Friday, August 1, 2014

Some advise for fellow Christians on moral law and how to discern it.

First off, study the context of any Bible verse condemning something, to see what the intent of the Law is. Cause Jesus saying "God made the Sabbath for Man not Man for the Sabbath" shows that he wants us to follow the intent of the law more so then the letter of it.

I've spent a lot of time arguing that Christians need to stop labeling things a Sin that I point out The Bible doesn't explicitly condemn like they think it does.

But one thought that may enter one's mind is, as big a book as The Bible is, can it really address every single hypothetical Sin that could possibly happen?

There are only three areas where I feel Sin can be defined broadly.

Any act of worship to a false god, or occult ritual, whether or not it's a pagan practice specifically addressed in The Bible is obviously a violation of the first Two Commandments, and of Jesus's Command to Love God with all our heart, mind, body and soul. Matthew 22:37-28.

Anything you do that harms another person, or violates their rights is a violation of the Golden Rule Matthew 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." and to Love our Neighbor as we Love ourselves, Matthew 22:39. The word translated "men" there is Anthropos, which means Man as in Mankind, it's not actually Gender specific, neither Greek or Hebrew used the same word for both those meanings as we do. So yes Jesus's wording of The Golden Rule applies to our treatment to women too. Which is why I recommend starting with that when arguing with Anti-Christians who think The Bible is pro-Rape.

Third, the fact that as a believer our Bodies are the Temple of God, because we have The Holy Spirit indwelling in us, means doing things harmful to ourselves and our own health can be sinful.

In summery, things that harm your relationship with God, with your fellow Man, or your own body are sinful, and you shouldn't need specific Bible verses thrown at you to figure that out if your trying to Follow the Law of Love and being led by The Holy Spirit.

As a Libertarian I believe the Civil Laws of government should address only category two.

And all the stuff in The Bible used to show that God judges even our thoughts. Are all references to thinking about things that are sinful. But that doesn't mean you've sinned as soon as your tempted, the sin is in indulging in those thoughts.

Thing is, pretty much all specific things The Bible condemns fit into one of those three categories as well. The exceptions being mostly the superficial aspects of the Mosaic Law which Christians are clearly not held to, from the Sabbath and Circumcision to Dietary Laws. But even those have potential health benefits.

And after that, some of the things Paul says that he never intended to be taken as outright Moral Law, but merely advise for how Christians should present themselves, but that a lot of modern Christian take as moral law anyway. Like the verses about men having short hair and gender specific dress codes.

Prostitution is the only major Moral Law that one could have trouble seeing how it fits into those three categories. But it does carry a health risk, as a Libertarian I know that the heath risks would be minimized a great deal if it was legal (and it was legal under the civil law code parts of the Mosaic Law). But they'll never go away completely, restaurants are legal and sometimes they get away with violating their health codes. Any time you have sexual relations with a complete stranger you're taking a risk, both in terms of STDs and other safety risks.

Which is why as open as my attitude towards sex is, I do still feel it's a bad idea to have random sex with strangers, paid for or not. It's best to limit your love life to people you know and trust.

And to fellow Christians, we should avoid getting sexually or romantically involved with unbelievers. Which leads to how prostitution is related to the first category, it is often referenced in The Bible as allegorical of Idolatry for a reason, your lover can be an influence on the way you think. And that can happen even if the unbeliever isn't intentionally seeking to influence their lover's religion. So no I'm not saying every non-Christian is like a stereotypical exotic pagan temptress from an old Hollywood Biblical Epic.

As I've argued elsewhere the intent of Adultery laws is to prevent children from being born without a family. And therefore I don't feel adultery laws should apply to non reproductive sex. However, if either spouse is uncomfortable with it or not aware of it that is a violation of trust.

All the things I argue against traditional convention as things that aren't sinful, or at least not the mortal wroth disfellowshipping someone over sins most Christians think they are. Are all things that can in no way fit into any of those three categories. Anything can be unhealthy if you do it too much, but it's also been scientifically shown that moderately engaging in masturbation actually has health benefits.

Anal sex has health risks, even if your certain your partner has no STDs it's been argued to be potentially physically damaging to the anus. But contrary to popular assumption Anal isn't the only thing Gay men can or do engage in. In fact studies at different times have suggested the majority don't even like it. Consensual sex between two adults who love and trust each other of the same gender can in no way be argued to violate the Law of Love. Nor can sex between two adults who love and trust each other but who aren't married.

Satan wants people to think God condemns things he didn't just as much as he wants people to think sins aren't sinful, maybe even more so.

That statement I'm sure is shocking to many. But let's go back and study the origin of Sin and Satan's deception of humanity in Genesis 3.

Commentaries of Genesis do a good job of pointing out how the first thing The Serpent does is misquote what God said. But what "conservative" commentators tend to avoid emphasizing is that his misquotation was for the purpose of making God's word sound more restrictive then it was. There was only one single tree they couldn't eat from, but the Serpent makes it sound almost like the exact opposite, as if it was very few trees they could eat from.

Then, commentators do a good Job of pointing out how Eve's reaction seems to imply Adam had incorrectly taught her what God said. But again avoid putting any emphasis on that her misunderstanding of the command likewise made the command sound even more restrictive then it was, as if they weren't allowed to even go near the tree.

In fact Christians are constantly encouraging this exact same attitude that laid behind why Adam probably taught it the way he did. Telling people that because of the commands against drunkenness we probably shouldn't even go in bars. Forgetting that Jesus eat with sinners (as well as the Pharisees who he really didn't approve of).

So keep that in mind next time you see the very fact that the World and/or the Occult is encouraging something your church told you to view as a sin, as further confirmation it is a sin. Consider that Satan might want to reinforce the wrong views on Moral Law that many Christians hold.

I'm tired of being told I'm the one interpreting God's Word loosely because I don't consider every single act of divergent behavior a mortal sin. When I'm the one who understands these passages as talking about specific things, in specific contexts, for specific reasons. I hold these interpretations because of the same Hermeneutic principles that lead me to be a Six-Day Young Earth Creationist, a PreMillennial Futurist, and to firmly believe in Salvation by Faith Alone and Eternal Security.

I absolutely still consider more then enough things sinful to justify "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God", that can be demonstrated from the Sermon on the Mount. So don't act like I'm a moral relativist who rejects absolutes.

While Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5, and other places talk about disfellowshiping Christians who are habitually engaging in Sins that obviously violate the Law of Love (2 Corinthians 2 clarifies to forgive them and let them back in when they've fixed their issues). Or who teach Damnable heresies (not any incorrect doctrine, but one that effects Salvation, contradicting Justification by Faith Alone, or that Jesus is the only Way). Romans 14 also talks about not passing judgment on fellow Christians. Just because the Holy Spirit is convicting you personally to refrain from a certain activity, doesn't mean it's leading all believers to the same choice. He has different walks for each of us.

I've been kicked out of Christian Message Boards and Facebook groups for expressing my view that The Bible doesn't Condemn Homosexuality. But these same boards do have people expressing variant views on Salvation, including people who don't even agree with "by Faith Alone".

Likewise, that Christian dating website, ChristianMingle, won't let you sign up identifying as Homosexual or Bisexual. But you are allowed to identify as someone who drinks regularly, drinking alcohol is condemned in far more verses then all the supposed homosexuality ones.

In fact there is no other areas where their being restrictive, any denomination can qualify as "Christian" for that site, including Catholics. Even if there where verses, right in the Sermon on the Mount, declaring "though shalt not love the same gender" and defining it as something wroth disfellowshiping over. You'd still never convince me any devout Catholic is more of a Christian then a homosexual who believers in Salvation by Faith through Grace only, and Eternal Security.

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