Monday, February 10, 2014

Is it a different time, a different sense of morality or is it just that it wasn't such a big sin as we think of it now?

I have been a Christian the better part of my life, or maybe all of my life it you count that as a child is what Jesus told us we need to become like, so like most Christians I believe that children to the age of accountability get a pass of Grace so to speak.  Since that is not the point I am contemplating this morning I am not got to expound upon it, and since I am writing and you aren't we are going to agree that babies and small children automatically get to go to heaven, but I digress.  I had been reading "What is so amazing about Grace?" by Philip Yancey.  He admits in the book that most main stream Christians were, are or will be up in arms at some of his thoughts and conclusions.  I admit that as I read them they were new thoughts to me as a Christian and in some way refreshing, some ways enlightening and some way I thought "Oh, my has he opened a can of worms in some ones, or some Preachers life...."  I did enjoy the book as much as the first one I read, "Where is God when we hurt?"  Love it.

I have now had a week to think on his words and many thoughts have come to my mind about his thoughts.  I found that the evolving of the most horrible sins in the eyes of Christians in the last 100 years of great interest.  I made me think of why God told the Israelis in the old testament not to become part of the nations they conquered.  It amazed me that some of the things the Christian leaders fought against then (a short 100 years ago) are some of the things good Christians embrace and tout today.  They thought mortgages, pensions and credit were some of the most horrible sins, much like we Christians attack abortion and homosexuality today.  What they thought of as the sinfullest  sins a hundred years later are well and truly embraced by the majority of Christians and no one I know thinks of them as sins, imagine that?  Racial rights, bi-racial marriages came next but most Christians I know do not think of either as a sin now, and next has come many more issues that have fallen along the way as more and more acceptable in the mainstream thoughts of Christians, abortion and homosexuality is the new hot button but more and more is being accepted.  I do think that we as Christians settle on a sin or sins of the moment that we pick out and say are the worst of the sins.  We are wrong in that we get on our high horses and pick sins that make us feel better about ourselves.  We don't do this or that, so they surely must be much worse sins than the ones we commit.  We don't murder, we don't rape, we don't do this or that so surely those who do are so much worse than we.  God does not see it that way, God sees a "white lie" as a sin as dark as a mast murders sins, yes, really he does.  You know those children that are under God's grace, because they know not that they sin, sins upon coming out at their birth.  He has been angry, did you ever see a birth that the baby was all smiles as they hit the doctor, midwives or dad hands.  I haven't and the anger they are expressing in surely not righteous anger is it?  It is sin and all have sinned.  Sin in and of itself is why we experience death, without it we would never die.  Do you suppose that the eternity with Jesus we are hoping to be part of is life as it was in the Garden of Eden?  I don't know, God tell us relatively little about our life after death, I don't suppose he wants us to know that much about it.  I do believe that as I read the Bible that what God finds as important he tells us about and tells us how he wants us to go about it.

Think about our focus in the current world.  We as Christians have a lot to say about abortion and homosexuality but Jesus himself had very little to say about either.  Abortion you say, why would he have spoken about it at all it didn't exist.  Well in many ways it did.  There were drugs and herbs then to accomplish it much like now but there was another form of abortion we do not think about. Abortion then in many was was accomplished at birth.  If a child was not wanted the child was simple taken out and left along the roads side, the garbage or in other ways cast out for the dogs, weather or wild beasts to take care of.  I hate the thought of any baby being aborted but must admit, that even I think that is worse that a child of full term be cast out to die a horrible death.  But really have you ever read one word in the Bible about it?  I do know that from reading about the times of the Bible I know that adoption back then was different than we think of it.  In the Roman empire, and the Bible was in the empire of the Romans in the new testament, that if you adopted a child it had more rights than your biological children.  Do you really think there were people gathering up these babies so that people could adopt them? or that there were people standing in line to take them into their homes?  I would think that it was not a big concern to anyone that these babies died.  I would say then in many ways many more babies survive proportionately than did then.  We are saving many to adopted, so many more survive than did in Bible times if you think of the aborted ones as the only ones that don't survive.  As to homosexuals, child slaves were used by many of the men back then as sex slaves, as they are now, but then there is now open homosexuals that are no longer have to use children but having mutual relationships.  I don't condone the sin but  it is really none of my business any more than when my neighbor lies or the old lady down the street gossips, their sin is between them and God.  I have enough to worry about with my own sins.

I think that we have missed the point that Jesus wanted us to remember the most, we are to love our neighbor as they are, help them if we can and let them be judged by God as all our sins will be. We are to live the life we have and love our neighbor and try to be like Jesus.  Funny (again ironic) that in all the cases in the Bible where Jesus interacts with any one  it is always someone that was considered unclean in the old testament.  The woman at the well (prostitute) the centurion (gentile) the eunuch that Philip baptized had no testicles so was unclean, the tax collector was unclean and the list goes on.  In the old testament unclean people were always sinners and in the new testament those are the people Jesus sought out, makes you think doesn't it.  Jesus must surely include people who have had abortions or who are homosexual as people he is looking to save today.  And we who have mortgages, have pensions, credit cards, gossip, lie, cheat, prostitute, murder and even those of us who can't quite seem to love our neighbors, Jesus came for us all as not one of us of our own accord are worthy to lick his feet.  We never are no matter what we do in our lives, no matter how many times we go to church in a week or how many prayers a day we say we all fall short of God and sin continuously. We of our own can not do any works that would earn us a minute in eternity and be able to live with Jesus.  God's Grace is the only thing that can save us and we forget that, we get so caught up in how good we are being and forget we are not better than any other person that sins.  Contemplate that the next time you think I am so much better than the person who did this sin or that, you know the sin that some one you know does that makes them lesser than you, and remember God  sees your sin the same as theirs.  God can only see us through the shed blood of Jesus as sinless.  Are you sinless today in God's sight?  You can be if you only accept his free gift of Grace through Jesus Christ, do it today.  Nothing you have ever done is unforgivable to God except your unbelief.... tomorrow. 

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