Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Excuse my sin

When you are sinning and your spirit knows it, your flesh will try to find excuses to make the sin seem legitimate and okay. There are many ways the flesh can do this, but one of the trickiest ways is trying to excuse your sin by pointing out the perceived sins of others. There are 2 main ways someone can do this:

1) You can point out the actual sins of others. "X does Y sin, so I can do Z sin."

2)You can point out the Old Testament laws people don't follow, and say because those laws aren't followed then who is to say what you're doing is still a sin? "Well, people eat pork and wear clothes with mixed materials, so it's okay for me to do Z sin."

Both methods of argument are flawed and faulty thinking used by the flesh to keep you sinning.

Dealing with Point 1, your main concern should not be how others are sinning. Your main concern is how you are sinning, and how to fix it. Sins are not like negatives in math to cancel each other out. Just as Jesus says you cannot judge another's sin without first fixing yourself, the inverse works as well: you cannot excuse your sin by pointing out the sins of others. God will judge you based on your life alone. Holy Spirit will only be able to work well in a clean temple, and your temple does not become clean by pointing out the sins in others.

Now on to Point 2. First of all, let me make a few clarifications. Each person is required to live according to the truths revealed to them from the Bible. When a new truth is revealed, the person is then required to living according to that truth. For the point of this discussion there are 2 types of truths revealed to Christians. There is the truth (or belief) revealed to one group of Christians that the OT laws are still in affect today, and then there is the truth revealed to another group of Christians that specific OT laws are no longer in affect today. All else being equal, both groups have these beliefs based on the truths revealed to them. We will not go into whether these groups are right or wrong, because that is beside the point. The point is that both groups have scriptural foundation for their beliefs.

Now that we've clarified that point, I can move on to actually dissecting Point 2. For the Torah-following Christians, you cannot use the argument of "well, they don't follow those laws, so I can do Z sin" because they do follow the laws. Simple.
For the nonTorah-following Christians, they do not follow Torah based on a very specific understanding of the scripture, and it is the ceremonial laws only they no longer follow. They still follow all the moral laws. As such, their understanding of the truth dictates they are not sinning by not following specific laws. This means that unless the sin you are doing is ceremonial (and as such isn't actually a sin) then you can't compare it to the perceived sins of others.

That's all.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Christian Music

Last night at Bible Study my mom taught on compromise, with a special focus on Christian music. This led me to bring up the point about how a lot of my Christian friends will say they don’t listen to Christian music often, because it gets boring listening to the same thing over and over again. By this they mean it gets boring listening to songs about God over and over again? That always seemed silly to me, since there really isn’t anything else Christian artists can sing about. They’re Christians; they’re going to sing about God. After all, our purpose in life is to praise Him.

Anyways, mom brought up the point that there are 24 elders singing to God in heaven day and night without ceasing(Revelation 4:10-12), and that when we get to heaven all we are going to do is sing praises to God. And then that got me wondering, these friends who find Christian music boring with a constant theme on God, are they going to get bored when in heaven? After all, all the music in heaven is going to be strictly about God; about His holiness, His mercy, His gloriousness, how magnificent He is, etc. If Christian music is boring now, how much more boring will it be in heaven?

Of course, once in heaven we won’t be able to be bored. We will be too overwhelmed by the presence of God to be bored, too wrapped up in the wonder of Him to be bored. So, if we won’t get bored singing songs of praise to God for eternity in heaven, it would stand to reason that a body could suffer the boredom songs about God induce here on earth.

The way mom put it was that if people can train themselves to like pain (which she coupled with a “that’s sick”), then they can train themselves to like music about God. After all, liking music about God is infinitely better than liking pain, and should be an easier task. Singing songs of praise to God shouldn’t be boring to Christians. Ever. If it is boring to Christians, they need to start praying.

I will be the first to admit that a lot of contemporary Christian music is annoying and can get old pretty fast, but that’s because the music is more about humans than it is about God. It’s all about what God does for us and how God will accept Christians just the way they are (which is a horrible attitude, mind you. Once saved, God should not have to keep catering to your sinful lifestyle and “accept you the way you are.” Once saved, you know better) and all that mumbo-jumbo. But songs that actually worship and praise God shouldn’t be boring, in general. While I realize everyone has a personal taste, there are plenty of different Christian artists out there who worship and praise God in different genres. Leeland compared to the Gaither Vocal Band, for example. Both center their worship around worshipping God, but they do so in very different styles.

Personally, I tend to get tired of secular music much faster than I do Godly music. I can only listen to songs about worldly stuff for so long before it gets dull.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer

Just a note on the pathetic state of my spiritual life:

Today is the US National Day of Prayer, and I did not pray once. Wait... okay yeah, that is a definite no; not even for a meal (my sister prayed during lunch and my dad during dinner). I realize I should pray every day of the year, and there shouldn't be a special day set aside to inspire me to pray, but the fact that even on this day set aside specifically for prayer I didn't pray is just down right pathetic. Of course, is it any less pathetic that millions of "Christians" across the country only pray on this special day?

What kind of Christians have we Americans become that we need a special day to inspire us to pray, and even then it is questionable if we will pray at all? God has told His children before that if only they pray and repent their evil ways He will hear them and heal their land(2 Chronicles 7:14), and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing. My mom gave a bible study on praying 2 Fridays ago, and said that praying without ceasing is akin to how teens can text the whole day through no matter what they are doing. If you can text while in class, you can pray while in class. If you can text while washing the dishes, you can pray while washing the dishes. So on and so forth.

So, in response to my pathetic prayer life I am determined to pray at least once a day starting tonight until the national day of prayer next year(hopefully by then I will be praying way more than once a day, but I have to start somewhere). By then the hope is that praying will have become a regular habit that I enjoy partaking in. I can pray that it'll be so, heh heh.