Friday, August 3, 2012

Faithful Fridays: Let Us Learn from Josiah

Our nation is long overdue for a Josiah-like moment.

If you are not a Christian, and don't care to read anything about the subject feel free to disregard this post as my frustration is not towards you.  For those who are "carnal Christians" and those who profess to be a Christian, but do not actual possess faith, then you will not like this post.  More on that here: Four Kinds of People  

Okay.  So for the few people who are left to read this...

So, who is Josiah?[1]

Josiah was only 8 years old when he became king of Judah.  By the time he was 26 he was rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.  It was during this process that the high priest uncovered the Book of the Covenant.  Can you imagine going to a church who did not know where the Bible was?  It is no wonder that the city fell so far from Scripture that the worshipping of other gods and sexual immorality was so prevalent that it occurred at the temple.  Idol worship and male prostitution happened AT THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD.  Parents sacrificed their children to Molek (a god) AT THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD.  I guess I should at least count my blessings that at least we are not technically that far gone.

"When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes."  Beginning with the first king, David {because does anyone really count Saul?} [2], and through to the fall of Jerusalem there was a lot of robe tearing going on in the Old Testament, if you were not already aware.  Here, Josiah is grieved by the complete abandonment of the Word of God.  He was rather terrified as well because he knew how great the Lord's anger burned because of Judah's unfaithfulness.

Have we too, become so consumed by this world that we do not even know Truth?  We are commanded  " not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." [3]  However, it would seem there are more claiming to be believers that do not read the Word than those that do.  If all these supposed believers read the Word then we would have two significant differences.  First, if you claim to be a believer and read the Word of God, then you would stand on Biblical conviction or at least have the knowledge to admit of such sin and admit that you are choosing to disagree with what is clearly stated in the Bible - the book your faith is based upon.  Two, if you claim to be a believer and read the Word of God, then you would not have such hate and contempt towards those who do not believe and live the way you do.  We are all sinners[4].  Gossip, slander, jealousy, adultery, lust, sexual immorality, drunkenness, divorce[5].  We are all sinners.  Sure some do not call themselves sinners, but if they do not claim to be Christians then it is a moot point.  We as Christians cannot hold them to a standard that was created for those who follow Christ[6].  Only Christians can be held to that standard, and praise Jesus that sin does not condemn us to hell[7].  Praise Jesus that we are saved by faith alone[8].  Praise Jesus, because it is His unending love of all sinners that saves His followers eternally[9].  Or else there would be no hope for me...or any of us.

These past few weeks of overwhelming controversy over (1) freedom of speech and (2) freedom of religion has brought me to the determination that there are a lot more people than I thought that are out there claiming to be Christians that do not actually know what is in the Bible.  Well, obviously they don't know what the constitution says either, but that's another story.  It is sickening to me to see and hear those who profess to be believers who are yelling and screaming intolerance.  It is also frightening to me to see others on my side of the issue who are exuding such hate. I initially wanted to avoid the whole issue, hoping it would be over by now, but looks like this shall continue for a while.  Upon seeing a status update from a 'friend' who professes to be a believer, but basically said if you agree with the Biblical definition of marriage than you are ignorant, I decided I couldn't remain quiet any longer.  I held my tongue for a few days, but hopefully after some thinking an calming down I no longer speak in haste. "Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them." ~ Proverbs 29:20  

If we are called to have a Christ-like attitude[10], than we are to be as Christ who simultaneously avoided condemning the sinner while not condoning the sin[11].  This whole uproar is because a man said he believed in the Bible?  Really?  I know it is because he specifically took a stance that he agrees with the Biblical definition of marriage, but regardless there is pandemonium because he stands on conviction.  Since when is standing on conviction a hate crime?

Let's review a moment in our nation's history when a group of people chose to use freedom of speech to stand on their own Biblical convictions.  As said by Elijah Lovejoy, "While I value the good opinion of my fellow-citizens, as highly as any one, I may be permitted to say, that I am governed by higher considerations than either the favor or the fear of man. I am impelled to the course I have taken, because I fear God. As I shall answer it to my God in the great day, I dare not abandon my sentiments, or cease in all proper ways to propagate them."  He was murdered shortly thereafter, but he was one of many who spoke out to end slavery in this country.

I'm holding onto the hope that my fellow believers are not blatantly rebuking the Bible.  Instead, I hope they are just temporarily blinded by this world or simply fearful of admitting to what they know is true.  However, "To fear man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." ~ Proverbs 29:25

References - many have much more than just what is listed below:

2. You have to read 1 & 2 Samuel - good stuff Start Here
8. Romans 3:28, Romans 4:1-5, Romans 9:16.  Additional info on being saved by faith alone and the supposed discrepancy between James and Paul: James vs. Paul

For those who agree, but feel discouraged than remain upright.
"The bloodthirsty hate people of integrity and seek to kill the upright." ~ Proverbs 29:10
"The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright." ~ Proverbs 29:30

Ugh.  Now to have the courage to press "publish."

Other Resources:

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