Christianity is not a religion, and it should not be practiced with superficial, mundane acts, nor things that cannot be applied universally across all peoples. Christianity is a relationship between man and God, where the free gift of His Grace and our love for Him forms the foundation for Salvation and our covenant promises; not by our works - Eph. 2:8-9. Too many Christians, through the narrow vision of the wrath of Godly and worldly fear, tread ever so lightly; not wanting to break eggs on their faith journey. We cannot, of ourselves, earn the right, because all have fallen short, - Rom. 3:23-24. God gave us a beautiful planet with wonderful resources to be enjoyed.
The covenant, old or new, is based on God's eternal faithfulness to be righteous to all His works, including being our Father, - Rom. 8:15; our Provider, - Phil. 4:19; and Protector, - Ps. 91:3. He's the ultimate Daddy, who demonstrates and does not withhold His love for us. We must free ourselves from superficial works and stop laboring, so as to enter into His rest in all things, - Heb. 4:10-11. This is part of the new covenant.
Before, there were necessary things for jews and judeo-christians to observe, due to the evil and conditions that permeated throughout the cities. Also, because God has always wanted a people separated and dedicated to Him; insisted on certain things. Think of it this way, you left your organization or family for a while, and upon returning found things completely contrary to your principles. Now, because it's yours and you love all those involved, there is no other choice but to lay down the law, make tough decisions and reestablish your principles until things are at an acceptable level of compliance. This then allows you to reduce, and eliminate some of the disciplinary actions; allowing clearer objective reasoning and decisions to take place. So it was before, forcing God to intervene, to rectify and save His creation.
This is why rejecting unaccustomed food and drink prepared for you, as a guest, is not a sin, but disrespecting the host can lead to many rejecting the message of Jesus, - Rom. 14:13-23. As ambassadors of Christ, what we do must be from the heart and done in love. It is not the food that condemns us but our faith. Although the body’s health is important, it does not override the health of the spirit and the redemptive force of Faith; which, by Jesus' stripes we are healed and no harm can come to us, - Mk. 16:18, "drink poison and not be harmed". Some avoid foods that may cause diseases within the body, not accounting for their own other foods which are loaded with toxins that do as much harm, or synthetic materials in their homes and cars that do the same, as chemicals are absorbed by contact.
We are constantly subjected to these influences, and it's only by the Spirit that we walk in full health, and are able to command these things to die, just as Jesus told the fig tree to, - Mk. 11:21-22. These carnal things harm us only if we allow them to become idols, and we become subservent to them. God's prime purpose is to see all saved, regardless of food, drink, dress etc. The Truth is, even if your body is riddled with toxins, or cancers, you will receive a new and more divine body in Heaven. This is why someone can receive Salvation, regardless of their past carnal practices, or abusements, just before they die. Jesus shows this with the Father's mercy to the criminal at the cross in Lk. 23:42-43, "today, you will be with me in paradise". Jesus was not concerned about his past life or even if he kept the laws even though he was Jew. We have Christians all over the world today because God made it that simple; giving His Spirit to speak to their obsessions and traditions; maturing them for their rightful place in God.
Not all old things are automatic to the new covenant, and will be progressively so as our journey continues pass the end of the bible and new things emerge for the people of God, - 1 Corth. 2:9. God is not stagnant nor complete in His works, and has given us glimpses of His wonders through things like the hubble telescope. God cannot deny the progress of science and technology, and man’s insatiable appetite for self governance. That's what free will allows. What He wants is for His creation to be partners with Him as He shares with us all His Glory. We can only do that when we stop tying ourselves down with things that put us back into bondage and the curse of the law. This is why carnalities, such as what we eat, drink, dress, and so on, is a reflection of a low spiritual mind set, and why Paul urges, "be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage, - Gal.5:1." Religion tends to argue over the letter of the Word and not the spirit of the Word. God's goal is "They would be My people and I will be their God". This is the spirit of the Word. How much simplier can it be, rather than having to jump through hoops and check lists to qualify. Have you noticed how straight forward God is, and how uncomplicated His Word is. It is satan who complicates things, so as to cloud, and confuse the Truth.
God did not change His plan, but man under the darkness did, which led to many ungodly practises that spread through the world, causing cultures to develop without the presence of God. These lost societies did what came natural, to survive by any means and formulate their own spiritual consciousness. They were ignorant, so they did ignorant things. All creatures are Godly and ordained in their original purpose, but through dark practises, became subjected to pagan rituals, where their blood and symbolism served as the bond to satan. He twisted and corrupted things when he had the authority. Jesus eventually did away with all that by providing the incorruptable blood sacrifice on the cross. He renewed everything to what they were before the curse, but because satan has a lease, dark and ignorant influences still affect many; this is also due to immaturity of the Christian body.
Because we are led by the Spirit of God, we should not let cultural differences prevent the love of God to be shared to its fullest potential. We must discern cultural practises; condemning it, based on the reasons and its ritualistic settings. We must not condemn the people. We must apply common sense in eating, drinking, dressing, and participating in secular cultural events, by applying the virtues of - modesty, balance, and edification of the Word. We are to be led by its (the Word) knowledge, wisdom and understanding in all things. We are to break down the barriers that separate us, to give the Word places to be seeded and produce a harvest. We are a global community today, and it's in our backyard. This is a part of His plan to spread the Word.
The Empowered Christian Faith
We could have been created as spiritual beings; higher than the angels, and still be sons and daughters of the Kingdom. Yet, God in His wisdom and desires, has His plans for what we are; spirits residing in a body. He is the potter, we are the clay, - Is. 64:8. He gave one thing that is truly ours (Deut. 30:19); including His angels (1 Corth. 6:3), and that is free will. Free will to choose Him; life over death. He can destroy all who oppose Him, but allows our ways to produce the results in each individual's life, by the spiritual law of sowing and reaping, - Gal. 6:7-8, "if we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption". At His final judgement, we will all have to face the results of our free will.
The importance of freeing ourselves of fleshly constraints is so that we become more like Him, have His higher thinking, and ultimately become His image; led by His spirit in all things. We do this by growing up and incorporating the fruits of the spirit, - Gal. 5:22-23, and taking the responsibility of our Godly role that we have been given. God is not limited!
Jesus demonstrated that the Kingdom of God is more than food and drink, - Rom. 14:17-18, and more than social, cultural limitations. His way was to allow for God's Truth to be revealed, so to free the mind and body from its earthly bondages. He did this without compromising His purpose, His love for the Father, and His love for the people. One of His first statements, in His ministry, was to separate as by a sword; to cause division, - Matt. 10:34. This was because so many man-made doctrines prevailed at the time; clouding the Truth with fear and superstitions. Jesus said, I have come to set the captives free, - Lk. 4:18. Essentially, He came to set the record straight!
February 21, 2016.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.
Declare once and for all that the law is dead! There are laws and then there are commandments. The former being temporal and latter being eternal. There are considerations for both, especially as it related to the jews, which we are not. God's intent is not for us to go back to the old ways; which, as we will see, had its purposes. We have been given a new and better covenant, which is sealed with the blood of Jesus. Now this does not mean that the commandments given under the old testament do not apply to the new, for every commandment, direction, and recommendation within the new covenant, as with the old, requires to be qualified and applied under the guidance of the two main commandments; to love God and your neighbor. Under these, and in the order given, are all the others fulfilled - Mk. 30:30-34, "better than all burnt offering and sacrifices."
It is the purest faith that is without any form of self condemnation. And our support for Christians - who have strong traditions - is to pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding for these individuals, and not let meaningless appendages complicate the Word of God. Today, through global commerce, everyone is trying something that is not indigenious to their land and regardless of this, cannot stop the force of God's Word and Spirit. As satan looks for ways to divide the Faithful, we must be cognizant of His devices, - 2 Corth 2:11; looking for ways to unite. Jesus' words "not by bread alone do we live, but by every Word of God", is not only referring to the physical, but more the spirit and its higher thinking; for we wrestle not against the body but against spirits in high places. Our current world is being overloaded with devious agendas; technology being a prime tool for destroying Gods’s people; saved or lost, satan cares not. This is why the Kingdom is more than food and drink. And what is more critical is to walk by Faith and not by sight; to have the Spirit of God embedded in our soul, mind and body; coming to the knowledge that we have the authority over all things and that it is the Father who dwells in us who does the work.
Flush it Out! - All fade away, but the Spirit remains.
ChristnMe @ 2013