from the get-go by being a harridan.

Does that make me a hypocrite or a coward? I don't think so. Rather, I would hope it makes me a respecter of persons. God does not work in us as if we are all identical little robots. We are not all in the same place at the same time.

My perspective of "truth" just 10 years ago would have been the response that "God can redeem a pagan holiday for Himself; it's all about the intent of our heart", just as is often heard from the pulpit or other positions of leadership. The fact that an opinion comes from a place of perceived authority does not in itself make it valid or scriptural. In fact, that is the very thing that Yeshua ("Jesus") got in hot water about when he told the religious leaders, "Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines." Mat 15:9 CJB

I would propose that it is not a giant leap to say "man-made rules" and "our own opinions" carry about the same weight.

My "truth" today is that my opinion has little value when it does not square with scripture. If I claim to believe that "the Bible is the Word of God", as most who call themselves Christians also claim, why is it then called heresy or legalism when I make it my goal to try to make sure my thoughts and actions line up with the principles found in that very same Bible? So, if I claim that "God can redeem a pagan holiday for Himself", but scripture says, "be careful, after they have been destroyed ahead of you, not to be trapped into following them; so that you inquire after their gods and ask, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I want to do the same." Deu 12:30 CJB, you don't exactly need a carpenter's level to see those two thoughts don't square up.

HOWEVER, that does not give me the right to bash someone else over the head with my "aha moment." It gives me the responsibility to live out the truth I have been given... in love.
And, that does square with scripture: "Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect." Rom 12:10 CJB

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