Modern shepherds of God's word and His people have gone far astray from these absolutes.
They have strayed so far that it is doubtful that they can find their way back to where they started to go wrong. This is because they have been following others who have been going astray for centuries. And these pastors have taken the people with them.
Yeah, I know this is quite a negative statement, but for reasons we will cover, it is absolutely true. That is one good thing about absolutes - you can nearly always demonstrate their origin and their necessity. They came from Somewhere and that Source is still valid today - and that Source never changes (James 1:17
17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
, Malachi 3:6
6I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Of course, the same people that use the Malachi quote to prove their own point might turn around for a different occasion and say that it is only for the Israelites because He was speaking only to "the descendants of Jacob". At least, that's how they do away with other Old Testament statements by God, unless they need them to prove some other point.
What are absolutes?
Just so we don't go chasing a rabbit down an endless hole, let's put everyone on the same page:
1. not qualified or diminished in any way; total.
used for general emphasis when expressing an opinion.
"the policy is absolute folly"
(of powers or rights) not subject to any limitation; unconditional.
"no one dared challenge her absolute authority"
(of a ruler) having unrestricted power.
"he proclaimed himself absolute monarch"
(of a decree) final.
"the decree of nullity was made absolute"
2. viewed or existing independently and not in relation to other things; not relative or comparative.
"absolute moral standards"
(of a construction) syntactically independent of the rest of the sentence, as in:
"dinner being over, we left the table"
(of a transitive verb) used without an expressed object (e.g. guns kill ).
(of an adjective) used without an expressed noun (e.g. the brave ).
noun: absolute; plural noun: absolutes
a value or principle which is regarded as universally valid or which may be viewed without relation to other things.
"good and evil are presented as absolutes"
Did God say it and does He still mean it?
People read the Bible every day. Most of them read things in it that should affect their daily lives, but don't. People do things that are not in the Bible, and use them to replace things that are in the Bible that they don't want to do. They take their pastor's word about everything while seldom ever checking to see if it is actually what the Bible says (Acts 17:11
11Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
). Their minds have been so numbed to God's will that many are not even aware that He has expressed it clearly to everyone who reads His word. And most don't even know that they are going against His will at least every week, and sometimes every day.
"Numb? I know God's will!"
Most people don't know His will - not even close. Oh, they know the lovey-dovey promises, but none of the hard, judging part. That numbing we mentioned above is the direct responsibility of the pastors of today. They deliberately ignore God's clear warnings and lead the people into complacent comfort with their sins in order to keep them in the pews. Not just a few pastors, mind you, but the vast majority (99%) of them. Yes, even yours.
Now, if this was just an opinion, you could ignore this and go on with your life. If you don't believe it, you might do that, anyway. But you should at least find out if there is any substance to this accusation. That is the purpose of this article.
"Prove it!", you say?
For those of you who think that we are not responsible for the laws told only to the Israelites, God told only Adam not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden called the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Then Adam and Eve ate of that tree, and they were both punished for it - the one He had told and the one He didn't tell - but both of them knew about it.
What we eat
In Genesis 9:3
3Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
, God allowed people to eat any meat except for certain circumstances. It was not until later in Leviticus 11 that He declared that some animals were unfit as food for His people. The interesting thing is that He described the unfit animals as being "detestable" and "unclean", and says that you will be defiled (Leviticus 11:43
43Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
) by them.
Now, consider two people standing next to each other - one Jewish, the other a Gentile living with the Jews (this means that he believes in and honors the same God as the Jews do, not that he lives "next door" to a Jew (Ephesians 2:19
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household,
). See Refiner's Fire for an excellent discussion on this). In Leviticus 11:43
43Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
, God is speaking to His people about eating animals that are to be considered "detestable" and "unclean" to them. Now, when God calls something detestable, is it only detestable to some people? No, it is something He considers detestable, period. Should the Gentile eat the "detestable" and "unclean" animal since he is not a Jew? Most Gentile "Christians" say "Yes!"
Is Peter a liar?
According to something else that God told Moses, Leviticus 15:13-16
13"'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when they present a food offering as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 14For the generations to come, whenever a foreigner or anyone else living among you presents a food offering as an aroma pleasing to the Lord, they must do exactly as you do. 15The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord: 16The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigner residing among you.'"
, no, he should not. If a person wants to become one of God's people, he is to follow the same rules as the Jews. To ignore this is to interpret God as one who shows favoritism to races instead of believers, which contradicts Acts 10:34
34I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism
or, in the KJV,
34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
So, does God separate races, or does He expect obedience from all those who claim to believe in Him? All with faith in Jesus are considered part of Abraham's children (Galatians 3:7
7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.
).The gist of Acts 10 is that God accepts "the one who fears Him and does what is right" (Acts 10:35
35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
). So, what is right in this case? Does the prohibition against unclean meats apply to only one race? If you say yes, then you are fine with eating something that is "detestable" to God and that He wants His people to refuse. Either you trust God's word, or you don't. You can't have it both ways.
God's holy Sabbath
So, where are you on this one? He told one people, had them write it down for the world, but He didn't tell you about it. Do you believe in a different God than the God of the Jews? Remember, everything Jesus did was to give glory to the Father. How about you? Do you follow the will of the Father, and what He made holy, or have you forsaken His holy day for a day of your own choosing? How about the other commandments?
The rest of the Ten Commandments
Can you murder, steal, or covet with impunity because He didn't "give those rules to you", a Gentile? If not, why do these nine apply but other absolutes from the same God do not?
Leviticus 18, sexual immorality
How about here? Do you feel that what God told "only the Israelites" doesn't apply to you? Do you feel that it is OK to have babies with your sister or your uncle? I doubt it, so you probably follow the rules given in that Old Testament chapter. If you follow those, but you still eat pork or lobster, celebrate Christmas or Easter, how do you justify not following His other commands?
Even the American "Christian" holidays are not Christian. They come directly from paganism. Your pastor knows that, but goes direcly against the word of God (Deuteronomy 12:3-4,30-31,
3 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. 4 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. (Deut 12:3-4)
30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. (Deut 12:30-31)
, Deuteronomy 18:9
9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.
and Jeremiah 10:2
2 This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them.
) when he allows the pagan practices in his congregation. These are more "absolutes" that your pastor ignores in order to allow people to mix paganism with Christianity as the Nicolaitans did (see Revelation 2 and 3 to see how Jesus feels about that). Even Jesus said it in Mark 7:6-13
6He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.'
8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions."
9And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10For Moses said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' 11But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God) - 12then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
, especially in verses 8 and 13.
You know, human traditions like Christmas, Easter, and keeping Sunday instead of the Sabbath. There are no Biblical commands to do any of these - only human (pagan) traditions. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were changing God's rules to the point where no one could keep them. They were going too far. Now, "Christian" churches do not go far enough. Not one "Christian" church observes the holidays that God said are important to Him. These changes fly in the face of God's real commands.
"My pastor knows what God wants!"
Well, here I agree with you. He knows, but does not follow it. I've discussed this with many of them. They know what they are doing, but they make excuses that they are only using the pagan ways to teach people about Christ. They say, "The laws do not apply to Gentiles." They say, "God didn't mean that for us." They actually say, "If they don't know they are sinning, they will not be responsible." But that's not what Jesus says in Matthew 23:15:
15Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
That sounds like they are in trouble even if they "do not know they are sinning".
He knows, but does not do it
What God said He wants goes directly against the stand of your church and your pastor. The unfortunate thing is that your pastor will not rock the boat because he needs to keep people in the pews.
If he tries to correct this problem by telling the congregation the honest truth, many in his congregation will leave. They will go to where they can hear what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3
3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
). They want to hear the lies they have heard since their earliest memories. So, the entire fault is not with the pastors, but some is with the people who just don't want to hear the truth. It is right there in black and white, but people refuse to see it.
What about the absolutes?
To find the absolutes, we must read the Bible. We should not listen to the pastors twist and change it. Just read what it says before any interpretations. They are right there in front of us. They are written down. They apply to all those who believe in the Father and the Son. They have never changed. The meaning of the truth is simple - do the absolute will of the Father.
So, why do so many people swear that His will has changed to the point where it affects no one but the Jews, the people God originally chose as His? Because that's what everyone is being told in those churches that do not care to take God at His word. Remember, the truth is true whether or not you believe it. Denying it, however loudly, does not make it false.
Jesus saves, but...
Jesus saves, but He does so in the will of the Father, and in order to give Him the glory. Only those who do likewise will make it into that select group. (Matthew 7:21
21Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
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