Not everyone believes in the same things,in the same God, or that there is even a God. I'm okay with that as long as they understand that their beliefs are part of the freedoms we have in this great nation of America. America was founded on the freedoms to not be ruled by a state run church. Yes, we were founded on the Judeo/Christian beliefs and our laws show that in the majority of cases.
What is disturbing to me is the extremism that we are seeing today by both sides of the spectrum, not only here in America, but world wide by many nations and many religions. People are taking the "you are either with us or against us" mentality to the extreme limit and saying that you are either a believer as they are -you must follow their rules, regardless of what the Bible or their book teaches- or you are an enemy to them.
Now some may say I act like that. Before you go there, please remember that I use the scriptures to back up my my beliefs and understandings. I am more than willing to read what someone has to say to me if I'm in error as long as they can show me scriptually where I err. I'm not talking about a single verse taken out of context, that is the tool of the devil to lead people astray and place them outside of God's discernment He gives to us.
I've had many conservatives from this site and at other places try to dispute what I believe and when asked to show me Bible verses to proof what they claim. All they come up with is the Mosaic laws given to the Jews, which the Jews themselves could not follow. It seems like they believe if they keep some of the laws they will be favored over people who know that Christ said He is the Way, and only through Him are we acceptable to God the Father. You see we who have accepted Christ know we are not justified by keeping the laws. Because Christ fulfilled the laws we are justified in Him alone, and so we become His and follow His Way.
It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it, because without knowing Him it is hard to know the peace and the absolute assurance in your mind and heart that He has saved you and you are His. That you now do not have to worry about being saved, because in Him we are born again and the old self is dead and in Him we are a new Creation. We now work through Him because we are His and do as He calls us to because it is now how we live in Him. Those who are His will recognise what I say to be true, because He has given it to them.
It is like being a fighter, an athlete, a scientist, a singer, a mathematician, an animal trainer, or anyone that has a special understanding or skill and is able to do things most people aren't able to do at the level they are in the fields they are in. It doesn't mean that person is a better person, it means they have skills that are beyond most people in their specialty. It is like a physicist trying to explain physics to a person with little knowledge of science or math. They may agree with the physicist, because that person is endowed with understanding they do not have, they have to trust the physicist's explanation because they can't do the science or math.
I have some friends on the vine who are very intelligent people, Physicist -retired, A radical idea, are just a couple who come to mind right now. They can discuss things that I have no understanding of what so ever, yet not make me feel dumb. Because they know what they know and are secure in their knowlege of it, they don't need to show how smart they are, instead they bring it to a level that I and others like me can understand and appreciate. Does it mean I'm as intelligent as they are in their field ?? Hahahaahahahahaaa !!! Hardly, it means they are good enough at what they do to make it understandable for the laymen while not losing their brilliance. I admire them for that and respect them as well. I hope to one day be able to share what I know in my specialty as well as they can with the same eloquence.
I also enjoy the musings of Zydor, Enoch, Jensen, Luther28, Grisham, Hiram, Vlads' Dog, Rescue Dogs 62, Lynn410457, Stevie, Ms Cyprah, crazyrooster-1946,stormshadow,an alternate view,B.L.Frazer NYC,Nectarine Records Inc, ERich, grumpy_jon, PaPa23, Proglib,FlNutmegger, kappa_man_stew,Peace Blessing,barry-barry-libcon,Truett Collins, Lynne from IL, ... I know there are many I haven't listed. But the purpose wasn't just to name these people, it is to show the range of beliefs that I enjoy reading and being involved with on the Vine.
You see my salvation in Christ is not threatened by someone elses unbelief. My salvation is secure in Him because I have accepted Him and I'm His. Why I share about it is because it is the best thing that has ever been given to me. I love to share, in case you haven't figured that out yet, ;~)). I share because He says to share, I share because I'm not selfish and someone elses coming to Christ does not diminish what I have in Him. It is just one more person to share His joy with.
Here are a few scriptures to show what I mean.
26 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
30 Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat."
People who seek Christ for financial profit or to be well taken care of in this world materially are not really seeking Christ. They are seeking ease and comfort paid for by another while claiming they have earned it. Christs gift to us is not earned by us because we can't earn it, thus the reason it is called a gift. I did nothing to earn my salvation, all I did was listen to The Holy Spirit when I was convicted in my heart of the need to be forgiven in Christ and to turn to Him for my salvation because my way wasn't working out. I admitted I was a failure at being able to please God and that all I had really wanted was to please myself while seeming to be a good guy. I was selfish while claiming to be a giving guy. Thus my love of sharing now, what I shared before was lust, what I share now is Love.
39 And He spoke a parable to them: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye. 43 "For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Can the blind lead the blind, it is done all the time and as such we have the state of Christianity today. How many preachers think they are above Christs teaching and want the prosperity doctrine taught, instead of the bountiful riches we receive in Christ by working in Him. The riches in His Kingdom not this earth are what are worth more than your life here.
How many teachers today focus on the narrow sexual immorality of homosexuality while glossing over the horrendous immorality of allowing the wealthy to set the tone for Christianity as being that greed for wealth is okay, but that the lust for the pleasure of the flesh is a sin beyond acceptance. When all sin is beyond acceptance, but not all sin will cause death. Jesus Christ paid for all of our sins, but to reject Him , is to reject the payment He made. Thus the sin that causes death is the rejection of Him.
So you can see where they are trying to remove the speck from the brothers eye, while being blind because of the plank in their eye. Our fruit shows which tree we are from, the Tree of Life Jesus Christ, or the tree of flesh which dies because it's fruit cannot sustain the spirit and the flesh is weak and unable to produce live giving sustenance.
We share the Love of Christ because out of His goodness we speak and share from the new heart we have received in Him.
18 Therefore take heedhow you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."
There are many who claim to be Christians but want to hide the fact. So they claim Him but hide the Light that is supposed to be shining out from them and illuminating Him as their Way of life.
Many try to deny His scriptures because they conflict with what they see as ther goals in this life and they don't want to give up the luxury, or the sex outside of marriage as ordained by God, or they believe the scriptures don't refer to them once they they say they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
But listen closely, because He is saying that whoever has Him to them more will be given, and whoever does not have-no matter what they say they have- it will be taken from them.
when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light."
From the Nelson Bible study:
It has been said that "you are what you eat." But even more accurately, you are what you see. This is why David said, "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes" (Ps. 101:3). A person who concentrates on what is good (God's teaching) is healthy. But a person who focuses on what is bad (the false teaching of the world) is full of darkness.11:34
A person can become like light, a living picture of what God's Word teaches, by concentrating on the light of the truth. your whole body is full of light:11:36
There are many who try and teach that all the world must bow down to their beliefs in order for the world to be acceptable for them to live in. It seems Jesus Christ is saying be a light unto the dark world by our lives so that the world can see His Light in us and want what He gives us.
Quite honestly I don't want what a lot of "christians" show as their light in Christ. They think greed by believers is good, but sexual immorality by unbelievers some how destroy their beliefs and threaten their ideas of Christ.
I see it just the opposite, I see greed by the "christians" shows an unbelief in what Christ taught, while sexual; immorality by non believers proof confirms the difference in beliefs. But I'm not threatened by their sexual immorality, I'm deeply grieved by the gred of the so called believers.
I expect those not in Christ not to behave as if they are in Him, just as I expect those who are in Christ to be have as if they are in Him.
Well I hope this article was educational to those who want to understand, and hopefully has asked some questions of those who are on either side of the issues.
Please vote it up if you enjoyed it, or if it taught you anything.
Comments are welcome, just please refrain from attacks.