Posted by: inforodeo | August 7, 2008

yet …

ch i should probably remind you … or draw attention to the fact that i’m not trying to preach against Christianity when i’m going on and on about corrupt ministers and false followers …
even in the worst of these instances, not every member of the particular faith involved is a ‘bad guy’, and sometimes even their church itself has a lot of good in it …

we shouldn’t judge a group by one of its members.  remember, “By their fruits ye shall know them” [Matt 7:16]… and that Osmondite creed “one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl”.  (sorry for injected lame humor in there)

that said, however, a single member of the congregation doing a horrendous thing … like the BTK killer or the pastor that put his wife in the freezer, for example … is sickening and terrible … but a group of them (the “Set Free Soldiers” mentioned in the last post, or Fred Phelp’s Westboro Baptist Church) is usually indictive of a doctrinal problem, and in those cases, i suppose i am speaking out against a particular church. 

still, cases of an entire congregation gone awry are few, and i just want to ensure (especially since i get carried away sometimes) that i intend not to judge a church … or for that matter, a people … but when there is something clearly out of line with Christ’s teachings in a group or individual claiming to represent Christ, i do want to defend Christianity and my Savior’s good name. 

Most people consider “taking the Lord’s name in vain” to mean swearing … like , “J—- C—-, what are you kids doing!”, or “Oh My G–! Look at that girl’s butt, it’s Soooo big!” …
but i have long suspected that one might consider the word “vain”, and its relationship to Vanity ….
Perhaps, in addition to low language, taking his name in vain could mean wearing His name around as a badge or a membership card, and claiming all sorts of rights and privileges because you’ve ‘taken His name upon yourself”.  Perhaps ‘taking His name in vain” also alludes to the practice of Priestcrafts (claiming priesthood authority and using it for monetary or political gain, manipulating others, etc) …

It is this vain use that bothers me … these people which misuse His name, performing evil works (hatred, violence, murder, etc) have a part in the following scripture from Isaiah:

 Isaiah 5: 20-23
 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
 23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

let me give you some modern examples of some of the thing i think fit this scripture:

calling evil good:  the doctrine of selfishness (“individuality”) that arose in the 1960s.  the idea that we should make sure ourselves are happy before anything else.  the idea that in a marriage, we are entitled to have our own wants and needs fulfilled … these doctrines are at straight opposition to the teachings of Christ, and all we know of His gospel.  By following these creeds of pop-psychology, we’re setting ourselves up for failure in marriage, which leads to disintegration of the family (or, in modern cases, already has … as people put aside having children for their careers!) …

calling good evil:  the popular talk about how ‘the only people who need organized religion are those with weak minds’ … or saying all Christians blow up abortion clinics, molest altar-boys, or advocate violence against others … when true Christianity does none of these things.  Filing lawsuits to prevent children from saying “one nation under God”, or to eliminate Christmas decorations from public places … those things had value, whether or not you believed in them, they brought a sense of strength or peace to the common person.  now, they are viewed by many as icons of ‘evil’ … of a misperceived evil of a ‘state religion’.  By calling good evil, religion is being oppressed.

darkness for light:  evolution. this should be ‘enough said’ … but i’m using this ‘popular’ term because it best embodies the concept … there are things man does not fully understand that God does.  unfortunately, many people hold up the darkeness of man’s limited knowledge to be ‘light’, and using this ‘light’ they seek to discredit God and those who follow Him. remember when some people thought the earth was flat, or persecuted those that said the earth revolved around the sun?  remember when it was thought that spilling a patients blood relieved them of disease?  those were instances where darkness was considered ‘light’, and light was considered darkness.  unfortunately, at that time, much of the religion on the earth was ‘dark’, and science was light in comparison.  this is not still the case.  as we lean more unto man’s understanding, limited perspective, theories and passions, we are putting darkness for light …

light for darkness:  all of what i said above should suffice.  religion is viewed as superstition, tradition and ignorance.  God said that homosexuality was an abomination, but many – including some religions – are doing their best to say that the Bible was wrong there (light is now darkness), and that God changed his mind.  that’s only one of many examples.  Teaching creationism in school? no way, dude! that’s darkness.

wise in their own eyes: again, man thinking they are so intellectually enlightened that they have no need for a God … their view of the universe lit by the bright beam of a small candle, they cannot see the bulk of what is out there, but instead of seeking for more understanding, they are content to believe what is out there is what they can see with their own eyes.  man’s wisdom has attempted to force God from the earth, or at least cut off his direction from our lives …

(out of time, will finish later)

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