March 13, 2011

Sin v. The rules

The Ten Commandments were first handed down by Moses in Exodus 20. Most people regard these commandments as instructions to keep us from sinning. It is often thought that if you break them, you sin and need repentance. But, does being a "Christian" mean following a list of rules? Is it just "Thou shall..." and "Thou shalt not..." or is there something else?

Being a Christian is not about how good we are... It is not about the do's and don'ts... It is not about works or deeds.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Simply put, to follow the rules is to try to do just enough. It is a stumbling block that we must overcome.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
What then, is sin? Sin is what keeps us out of heaven. It entered into us when we were born through Adam and Eve. I believe that sin is part of human nature. After all, it is something we are all born with. Adam and Eve both put their own desires before what God wanted. I believe that sin is putting our own selfish wants and desires before God and others.

But, Look carefully at the reasoning used to entice Eve into eating the fruit. It is when humans went in a separate direction than God.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Eve wanted to be more... to be like God. She put her own wants in front of what God wanted. She was selfish in eating of the fruit. It is our selfish desires that put us in a direction opposite of God. How then, must we change course and go in a direction towards God?
Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
Luke 9:23
or...
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
We need to clean ourselves of our selfish intentions that takes us away from God. What else, besides human nature, would cause us to covet, cheat, lie, steal or deny God? What else would be our motives?

The Ten Commandments were handed down by Moses to the Jews. They set them apart as special people. They can set us apart as special people too. But, following them is not a means for redemption.

Adoption and Religion

In Florida, adoption between same-sex couples is a heated topic. Those for it blame the "religious right" as their main opposition. But, in the United Kingdom, there is an interesting, yet disturbing court case that usually just happened.

Eunice adn Owen Johns tried to adopt. The courts denied them. Their decision wasn't purely based upon their sexuality, but rather their religious beliefs about homosexuality.
The sticking point was their answer to the question: “Would you tell a child it was OK to be homosexual?” The Johns replied that they would not. They would love a child regardless, but not endorse that lifestyle.
Are we OK with that? Do you think that this is a Separation of Church and State issue?

March 2, 2011

Music Moment - Kutless - What Faith Can Do

What Faith Can Do
from It Is Well

I have had this song on my mind for a few days.
I thought I would share it with everyone.