Exploring Christ's Spiritual Laws

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May 28, 2018
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#41
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Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by
what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats,
because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from
faith is sin.

In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's
a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster
video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your
own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians
can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while
others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should
perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that
determines where to eat.

In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your
freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow
Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.
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May 28, 2018
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#42
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Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain 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 believe certain things are
wrong.

Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of
others, i.e. sympathetic regard; which is no doubt near impossible for
Christians afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder: a toxic
psychological condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self
importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in
relationships, and a lack of empathy.

I think this would be a good place to interject a note pertaining to the
statement below:

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one
another." (John 13:35)

For many of us who grew up in dysfunctional families, broken homes, foster
systems and/or orphanages et al; the concept of love doesn't resonate in our
thinking; viz: it just goes in one ear and right out the other because we
quite literally have no points of reference in our minds to aid comprehending
what The Lord means by love; and this is what makes his commandments
interspersed throughout the epistles so valuable. Many of them not only
show us how to recognize love when we encounter it; but also how to
exemplify it in our own lives so that those of us who were deprived of love
growing up are not left to figure it out on our own.
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May 28, 2018
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#43
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Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order
to bring praise to God.

That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge
each other as Christians, and treat one another as Christians though they
may differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real
Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a
string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin
tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have
a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and
Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where
there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a
pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little
costumes.

Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and practice
the very same way they believe and practice, then those others are not
Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's
definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the
teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They
don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only have to profess
to believe in them.

An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to
qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a
Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only
had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all
followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling,
name calling, and bad feelings.

NOTE: Heresy is subjective. In other words: what's heresy to a Catholic
may not be heresy to a Methodist, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a
Mormon may not be heresy to a Jehovah's Witness, and vice versa. And
what's heresy to a Baptist may not be heresy to the Church Of God, and vice
versa. So my advice is: never, ever call another Christian a heretic-- just to
be on the safe side; cut that name from your remarks because it just might
be that you yourself are the one infected with heresy and don't know it; viz:
be circumspect with your choice of words because the hapless day just may
arrive when you are forced to eat them.
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May 28, 2018
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Oregon
#44
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Rom 15:27 . . If the Gentiles have shared in the Israelite's spiritual
blessings, they owe it to the Israelites to share with them their material
blessings.

Within the context of Rom 15:25-27, the Israelites to whom Paul refers are
not those who believe and practice Judaism; but those who believe and
practice Christianity. It is unbecoming for Christians to support religions that
undermine their Master.
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May 28, 2018
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#45
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Rom 16:17-18 . . I urge you, brothers, beware of those who cause
divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you
have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our
Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they
deceive the minds of naïve people.

In the 17th chapter of John's gospel, Christ prayed for unity. People in
church who cause division and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to
the teaching you have learned are detrimental to his wishes.

NOTE: Christianity isn't a democracy. It's a theocracy. The New Testament
Greek word for lord and/or master in Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, 2Tim 2:21, 2Pet
2:1, and Rev 6:10 is despotes (des-pot'-ace) from which we get our English
word despot; defined by Webster's as a ruler with absolute power and
authority.

People in church following a fire in their belly instead of the wishes of
Christianity's despot are guilty of sedition; defined by Webster's as
incitement of resistance to, or insurrection against, lawful authority.

In their own minds; the rebels no doubt honestly believe themselves
working for the greater good, but that path is risky. For example: failure to
obey God cost King Saul the loss of his reign. (1Sam 15:22-26)

"smooth talk" is the practice of sophistry; defined as a reason or an
argument that sounds correct but at its core is actually false; viz: subtly
deceptive reasoning or argumentation.

Sophistry is typically rational, reasonable, and sensible; but the thing to
keep in mind is that faith believes what's revealed to it rather than only what
makes sense to it. For example; by revelation we know that the cosmos-- all
its forms of life, matter, and energy --is the product of intelligent design.
Sophistry argues that the cosmos originated from the mighty explosion of a
miniscule something or other; a.k.a. the Big Bang.

According to Eph 4:11-14 the very reason that Christ endows some of his
followers to speak for him is so that the rest of his followers may have
access to true premises upon which to build their faith and thus achieve the
unity for which he prayed.

FYI: "keep away from them" isn't a recommendation; it's an order.
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