Sunday, September 25, 2011

Making More Sins Than God

My husband made a delicious dinner tonight.
The conversation was good, too.
We asked our kids a bunch of questions which weren't planned,
but which I think were important.

Do people ever dishonor marriage in the way that they live? (Yes.)
Should we, then, say Christians shouldn't get married?
Can we do evil things with money? (Yes!)
Is money evil? (No!)
Can we honor the Lord with money? (Yes!) 
If people might do evil things with money, maybe we should ban money.
Can we do evil things with our bodies? (Yes.)
Does that make our bodies evil? (No!)
Can we honor the Lord with our bodies? (Yes!)
Can we do evil things with meat? (Yes.)
What kind of evil things could you do with meat?
(You could take it away from hungry people! You could be a glutton!)
So is meat evil? (No!)
Can we use meat in a way that honors the Lord? (Yes!)
Maybe, since people can use meat in a way that is evil, all meat should be destroyed.

There is an interesting passage in 1 Timothy 4:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times 
some will depart from the faith, 
giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 
speaking lies in hypocrisy... 
forbidding to marry, 
and commanding to abstain from foods 
which God created to be received with thanksgiving; 
for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 
If you instruct the brethren in these things, 
you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, 
nourished in the words of faith 
and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 
But reject profane and old wives' fables, 
and exercise yourself toward godliness. 
For bodily exercise profits a little, 
but godliness is profitable for all things, 
having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Reading the whole thing in context makes it plain
that the forbidding of the gifts of God,
which He has given us to be received with thanksgiving,
and which are made holy by His word, and by prayer
is a teaching of deceiving spirits, 
a lie, 
a doctrine of demons, 
a departure from the faith, 
and a profane old wives' fable.
Pretty strong words.
Good ministers of Jesus Christ reject such teachings.
The 'discipline' of abstinence from these things
(which are holy if done in holiness)
profits little.
But godliness is always profitable.
And godliness comes by faith in Him, and in His work.

"Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated
by destroying the object which is abused.
Men can go wrong with wine and women.
Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?"
~Martin Luther

"Thomas Shepherd, pastor and friend of Governor John Winthrop  
(Puritan governor of Massachusetts),
advised against forbidding a temptation.
He wrote Winthrop to argue
that forbidding a temptation provokes God
because it makes 'more sins than (as yet is seen) God himself hath made.'"

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