The Lost Boys of America (BSA)

As of yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America decided to officially begin accepting boys who openly behave as homosexuals inside their organization.

I am not a psychologist. The things I’m about to say are gathered from hearing, reading and personal observation.

Values are instilled in children and are continually challenged. If you have a child that keeps company with one that has radically different values, that will affect your child.

Scouting involves more than just the official events. Personal friendships are made that may continue for a boys lifetime. Boys have sleepovers and other non-scouting interactions and these will pose even more dangerous situations for your child.

The dynamics of friendship and the formation of boundaries in a child’s life put serious choices in front of them as it is. Being in a situation where an adult is not allowed to point out immoral behavior will cause a child to subconsciously believe it is acceptable. Then it is merely a step forward to conscious acceptance by repetition.

This is spoken of many times in the scriptures.  We reap what we sow and if we allow our children to be around immoral people/situations on a regular basis they will reap what we allowed to be sown by others.

While the decision of the BSA was heralded as a step forward within some circles of society, the sad truth is that they decided to put away one of the major tenets of the Scouting organization as it was first founded.

I’m speaking of “duty to God” specifically.  Tragically, I believe this has happened because of several things:

1) The “religious” people within Christianity, Judaism and Islam have decided to not adhere to their own scriptures and have turned away from the Truth.

2) The ones who do adhere to their scriptures have not made as much effort as the ones who don’t nor have they stood proclaiming Truth in the public square.

3) The world is winding down and the signs of it are among us now.

Please don’t mistake me for someone who thinks I know the year, month, week, day or hour of our Lord’s return. No one does as the bible clearly states. But we have been given signs and we are told to watch for Him.

Until He returns we are called to live holy lives unto Him, in the world, but not of it. That is SO easy to say and truly not easy to live. I’ve battled off and on with this over the years. There is a mindset that claims an existence of a balance between the two. I’m just not so sure anymore.

I’ve heard things said that are challenging to me in this life and my sinful nature wants that so-called balance.  There are also questions, such as..”How much of the things of the world do you want”? or “How far can you go without sinning”?

It’s in our nature to see what we can get away with and still be considered children of God.  Idolatry can entail anything from religion to football. It is a way of thinking and living. Someone in a bible study joked about not having his time watching football intruded upon. Everyone chuckled, but in my pride I wanted to take the humor out of it and show it for what it was, idolatry.

Yet, how many hours do I sit in front of this computer? How many hours do I spend doing anything and everything but living out my death in Jesus?

I think there is a line one can cross.  Which now convicts me, because that means it is actually a choice of paths. The only paths with lines are wrong paths and the lines are each point where we justify continuing on to the next line of compromise. But on the true path there is only turning to the left or right.

It was just revealed to me why we have the “left side” and “right side” in politics and in life as well I suppose. While they may not see the origin of it being related to “the path”, both sides are turning from it. The left being willfully and openly rebellious to God and the right being self-righteously rebellious toward God.

In conclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have gone off of the path and I personally don’t believe there is hope for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Empty faith, empty obedience and the will of God

A prophet stated: “Rule upon rule, precept upon precept”.  If righteousness was dependent only on laws, why would he say this?

Faith and obedience go hand in hand when you are in a relationship with God. Your faith equals obedience and is credited to you as righteousness – (i.e., Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness because he trusted God and was willing to obey what He told him to do, even though he didn’t understand it).

Even though Abraham knew that murder was wrong (reference Cain), still he did not judge God’s command or assume He was going to give him another child. He believed that God could raise Isaac from the dead because God said Isaac was the one to follow Abraham.   Who are Abraham’s children? Those who are willing to disobey the very laws God put into place because God said so. THAT is faith and obedience. Faith in God’s perfect nature and righteousness.

God told Hosea to marry an adulteress. Even though God had said adultery was sinful and the one who committed it was to be punished by death, He told him to do it. He even told him to take her back after she had done it again, instead of being obedient to the law and having her stoned. Hosea was obedient to God alone. The law is NOT God. Isn’t choosing the law over what God is saying idolatry?

So, was God wrong to tell them to do this? Absolutely not!  To think that God is wrong in ANY way is to call Him a liar, God forbid! Both things He said to do are wrong according to the laws He set up for US, but God is above the law in every way.

God is not accountable to anyone! How dare we judge HIM by the laws He gave Israel! If He shows us the Truth and we won’t accept it because we think it’s wrong, what does that say to Him? That isn’t faith in Him, that is faith in our own understanding and passing judgement ON Him.

How dare we decide to know His will by our foolishness? How dare we tell Him He cannot do something because we don’t agree with the way He chooses to do it. He is the potter and we the clay. He is the Creator and we are the created.

But back to faith and obedience. It is common to try to have faith without works and works without faith, but you cannot honestly have one without the other. Consider the people who don’t believe in God. Those people obey what their spirit knows are righteous acts because we are made in His image and likeness, but without faith in God they are empty works. Things done to make themselves feel like a “good” person in an attempt to fill the spiritual void that is made for God alone.

So, you have faith in God and know that He is gracious, merciful, forgiving and loving, are you PRESUMING a true  relationship with Him without joining faith and obedience? But one will not work without the other. Can you please God without both?

He is faithful and just. We are not and cannot be like Him.  We only know what He has shown us about Himself. Without the Holy Spirit we are left in the dark because it is He who opens our eyes and ears. He is the one who illuminates the Scriptures to show us the true meaning in life; that our finite minds can’t comprehend any Truth on our own. We can scratch the surface of things but even this understanding is a gift, but we cannot fathom the depths or breadth of them.

When our heart and soul cry out to Him in honesty and humility He hears us. Not because we are doing something good or righteous, but out of His very perfect nature, love and faithfulness to His covenant, He hears. King David spoke of having a broken and contrite heart and it being pleasing to God. When we look at our obedience without faith, we insult Him. When we say we trust in Him, but don’t show it by obeying Him alone, we lie to Him and ourselves.

Everyone knows as children we learn by example, not just by someone telling us it is right or wrong. With God, we learn by His nature as revealed by the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. We learn what is right and wrong by what He says AND what HE does.

Without an understanding of the intent behind the law and statues we can’t truly see why they were given and that is where we decide to be obedient, or stubborn and rebellious.  Stubbornness and rebellion are like idolatry and witchcraft. When we will not allow our eyes to be opened, nor our ears to hear we are being stubborn and rebellious.

When we presume to know the mind of God and His plans, we are being stubborn and rebellious and not trusting Him. Is there nothing that God cannot do? Is He required to abide by our “alleged” understanding or our limited interpretation of His holy Words?

We are unworthy servants and there is nothing we can do to be worthy. We cannot attain His righteousness, no matter the level of faith or our best ability to obey the law. But He in His love and mercy accepted our poor offerings of faith and obedience, even though they never made us worthy.

Therefore, as we can never be worthy, He alone had to  provide One who is worthy for us. The One who can fulfill His requirement of perfection in every way. What mere man could ever do this? NO ONE, EVER ! So, in order to provide that requirement of worthiness, One had to come who could attain it. Have we ever known anyone who has done this? There is only the One and no other. Yet, we in our stubbornness and rebellion will not accept His One because in our foolish human wisdom it goes against what we “think” we understand about Him and the law.  Again, who are we to question how He provides His will?

Nothing is beyond His power to do. We slap Him in the face when we refuse to accept how HE provides to justify us.  That’s why God told us to walk humbly with Him.

What true prophet spoke on his own merit? How many men have claimed to be the Messiah, yet spoke and acted according to his frail understanding and even failed at that?

If we cannot see that faith and obedience will never make us worthy, how will we ever understand it is the humble, honest heart and spirit of man He desires, but accepts only out of His mercy and grace?

If God spoke through mere men who were sinful, how much more will He provide the One who is not?

No one can forgive our sins, but God alone. So, we remain unworthy, even if we listen to Him, obey the law and repent through what He said to the prophets He provided.

What do we think is most important to Him? Physical things, or spiritual things? Establishing physical peace on earth only covers a portion. How will He establish peace for His people spiritually?

If we, as the created, only go by what we perceive He has planned, we in fact are saying that God cannot do His will unless we approve of how He chooses to do it. We are NOT and never will be privy to His infinite power and wisdom.

Therefore, if He has decided to reveal Himself physically and spiritually through someone who IS worthy, who are we to say no, you cannot do this thing? If stubbornness and rebellion won’t accept His ways, how much more does it reject His Provision?

As we cannot fully understand Him, we have no right to tell Him how He must do something. If He chooses to provide Someone who IS sinless, that person will be as perfectly holy as He is. They cannot be less, or they are only men.

If angels can appear as men, how much more the Son? God is spirit and He shares His glory with no one. Therefore, if Someone comes down to earth according to God’s will who is Holy, Sinless and Worthy, is it not God who enclosed this Someone in a physical body so we can interact with Him on a more physical level? Rejecting the Son is rejecting our Heavenly Father, our very creator. Again, we are the created and have no right as sinful, stubborn, rebellious and wicked creations to judge Him or His ways.

So, we now have the choice. Do we trust Him and His Providence or do we use our pride and the law to judge Him and what He chooses to do?

No, we humble ourselves, search the Scriptures and learn through the Holy Spirit what He wills and has done on our behalf. So, let us now seal our mouths, examine our hearts, lean not on our own understanding and receive HIS wisdom.

God said, “Come let us reason together” – not ‘here is the law you guys go reason it out and get back to Me’

May He be glorified forever and His will be done.

The Original Sin(s)

In Genesis 2:16 – 17  God told Adam and Eve they were free to eat from any tree in the garden, with the only exception being the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  There is no mention of them being forbidden from eating from the tree of life although both were in the center of the garden. For all we know they did eat from the tree of life.

God told them both that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. This is the first mention of death as a consequence of sin.

After the encounter with the “serpent”,  Adam and Eve sinned by doing what God expressly forbade them to do.

They had committed the first [original] sin(s).

Psalm 51:5 states: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”.

1 John 1:10 states: “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us”.

Would these apply to the disbelief of “original sin”?  That’s something to be considered.

So by sinning, they reaped the consequences that God told them would happen. Hence, death was brought into the world.  The ground was cursed, as were both Adam and Eve.

If they had not been forced to leave Eden, they could have lived forever by eating from the tree of life. Obviously, God knew what would happen if they were to eat from it and He also knew how He would provide eternal life for mankind. Our finite human reasoning cannot fathom exactly how He will choose to bestow eternal life. However He does it, we must be humble and very, very careful to not presume to know the mind of God.

Proverbs 3:18 states that wisdom is [a] tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

While it doesn’t seem to be a reference to THE tree of life, I’m not convinced it has no relation to it. Consider this, Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden with the knowledge of good and evil, but there is no mention of them leaving with wisdom.

The sin of idolatry (putting their desires above God) and rebellion (by not obeying what He said) were the original sin(s).

So, the original sin(s) encompassed lust of the eyes (the fruit was pleasing to the eye), lust of the flesh (it was good for food) and the pride of life (wanting to be like God by knowing good from evil).

This is the account of the “Original Sin(s)”

Some idolatry

In Ezekiel the [reasons] for Jerusalem’s sins were pride, an abundance of food and idleness.

When one doesn’t have an abundance of food, it can always be replaced with an abundance of things wanted or the distractions this world provides.

Idleness – what a wretched state. That is when a person has a greater chance of becoming a sluggard and a fool.

The sluggard and fool both spend too much time with their own thoughts and so they become wise in their own eyes.

I believe all sin comes down to three things:

The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

Eyes: Anything thing you can see or imagine.

Flesh: Feelings, attitudes, physical pleasure, desire for a great level of respect, power, money; an endless list of all sorts of things.

Pride: Anything that supplants God with ourselves.

I once heard a pastor say anything that hinders someone from being close to God is sinful.

I’ve thought about that over the years since I heard it. It’s SO true. We are warned time and again about being distracted by things of the world; distracted by cares and pleasures.

It is a fight against a person’s nature to forego pleasure and other things that distract in order to be wholly focused on God.

There is so much more I can say about this, but Lord willing, I’ll post a separate one with more details and personal thoughts.