Saturday, August 6, 2011

Where Do People Get Their Information?

            Saturday is the day Michele and I set aside to meet with a few of our friends, go over what God is doing in our lives, where we have felt His presence, and of course when we have fallen short in answering calls to discipleship. Today deviated from the norm. Usually our separate men’s and women’s groups meet in the same location, but one of my prayer partners was committed to leading the devotion for the men’s group at his church this month, and my other prayer partner was out of town on vacation. So I chose to participate in the larger men’s gathering. (It’s really no fun talking to yourself about the issues in your own life.) Our wives were following the normal routine and as usual were not quite finished when we returned to pick them up.

            When I arrived, one of the women handed me an article from the local paper. I thought it was to occupy me while they finished their meeting, but I quickly learned it had been part of the discussion this week. Before I continue, I am offering you an opportunity to read the “Opinion/article” for yourself. This was printed in the Yuma Daily Sun July 30 or 31, 20011 and posted to their web site July 31, 2011 at 12:00 AM. Please take the time to read it.

            In this opinion piece, the authors say, “Marriage is an evolving and civil and religious institution…” Reading the Bible, from Genesis which is the book of beginnings I see that the family unit was created before either civil or religious institutions.  That first family began with one man and one woman. They were created in the image of God and were given a two-fold purpose: 1. Populate the earth and 2. Establish dominion over all the other creations God saw fit to create.

Genesis 1:27-28 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (KJV)

            Addressing the evolution of marriage and the misinterpretation that “…scripture neither commends a single marriage model nor commands all to marry,…”   Simply, accept the fact, God did not redefine His expectation for His creation. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians gave these instructions.

1 Corinthians 7:8-10 “But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do. But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]. But to the married people I give charge--not I but the Lord--that the wife is not to separate from her husband.” (AMP)

            Scripture does say in effect, not all should marry, and it supports marriage as one man and one woman. The use of the words husband and wife make that point pretty clear. It also addresses the issue of divorce, but that is a topic for another discussion.

            The Bible as we have it is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. God is represented in the persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three exist in complete agreement. Jesus Christ said in Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (NIV) If it is true of the Son, it is also true of the Father. God’s word is eternally established. Teachers of the “Word” are held to a high standard of faithfulness to its teachings.

Hebrews 13:7-9 “Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn't change — yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself.  Don't be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don't seem to do much for those who buy them.” (MSG)

            I find it interesting that throughout this opinion which was printed in the “Newspaper” the authors spent time telling the readers what the Bible said without ever actually quoting the sacred text. It is human nature to be tempted and drawn away from God’s standard. That is the definition of sin.

James 1:14-16 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” (KJV)

            If you believe the Bible is the “Word of God” and you accept it as the unchanging “TRUTH”, you must accept everything contained in it as relevant and meaningful. Christ is at work today as He has always been bringing everyone into a relationship with God the Father, but that relationship must line of with the precepts outlined in the Bible. We cannot condone sin in any form.

Romans 1:25-27 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (KJV)

            I am saying we all need to apply God’s principles to our lives and deal with sin in the only acceptable fashion.  REPENT. Give the TRUTH of God’s word an opportunity to transform your life into the reflection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Repentance is the act of turning away from sin and traveling in the complete opposite direction, bringing our lives into agreement with God’s plan. His plan is made clear through the study of His word.  

Proverbs 14:11-13 “The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.” (KJV)

            Marriage is defined in the Bible. It is not open to our interpretation and as we teach and preach, we must constantly consider the whole “Word of God”. We cannot approach it as an All You Can Eat Buffet only choosing our personal favorites and tossing out the rest at the end of the day. God is speaking today what He has always spoken.

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