Monday, June 28, 2010

"Thou Shalt Not Lie"

The 9th Commandment is often quoted thus, as saying "Thou shalt not lie." But it does not say that. It says that we must not bear false witness.

While elsewhere in Scripture we are told that God hates a lying, deceitful tongue, this commandment specifically addresses witnesses. (Pr. 24:26)

And there is a vast difference between "Thou shalt not lie" and the condemnation of a lying tongue and a deceitful heart.

There are times to lie! There is never a time to be a liar. Just as there are times to kill, but never to be a murderer.

Look at the examples in Scripture of those who deceived the wicked for The Glory of God- and indeed, in obedience to God:
  1. Jehu pretended to serve baal so that he could rid the land of servants of baal. (2 Kings 10)
  2. Rahab lied to save the Hebrew spies (Joshua 6)
  3. Ehud used deciet to come before Eglon. (Judges 3)
  4. The Hebrew midwives lied to save Hebrew babies- and God blessed them for it! (Exodus 1)
Now, don't think that this then justifies lying to your mom about stealing the cookies. That is not only being dishonoring to your parents, but is also being deceitful for wicked ends. God hates these things.

Let us be shrewd...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Eyes of God

Proverb 23:17 - How do cheeseburger-eating contests teach The Fear of The LORD? Not that the contest is malum-in-se, but to come to Church and do such a thing... then again. It is basically institutionalized gluttony. If not malum-in-se, at least we surely can in wisdom find more redemptive uses of time, even if not at Church!

And while I chose the cheeseburger-eating contest as a fun and easy example, there are many other appropriate places where we must look to God that He may "lead us with His eyes." (Ps. 32:8)

"Do not let your heart envy sinners," but live in the fear of The LORD... what would God want me to do? We must be aware of God's Gaze always. We must walk in fear of him. Before He gave His Law to Israel, note how He displayed a taste of His power in Exodus 19. The Fear of The LORD is The Beginning of Wisdom.

Oh yes, God loves us, and we must love Him as well. But it starts with the fear, the honor, the respect. He is The LORD- let the nations tremble.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Delighted to Obey

I've often thought how silly the Israelites of the Old Testament seem. How could they have so often rejected The God that so often rescued them? Over and over and over they call out to Him, He saves them, and then they leave Him, and then He punishes them, and then they call out to Him, and then He saves them, and then they leave Him again. How could they be so... sinful? So foolish? Then today it hit me... we do the same thing.

Think of this great nation America. Founded as a Christian nation which Almighty God delivered from tyranny by great wonders of His Providence, how many times have we left Him, and how many times have we repented after receiving our just recompense, and how many times have we left Him again?

And how many times have we only "repented" on a shallow and emotional level? After 9/11, the churches were filled, surely. So why do we continue to retrograde?

Maybe because the foundations are destroyed. The family has been splintered. And now, we have a truly irrelevant "Christianity," one which conforms to the world in a vain attempt to bring the world to conform to Christ. One which is more man-centered than God-centered, more fun than faithful, more enticing than confronting, more worldly than Scriptural- in other words, a "Christianity" which has forsaken its savor in hopes of getting itself sprinkled onto the world. We are determined to use whatever means necessary to achieve a good end- but by compromising God's Ways of doing things, we cannot but compromise the things themselves.

This is irrelevance and impotence- we reject God's Law as too hard, and we choose the easy, painless, broad path. And in so doing we have sold our birthright to satiate our hunger.

Oh, the assembly of believers is a beautiful and joyous thing! "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity." But true unity is forged around a core of Truth and a unified vision- not around a lack of a Standard. Chesterton said that "Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions." Is the Church slipping to that degraded state today?

It is fitting that this post should fall so near to Father's Day. The father plays a crucial role in the process either of true repentance or lack thereof. I thank God for a father who leads in the old paths, the paths of God, unafraid to shed tradition and to "offend," but rather afraid to disobey God. And not only afraid to disobey God, but excited and delighted to obey Him.

We need more men to take up the torch, to return to God's Word, to do God's Work God's Way.

We need more men who are delighted to obey.
"All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance."
~ Edward Gibbon