Saturday, February 28, 2009

Avoid EVEN the Appearance of Evil

The Word of God - more commonly known as The Bible, (1 Thessalonians 5:22) tells Christians to Avoid every kind of evil, in fact, the Greek actually says to abstain even from evil appearances. But why? A recent situation at one of my jobs, should illustrate this nicely...

I work at the Spokane Veteran's Memorial Arena, with a company that has a contract to clean up after events, as one of my many jobs. One night recently, after cleaning up, there were several bottles of water, soda pop, bags of chips, fruit, etc left over from a group that had used the Arena. These items were purchased / provided by an outside caterer, and did not belong to the arena, so the boss said they must go away... Now alcohol, regardless of source, is not allowed to be removed from the Arena, by anyone in the company... Anyway, the people still working, split up the loot, and one person grabbed a cardboard box (happened to be a beer box) to put stuff in and as we were carrying it out, an employee (of the arena) saw this box, apparently of beer, leaving the arena in one of our arms. Well, he knew nothing of the situation, and as a regular employee, it probably looked to him like we were doing something wrong. So he reported it to his supervisor, who brought the situation to the leadership of our group, and lotsa nonsense erupted. Did we do anything wrong? Now the Scriptures also teach us, as Christians that there are specific steps to take when we have a problem with someone else or think that they are doing wrong... Remember the point of this blog is to point out the difference that separates Christianity from all other religions... The Bible lets us know that if we have a problem with someone, or what they are doing, we are to do the following:
1. we are to go to them, one on one, and bring it to their attention.
2. If they do not listen, take one or two others with you.
3. If they still do not listen, take it to the elders of the church.
4. If they still do not listen, (if it is something requiring it,) cast them out of the body of believers, so that they do not poison others with their sin.
Now obviously, the steps do not have to go this far in all cases, but only the extreme ones...

The point of this story is that, had this individual simply asked about what he thought was something wrong, he would have found that there was not anything wrong going on, and no one would have had to suffer the scrutiny of security tapes having been viewed, and people running the risk of losing their jobs over something which really was nothing.

Now the Bible also says not to muzzle the ox which threshes your grain, and I will be relating this verse to the same issue in another post. so stay tuned...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Church or Relationship

Once again, people are harping on Christians for the lack of perfection of Churches... The uniqueness of being a Christian is, however, not being perfect, but rather that even though we are not perfect, our God loved us, and came here to save us from our sins... (John 3:16 states that God so loved the world that He sent His only son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life) And He did this, because we messed up in the beginning. He does require us to live our lives as a living sacrifice, dedicated to Him, and serving our fellow man. Yet, our salvation is dependent only on Him. We are not judged on what we do, but rather on whether or not we are His. We can never be good enough to EARN His love, or even forgiveness. The difference between Christianity and all other religions, is that other religions are about man seeking God(s), or trying to earn his(their) love, and Christianity is about Him (The creator, giver of life, author and finisher of our faith) seeking us. Jesus came to earth, setting His attributes of Godhood aside, and became man, so He could live with and like us, but without sin, so that He could pay for our sins. He willingly went to His death, a death on the cross, that God's justice [In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Heb 9:22] could be satisfied. So the question remains... What do YOU do WITH JESUS -- Do you accept His gift of forgiveness, and spend eternity? Or do you reject Him, and die in your sins?
Email me and let me know if you Accept His gift...