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Old 02-01-2017, 02:09 AM
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Default Beware the Culture War Crusaders
They came, not honestly, not with good motive, but to set a trap for this Nazarene peasant.

"Ah, tell us," they said, "O wise and integritous Jesus," (beware the flatterers) "is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn't we?"

Eh, this Nazarene peasant knew their duplicity. "Bring me a coin," he said. "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" They answered, "Caesar's."

Jesus said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

Beware the Culture War Crusaders.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:41 PM
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^^ When the Lord Jesus began His ministry, He wasn't here (on earth in Israel) to just get along with folks. In fact, He came with a message of good news for all men. Which of course was that eternal life is extended to all men who would by faith accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The orthodoxy of the day heartily rejected that idea as foolishness, as they did Him. Therefore, and I hope that I can convey this accurately, Jesus had to take on the entire Church establishment. Said establishment BTW was also the Israeli government, and as such exercised complete control over every Jew, in that they ruled both the spiritual requirements to which he was held accountable, and the laws and affairs of state to which he was held accountable.

The Lord's earthly ministry was to be a mere 3 years in duration, and since the 'task' which lay before him was rather enormous, He had a very short time in which to wrest the power of the Orthodox Church away from the Priests, Sadducees and Pharisees of the day. All of whom were preoccupied from birth with keeping and the mosaic law as the way to salvation, and could recite the traditions of the Church going back centuries. When I say these guys could quote chapter and verse I'm not kidding, most of them could quote the first five books of the Bible.. Genesis to Deuteronomy; word for word.

Why did the Jew, who'd been looking for the messiah for countless generations, nonetheless reject Him when He came? As I see it, the religious ruling class comprised by the sects I listed above, were not about to let some nobody from Nazareth come into the temple and tell them to worship Him. I mean, they were the ones who knew the Scriptures forward and backwards, not some carpenter. (This although the Bible records clearly the fact that the priests were astonished at the Lord's command of Scripture.) The 'task' mentioned in the paragraph above then, was as follows; One man virgin born of Mary, the Son of God, would have to refocus men's hearts from keeping the law and offering a sacrifice once a year to inherit eternal life. To by faith trust the finished work of the Lord Jesus (that being His substitutionary death on the cross and His resurrection) as the means for his salvation. To do that He would have to get men to trust Him and His work, and not the law that the priests could all quote so well. He was the Messiah, but men would not believe.

Men rejected the lordship of Christ then, and men reject the lordship of Christ now. If you study the Scriptures you will see that the Lord did not mince words with the ruling religious class of the day. Jesus called them a "generation of vipers." He turned over the moneychanger's tables in the Temple when He went there to teach. Matthew 21:12-13 (KJV)
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

And He told religious leaders they were like tombs, whitewashed and beautiful on the outside, but inside they were... "full of dead men's bones." The Lord did not pad around the Levant afraid of offending people. He was bold and He did not mince words. Believe on Him Who loved them and was about to die for them, or perish in error was His message. As the result, the so-called Church leaders of Jesus' day were willing to crucify Him.

In our day it seems, Christians are knocking themselves out in bowing down to the politically correct. We try I believe, to take upon ourselves too much responsibility of the outcome for having spread the good news of Christ. And we may even tend to take too much of the credit when through obedience to Him and in homage to His unspeakable gift of eternal life, we are privileged and fortunate enough to lead someone to a saving knowledge of the Son of God. How the spirit of God reaches out to a man if I understand things, is His purview, not ours. We are to go out into the fields white with harvest, but it is He Who gives the increase of souls. Therefore I believe the Church ought not conform to the world and instead, trust the power of God to save folks. In other words, lay the truth out there lovingly but clearly.

It is not okay to live the homosexual lifestyle. It is not okay to have an abortion. It is not okay to smoke Marijuana, or do myriad other drugs. It is not okay for couples to live together outside the holy bonds of matrimony. Because though Christ came, and by the cross set men free of the law by faith in Him, the Holy Spirit still uses the law to convict men of sin. Not calling sin out for being the destroyer it truly is, merely affords the unsaved a more spacious closet to cram some more of those skeletons into. We shouldn't help people avoid their own conscience pangs by patting them on the head. But neither should we hit them on the head with a baseball bat. When the Lord visited with the Samaritan woman at the well he blurted out the fact that she'd had 5 husbands so far, and the man she was with at that point was not her husband. The Lord's direct candor notwithstanding, she received the water of life with great joy. John 4: 5-26

Culture crusaders are not the bad guys. They're the guys out there pointing men to salvation through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. It's our job and our charter. Those whom came to the Lord dishonestly to trap Him were lost. This world is presently awash in the dishonesty of the unfortunate lost, and I for one, am sick to death of it. Anybody should be offended by such a dishonest allege as was put forth in the above thread starter, which would equate the Lord's work with the guile and evil machinations of the enemies of God. However, I am seldom surprised when the gospel message stirs up ire in them who hear it.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRealThing View Post
[...] I am seldom surprised when the gospel message stirs up ire in them who hear it.

Of course, ire is not the only response for those who hear the gospel. Ire is however the common response for God's enemies. But some hear the gospel and reject it outright. Some hear It and though they know it is the truth, they just cannot let go of the worldly things they love so much. Others hear It and know it's true, but fear the reactions of their friends and family. Some hear and accept It gladly, but just cannot commit. Others just keep putting it off until it's too late.

Remember, belief outside of salvation is possible, I would go so far as to say that all men actually know the truth, no matter what they say. Romans 1:20 (KJV)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

And you can bet Satan and his legions believe; James 2:19 (KJV)
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Nobody will get to stand before the Almighty and say he didn't know he had to bow before Him to live. The God of this universe is not lacking in any regard. But as I said in the post above, the charter of the true Church is to point men to Christ. And the fortunate ones who hear the good news, (thusly having their consciences confirmed by the message of Christ as delivered to them by the Church) and believe on Him shall... "have everlasting life." And are at that time sealed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

When the Church calls out sin for what it is, that certainly does not mean we are in any way guilty of judging others. God hates sin, but loves the sinner. But they have to come to Him asking for forgiveness.

Last edited by Granny Bear; 11-19-2018 at 02:43 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:21 PM
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So, in consideration of the Lord's mission as stated in post #2 above, that being the fact that He (Jesus), had come to convince men to trust in Him for salvation, and not the Orthodoxy of the day. An Orthodoxy BTW, which began with Abraham, the nation of Israel. And God ordained that Jesus would come to Nazareth, not Rome or some other place of renown.
Quite a big deal if you ask me. One Man, known well by many of His peers, starts a ministry which continues to this day. The ministry whereby men are granted eternal life. Not by deed but by "Faith through grace."

Social stigma have always existed. So going in, the conditions for the success of His mission might have seemed impossible to overcome. The Lord was born in Bethlehem, but He was reared in Nazareth. Nazareth was a place of abject poverty and social lowliness. So much so that when Phillip spoke of Jesus being the Messiah to Nathaniel, he laughed at any prospect that the Messiah could come from such a slum. John 1:46 (KJV)
46 Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Added to that was the fact that owing to the way the Lord came into this world... it was said that He was illegitimate. Which of course He was not.
Luke 1:35 (KJV)
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

But even Joseph, when he first learned that Mary was with child, (of the Holy Ghost, a fact of which at the time he was still ignorant) he was of a 'mind to put her away quietly.' Only after a visit from the angel of the Lord did Joseph change his mind to readily and willingly accept the situation in total obedience. Still, illegitimacy is a tremendous social shadow from which to emerge even in the America of our day, much less that of Israel where the whispers persisted.

Then there was the Orthodoxy itself. Establishment Jews of the Sadducee and Pharisee sects along with the Priestly line of Levites, held total sway over the hearts and minds of the citizens of Israel. As such, the theocratic authority of these men over the affairs of the Church and of state, had been in place for centuries. And as the Biblical accounts clearly depict, they were not about to give up power to anybody, much less agree to a complete surrender to this man from Nazareth Who to them, just dropped out of the blue. Luke 19:14 (KJV)
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. <parable ref

The Lord was a Man of relatively few words. And of those He did speak, none were minced. When dealing with the religious establishment the Lord was very straight forward and rather heavy handed by the standards of many today, as His actions of 'cleansing' the temple of the money changers clearly demonstrate; Mark 11:17 (KJV)
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

Remember, when the Lord spoke to the religious leaders of the day many times, He was less than complimentary, referring to them as a generation of snakes. Matthew 23:33 (KJV)
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of ****?
Not exactly Emily Post if you ask me. And certainly not diplomatic.

We of today's true Church do not have leave to mince words either, much less compromise Scripture for the sake of any perceived cultural differences of the day. God is always the same Hebrews 13:7-9 (KJV)
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;

We would do well to remember, though the Lord had been immensely popular with the common man during His ministry, the thousands who'd been following Him all departed when they learned what following Him would cost them. And after all of them had departed except the 12 Apostles, Jesus asked the twelve, "Will ye also go away?" Of course they didn't, but only after they'd been tested to extremes.

There is a dichotomy which exists today, in which Christian behavior seems to be defined as one's having a soft hearted and quiet 'Church mouse' demeanor. Complete with a placid and plastic smile. I don't hold with that representation, because though it is clear that no Christian is to feel in any way superior to others, we have a God given job to do. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. And we should state things clearly. To me, Christendom do themselves a severe disservice by crawling up on their bellies to squeak out the weakest of objections in the face of sin and disobedience. Not to confuse what I am saying, the Lord after all, could say things as He did because He is God. Nonetheless, as He has ordained, the Church does speak for Him. And in my mind, it would be impossible to overstate the importance of that charter. I liked the way Phillip handled things with Nathaniel above. When Nathaniel scoffed, Phillip didn't offer up any argument, he just said "Come and see." Jesus needs no defense, just an introduction. The Holy Spirit has already done His work in the heart of man.

One last point. If society slammed the Son of God the way they did, you can write it down. They WILL slam you. But where the Lord knew better than to let any form of 'imposed' shame slow Him down, we on the other hand who are guilty of certain trespass, are very susceptible to being sidelined by our mistakes. We have to get over it and remember, The Lord is the God of second chances and those who judge God's own are themselves not one iota better.

The Apostle Paul---
Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV)
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
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