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Thread: Christ's Commandments

  1. #76
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:10-11a . . Unto the married I command-- yet not I, but The Lord --let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband.

    Supposing one of the spouses sleeps with somebody during the separation? Is the other spouse supposed to still make an effort to reconcile? NO! According to the lord and master of New Testament Christianity; unfaithfulness dissolves the marriage bond.

    "I say unto you: whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matt 19:9)

    Q: May a woman put away her husband for a cause other than fornication?

    A: No; of course not; that would be a double standard.

    Q: But why are only the husbands targeted in Matt 5:32?

    A: The Lord's audience was primarily Jewish and lived under the terms and conditions of Israel's covenanted law. Under that law, the husbands typically initiated divorce rather than the wives.

    "They say unto him: Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." (Matt 19:7-8)

    The Lord's comments were based upon the passage below:

    "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Gen 2:24)

    There is no mention of divorce in the wording of that decree, nor is there any mention of polygamy either. In point of fact, if I'm understanding The Lord correctly, prior to rules regulating Christian church officers at 1Tim 3:2, it was okay for every man to have more than one wife just so long as they didn't divorce the first simply in order to take up with a second.

    According to Matt 19:7-8, Moses premised divorce settlements upon the hardness of men's hearts rather than upon the hardness of their heads. In other words; Moses decreed divorce settlements as a safe-guard against men discarding their unwanted wives like chattel. A proper divorce separates a woman from her husband with at least a measure of her dignity intact and also ensures she isn't dumped without fair compensation; in other words: mandatory divorce settlements force men to respect women as human beings rather than yesterday's newspaper.

    Q: So then; God permits divorce?

    A: Webster's defines "permission" as: formal consent; viz: authorization. It's far more accurate to say that God tolerates divorce.

    Were God to authorize divorce for any cause other than unfaithfulness; then according to Matt 19:9, God would be condoning adultery. And not only would He be condoning adultery, but He would also be inconsistent with His own one-flesh decree at Gen 2:24. The point is; people get divorced regardless of God's decree at Gen 2:24. Because of that ugly little fact of life; God requires that if people just have to get divorced; that it be done in such a way as to protect the women; especially their reputations. If a man dumped his wife without something in writing, future suitors might assume it was because she was unfaithful.

    Q: But doesn't Gen 16:1-4 and Gen 30:3-10 indicate that God permits adultery?

    A: I am unable to locate wording in either of those passages clearly indicating that God granted Abram permission to marry his half sister and/or to sleep with Ms.Hagar; and I am also unable to find wording in either of those passages clearly indicating that God granted Jacob permission to sleep with his wives' maids.

    FYI: When the Bible's God stands by and does nothing to prevent sin, it should never be construed to indicate that He condones it because God prefers not to micro-manage intelligent creatures. For example: He could easily have prevented Cain from murdering his kid brother Abel. Does that eo ipso indicate Cain had God's consent to murder his kid brother? No. God also could have prevented Judah from sleeping with his daughter-in-law Tamar to produce an illegitimate child who subsequently ended up in The Lord's biological genealogy. Does that eo ipso indicate Judah had God's consent to commit incest? No.

    In some jurisdictions; silence is construed as consent. Beware applying that kind of logic to the Bible's God.

    Anyway; before meeting my wife in 1979, I was active in a very large single's group in a church in San Diego. One of the girls in the group had supported her ex while he was in medical school. You know the story: after graduation, Mister Gray's Anatomy dumped her.

    That girl was level-headed, young and pretty, had no children from a previous marriage, drove her own car and had a job. In other words, she was a good bet; but her conscience wouldn't permit dating since she was convinced that Christians are married forever. Wishing to be helpful, I pointed out that if her ex was sleeping with somebody, then Matt 19:9 made her available. (No, she couldn't accept it; at least not right then anyway. I sincerely hope she changed her mind some day before the aging process ruined her looks.)

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  2. #77
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:11b . . and let not the husband put away his wife.

    There is of course an exception to that rule.

    "I say unto you: whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matt 19:9)

    Fornication in the case of a married woman is adultery; which, in the economy of God, is a capital crime.

    "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Lev 20:10)

    "If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman." (Deut 22:22)

    Even though there is no death penalty in the USA for adultery that I know of; the Bible accounts adulterers to be dead-men-walking, leaving the victim of infidelity free to divorce and remarry. It could be said that in cases of infidelity, divorce papers are the adulterer's death certificate.

    Q: But aren't Christians exempt from Lev 20:10 and Deut 22:22?

    A: They are exempt from the death penalty as per those two divine laws because Christians are not covenanted with God to comply with them. However; according to Rom 13:1-4 they are not exempt from civil laws that execute adulterers.

    In addition, believers are not exempt from discipline as per Heb 12:5-13. To see just how extreme that can get, feast your glims on Acts 5:1-11 and 1Cor 11:27-30

    Perhaps the classic case of discipline on file involved David's tryst with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband. God took David's conduct off the books so he wouldn't go to hell for what he did; nevertheless, God subjected him to some pretty heavy consequences. (2Sam 12:9-14)

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  3. #78
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:12 . . If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

    1Cor 7:13 . . And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

    Christians are of course strictly forbidden to marry non-Christians (1Cor 7:39, 2Cor 6:14-18). But even if a potential spouse is a Christian, you may want to think twice before tying the knot if the other does not believe the same things and/or the same way. Marriage is hard enough to keep intact without introducing religious division into the home right out of the gate.

    It's very common for marriages to start off okay, and then later on to become religiously divided; like for instance when one of the spouses gets converted at a Luis Palau crusade. As long as the situation doesn't cause intolerable friction in the home, the couple should stay together.

    "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy." (1Cor 7:14-15)

    According to Matt 19:9, divorce and remarriage are holy only if one of the spouses has been unfaithful. So; if a believing spouse divorces their unbelieving spouse for any other reason than infidelity, and remarries; then as far as God is concerned, any children produced in the believing spouse's second marriage will be illegitimate.

    Q: Why isn't spousal abuse cause for a believing spouse to divorce an unbelieving spouse? After all, according to 1Cor 7:15, God has called believers to peace.

    A: Because according to Matt 19:9 the only acceptable cause for divorce is infidelity. Other than that, the only acceptable alternative is separation. (1Cor 7:10-11)

    It isn't unusual to encounter unbelievers employing clever sophistry to circumvent Matt 19:9. I highly recommend letting their smooth words go in one ear and out the other because there is no peace to be obtained by disobedience.

    "These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation" (John 16:33)

    One of the "things I have spoken to you" is Matt 19:9. If believing spouses heed Jesus' instructions, they will have peace. If not; then I think they should pretty much expect to be out on their own.

    "And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1John 1:5-6)

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  4. #79
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:15 . . But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

    In other words: If an unbelieving spouse initiates divorce for whatever reason; then the believing spouse is in the clear to remarry; but of course not until the unbeliever starts sleeping with somebody.

    1Cor 7:17 . . But as God hath distributed to every man, as The Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.

    It isn't necessary to go out on the mission field in order to serve Christ faithfully and effectively. Even just being a good citizen counts.

    1Cor 7:18a . . Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised.

    It was of course impossible to literally reverse circumcision in Paul's day. However, there did exist a procedure to ceremoniously reverse it. (cf. 1Maccabees 1:15)

    1Cor 7:18b . . Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

    The circumcision in question is ritual circumcision; specifically the initiation rite into Judaism. Paul's advice is very practical because if a believer undergoes Judaism's circumcision rite, they will obligate God to come down on themselves with the curses listed at Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69 for noncompliance with the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. All one has to do is research the last 3,500 years of the Jews' history, up to and including the Holocaust, to see for themselves that God is serious about those curses.

    A fair question one might ask is: If 1Cor 7:18b is a hard and fast rule, then why did Paul circumcise Timothy at Acts 16:1-3? Answer: that wasn't done to initiate Timothy into Judaism, but rather, so that the Jews wouldn't make an issue of Paul associating with a Gentile who had no respect for their religion and thereby self-render themselves tone deaf to the Gospel. This very same problem exists today among people who fixate on the King James English translation of the Bible. They will not listen to a teacher, not even a Spirit-empowered teacher, unless he quotes from the KJV.

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  5. #80
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:20 . . Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.

    In other words: Bloom where you're planted. There's no need to quit your job and sell your home in order to run off to God knows where and start an orphanage in some third world country. God can make use of you right where you are.

    I once knew a really good Catholic man who felt guilty never going out as a missionary to a foreign land to help people less fortunate than himself. Well, I assured him that somebody has to stay back here in the States and hold down a job in order to earn the money needed to finance missions already in place.

    The ratio of soldiers in the rear compared to the ones at the front is something like six to one. It takes a massive support base to keep guys on the line out there facing off with the bad guys; all the way from workers in state-side factories manufacturing war materiel, to the sailors, soldiers, and airmen moving men and materiel over land and seas, to the doctors and nurses staffing MASH facilities, to the guys and girls driving supply trucks to the front. We can't all be in the doo-doo. Somebody has to be in the rear with the gear.

    So take comfort in knowing that if you're involved in the effort, then you're a part of the effort; and will be rewarded accordingly. (cf. 1Sam 30:1-25 and Matt 20:1-16)

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  7. #81
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:21-22 . . Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in The Lord while a slave is The Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ's slave.

    The Greek word for "slave" includes both voluntary and involuntary service.

    In Paul's day, not all slaves were lifelong slaves. Some were what's called indentured slaves; which Webster's defines as a person who signs and is bound by a contract to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance. Indentured slaves were also in-service in lieu of settling their debts with money, or some other considerations; e.g. property and/or goods and possessions. In "civilized" countries like the USA, people in hopeless debt are protected by bankruptcy laws.

    1Cor 7:23 . .You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

    In other words; selling your body is one thing, while selling your soul is quite another; Christ has first dibs on that so don't even think about it.

    The point is; whether bonded or free, every believer is indentured to The Lord. But it is his wish that believers remain free rather than make a habit of indenturing themselves to humans primarily because a free man's labor earns him wages: a portion of which can be donated towards The Lord's work; while a slave earns no wages to donate towards The Lord's work. Also; a free man is at liberty to move about and make himself useful to The Lord, while a slave's movements are pretty much limited to their human master's jurisdiction.

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  8. #82
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:24 . . Brethren, let each one remain with God in the situation in which he was called.

    In other words: if you're a slave; don't become a runaway slave. Whether indentured or permanent; bite the bullet: stay put and make the best of it; always keeping in mind that whether slave or free you answer to a higher master.

    1Cor 7:25 . . Now about virgins: I have no command from The Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by The Lord's mercy is trustworthy.

    Paul's claim to be "trustworthy" is saying that he could be relied upon to speak as Christ and for Christ on certain issues without having to first inquire his mind about them.

    That's a pretty advanced degree of inspiration when somebody is 110% confident that their thoughts on a matter are God's thoughts.

    Too many Christians are wishy-washy. They have an annoying habit of pontificating their opinions as the God's truth; when in reality they haven't the confidence to stand up and announce themselves trustworthy; i.e. infallible.

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  9. #83
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:26-28 . . Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.

    The "present crisis" relates to circumstances that make it difficult and/or inadvisable to settle down and raise a family, e.g. Jer 16:1-4 and Matt 24:19-22. However, if people are already engaged, Paul says not to break it off; and quick to point out that marriage, overall, doesn't displease God; after all, men and women were intended to be couples rather than lone mariners.

    "Yhvh God said: It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help suitable for him." (Gen 2:18)

    "So Yhvh God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Yhvh God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said : This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called "woman" for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Gen 2:20-24)

    The Hebrew word for "help" means aid, as in first aid rather than aide as in aide-de-camp. Aid is what we lend to people in need; like the victims of accidents, economic distress, earthquakes, and floods. So then, Eve was created primarily to be Adam's crutch.

    I've heard it said that a man without a woman is only half a man. No, it's far more correct to say he's handicapped. He may not know he's handicapped, but when the right girl finally comes along, he'll wonder how he ever got along without her. In other words, procreation is only secondary in marriage. The primary purpose of marriage is companionship; viz: if your spouse isn't your best friend, then your marriage is doomed to be rocky.

    I caught a few moments of a televised interview with Valerie Bertinelli one day and the moderator was asking questions about her 24-year marriage to Eddy Van Halen. Valerie said it was okay at first until one day, after the magic wore off, she realized that she and her husband were never really friends. Valerie was your typical star-struck scatter-brain when she married Eddy, and too late she realized marrying a man while under the heady influence of hero-worship is a terrible mistake.

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  10. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeberHome View Post
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    John 14:21 . .Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.

    God's commands as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are covenanted commands, i.e. contractual. Christ's followers are not contracted with God to comply with those particular commands; and lucky them because Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69 specify a large number of curses for non compliance.

    Deut 27:26 . . Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.

    Note the grammatical tense of that curse; it's present tense rather than future, indicating that the very moment a Jew breaks one of the covenanted commands he racks up a curse upon himself-- no delay and no waiting period; for example:

    Lev 19:11 . . You shall not deal falsely, nor lie to one another.

    Every time a Jew is dishonest, he accrues a curse; for each offense. Lets say a Jew is dishonest ten times in a week. Well according to the covenant, his ten counts of dishonesty accrue ten curses; and those curses are contractual, i.e. God is obligated by the covenant to fulfil them lest He himself fall into breach of contract. Obviously then, serial dishonesty is pretty serious for people contracted with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

    Ergo: I do not recommend converting to Judaism lest one find themselves under a sword of Damocles hanging by a slender thread easily broken by just one lie.

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    Acts 13:47-48 "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

    48And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

    Acts 14:24-26 "24And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

    26And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled."

    Acts 15:1-2;5 "1And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question....5But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."

    Acts 15:24;28 "Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:...28For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;"

  11. #85
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 7:36 . . If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married.

    We have a saying in America that goes like this: So and so married what's her name and made an honest woman out of her. Well, most grown-ups know what that means without me having to say so. The point is: if a Christian man and his Christian significant other find themselves on the brink of exceeding the limits of propriety, it's time to tie the knot.

    And then too there's the so-called biological clock that stalks women during their productive years. It's cruel, unthinkable, and utterly selfish and psychopathic of a man to keep a girl on hold during those years if and when he's fully aware that she's longing to settle down and have a family of her own. A man who does that has no clue what the word "honor" means.

    1Cor 7:39 . . A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must be in The Lord.

    When people sound-bite a verse like that one out of context, they run the risk of coming to some very false conclusions; and one of those is that Christians can never, under any circumstances, divorce and remarry while their spouses are alive. Well, obviously they can, under certain circumstances (e.g. Matt 5:32). However, a Christian ex-wife has to be careful not to re-marry outside her faith as that would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. (cf. 2Cor 6:14-18)

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  12. #86
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

    . . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

    . . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

    That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

    Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State-sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

    Suppose you have Christian friends who seriously feel it's wrong to dine in a tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience; and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation that causes them to make that compromise.

    "We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord." (Rom 15:1-2)

    A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your Christian buddy seriously feels it's wrong to dine at Hooters? Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

    The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God-send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

    This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in gray areas (Rom 14:3-4). It's unfortunate that there are some very imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.

    For example: it is my own personal feelings that Luke 22:35-36 makes it okay for Christ's followers to own guns for self defense. Well; a rather opinionated Christian in one of my Sunday school classes sneered at me for feeling that way and proceeded to pontificate that Jesus' instructions were only "preparatory" for the upcoming confrontation with Judas and the crowd that came with him that night to arrest Jesus. Okay; that's fine with me if that's the way he feels about it; but sneering at me for feeling my way about it was not only thoughtless, but improper too.

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    1Cor 9:7-12 . .Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Mosei : Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain. Is it about oxen that God is concerned?

    . . . Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in anticipation of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?

    Detractors sometimes find it necessary to criticize the Bible's Jesus for free-loading and imposing on people's hospitality wherever he went. But when you think about it; The Lord earned every so-called free meal he ever got. His miracles healed and/or cured thousands of people in Israel during a time when health care and medical technology were all but non-existent. His countrymen owed The Lord a huge national debt of gratitude; just as the Hmong family next door owed Walt Kowalski a debt of gratitude for protecting them from gang-bangers in Clint Eastwood's movie Gran Torino.

    93) 1Cor 9:13-14 . . Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

    The above refers to the Levitical priests. They aren't allowed to own land where they could provide themselves sustenance by working their own farms. It's God's decree that a number of the sacrifices and offerings that the priesthood's constituents bring are dedicated to not just sustaining a friendly association with God, but also to nourishing the priests. (e.g. Ex 29:31-32, Lev 2:1-10, Lev 7:11-15)

    Anyway: pitch in and help provide your church's full-time pastor with a decent standard of living. This is not optional; no, it's something that "The Lord has commanded."

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  14. #88
    Over 750 post club WeberHome's Avatar
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    1Cor 9:24-25 . . Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

    The "prize" that Olympians won back in those days wasn't much. No medals: just a simple garland for the head consisting of a wreath made with wild olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia. In time the leaves dried out and crumbled.

    The important thing to note in 1Cor 9:24-25 is that the prize isn't a pass into the kingdom of God. No; the prize is an award rather than a wage; and there is more than one kind; e.g. Phil 4:1, 1Tim 4:8, Jas 1:12, 1Pet 5:4, Rev 14:14.

    1Cor 10:6-7 . . Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play.

    The Bible doesn't provide much detail at Ex 32:1-6 as to what went on in camp while Moses was up on the mountain. But one thing we know for sure is that there was a golden calf; and the "eat and drink" to which the apostle refers was a ritual where people sacrificed to the calf and afterwards consumed the sacrifice as an act of communion with it; sort of like an old fashioned Passover.

    "to play" in Ex 32:6 is from the Hebrew word tsachaq (tsaw-khak') which means: merriment; viz: pagan songs and dances dedicated to the calf; a kind of worship revelry; the likes of which in the ancient city of Corinth no doubt culminated in a drunken orgy.

    Apparently some of the religions in the Roman world were pretty wild and sensual, and as a result; very popular. In comparison; Christianity was dull and boring. Those pagan religions really gave you your money's worth, while Christianity has very little to offer in the way of entertainment, except maybe for Catholicism; David Letterman once commented that they put on a pretty good show.

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    1Cor 10:8 . . Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

    That event took place at Num 25:1-9. The fornication he's talking about wasn't believers with believers. It was believers with unbelievers. In other words; Christ's followers need to avoid getting romantic with unbelievers lest unbelievers lead his followers down the primrose path into something shameful and very unbecoming.

    1Cor 10:9 . .We should not test The Lord, as some of them did-- and were slain by snakes.

    That event took place at Num 21:5-9. It's noteworthy due to the fact that Christ appropriated it at John 3:14-18 to illustrate the necessity, and the efficacy, of his crucifixion. But anyway, the lesson is that it's not a good idea to complain about the quality of God's providence.

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    1Cor 10:10 . . And do not grumble, as some of them did-- and were killed by the destroying angel.

    That incident took place at Num 14:2-38. The "grumbling" grew into a pretty large anti-God protest. Anon it became violent and within a hair's breadth of culminating in Joshua's and Caleb's assassination. That was a very grave moment in Israel's history.

    Anyway, Yhvh's people were of the opinion that God had led them out of the frying pan into the fire by assigning them an impossible task; one that would result in everybody's deaths had they attempted to obey His orders; viz: a suicide mission. Joshua and Caleb tried to convince them it wasn't a suicide mission; and that with God on their side; they would not only survive; but easily succeed. They refused to listen; and thus became resolutely insubordinate.

    Now; the obvious fatal error in their thinking was simply a lack of belief that God would assist them to conquer the land. In point of fact, they didn't believe God was able to in spite of all His amazing displays of supernatural power in rescuing them from Egyptian slavery; and that's what made their unbelief all the more inexcusable. Most of us today have never seen God in action; we've only heard tell of His exploits; but Yhvh's people were eyewitnesses.

    Putting this in a modern context:

    New Christians are often led to believe that accepting Christ will improve their mood and remedy their circumstances. Well; apparently somebody neglected to tell them that they would have to fight for it, i.e. in order to obtain the fruit of the Spirit spoken of at Gal 5:22-23 they would have to knuckle down and live a life pleasing to both God and Christ; viz: comply with their wishes. (John 14:23, John 15:11)

    I'm sure you can see how easy it would be for a new Christian to become disillusioned, disappointed, and somewhat bitter at being seemingly tricked into something that turns out to be too good to be true-- then they get to complaining that a number of Christ's commandments are too difficult; nobody can keep them so what's the point in even trying.

    Well; that complaint is reasonable, I'll admit; but it's also insubordinate; and worse; it's contagious. If they want to give up trying to comply with The Lord's wishes; fine; but they really ought to keep their discontent with his wishes to themselves in order to avoid kindling large-scale rebellion and discontent in the ranks; which will quite effectively end up thwarting their church's work.

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