Wednesday, November 25, 2009
In an interview with Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly commented on The Manhattan Declaration (see http://ManhattanDeclaration.org/ , and repeated the biblical statement that "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." And while I believe that Bill O'Reilly is a sincere believer, his response to the clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration embodies the error of much of the Christian world today.
Bill O'Reilly's shortsightedness stems from his misunderstanding of the difference between judgement, and discernment. Christians are not only obligated to discern the actions of their brothers and sisters, but a lack of discernment has the power to totally undermine their standing as a believer and follower in Jesus, and the core Gospel teachings. The answer is found in the statement of Paul not to judge the people outside the Church, and yet to have nothing to do with them -- i.e., "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore 'put away from yourselves the evil person'" (1 Cor 5:11-13 NKJ). That the vast number of Christians have failed to observe this commandment, is representative of the very reason for the great struggle with the cultural immorality and depravity that has undermined the Church.
One of the primary obligations of a Christian household is to raise children who are able to discern good from evil -- choosing the good, and having no part with the evil. And clearly, Paul teaches to have nothing to do with those who are "...sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person." What has been the impact on our children, of ignoring this requirement? Research gathered by the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life which reported in 2002 "...that 88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return." (see God's Indictment Of The Church). Why? For largely convenience and complacency, the vast majority of Christians fail to see the grave error in permitting not only the government, but also left-leaning secular progressives to teach those souls who were placed in the care and hands of Christians to raise in accord with core Gospel principles. Again, if we ask: What does Paul state about having anything to do with unbelievers? "Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you'" (2 Cor 6:17 NKJ). Yet, we immerse our children in the unclean and the immoral, in total disregard of Gospel teachings and requirements.
Like most Christians, Bill O'Reilly does not appear to have an enlightened perspective on the vast differences between the commandment not to be judgmental, and yet be able to discern good and evil. When Jesus said that "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone", this was in response to those who wanted to stone the woman as punishment for her sins. And in confirmation of what Paul states above to the congregation of Christians, Jesus states to the woman: "go and sin no more" (John 8:11 KJV). If, as Jesus states, the woman should go and sin no more -- and in defiance, she continues to sin -- does that mean that the Christian should ignore the commandment to have nothing to do with those who reject the Gospel message, and choose to live a life of sin? And how can the Christian be at fault for discerning good and evil -- and fulfilling the Commandment to be separate and not to touch those who choose to be unclean from a Gospel perspective -- without possessing a very clear understanding of what constitutes sin? And refraining from such a lifestyle? Perhaps more important is Jesus' words to the man he healed: "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14 KJV) -- an ignored profound statement which is explored in the article: Obama - The Church's New Simon Magus? If as Jesus states that a person's actions can bring even worse circumstances upon them, then the whole concept of Obamacare which attempts to ignore the cause of each person's plight, should be rejected by every believer today.
As a biblical author, Paul is the most misunderstood -- prompting Peter to write with respect to the Epistles of Paul that "...as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (2 Pet 3:13-18 NKJ). The key is seen here in the fact that people were misinterpreting Paul's doctrine of faith apart from actions, and thereby twisting this doctrine "...to their own destruction". And to the degree that people were twisting Paul's doctrine of faith, is in fact the legacy of Martin Luther as demonstrated conclusively in this link in the article The Lie (see The Legacy Of Martin Luther). Perhaps just as important is the fact that Peter is warning that ignorance is not bliss -- and those who twist Paul's doctrine of faith into a doctrine of apathetic complacency, were in fact orchestrating "...their own destruction". Yet, Paul's warning has no place in modern non-discerning Church dogma that preaches salvation regardless of one's actions and lifestyle.
As Church leaders, the signers of The Manhattan Declaration may very well have waited too long to lead the people in The Way of Righteousness that is clearly required of those who call themselves Christians. Most often, while the secular progressives define morality to accommodate their most base appetites of the carnal instincts of the flesh -- and in the same way that for the sake of convenience they rip the unborn from the womb and call the murder of the unborn choice -- daily, these same misguided souls immerse the impressionable young minds of our children into a culture of spiritual destruction. But when we pose the question: Who is responsible? In failing to protect our children and teaching them to discern good and evil, it is the sin of both Church leaders and the parents who will be held accountable. Thus the long ignored warning of Paul that "...For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries." (Heb 10:26-27 RSV). And it is for this reason that Paul stated that the Christian should "...not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person" -- and a Christian is obligated to "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord."
The earth moves through phases -- and what is known as the Black Plague, wiped out as much as 60% of the earth's population. What is not realized is the fact that the earth is moving through a similar phase in the present -- with the exception being, that the disease is attacking the mind of those who live in moral abandonment -- i.e., "...sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee". And while the multitude of people will dismiss the very words and warning of Jesus, it is the failing of the Church to promote proper discernment from a purely Gospel perspective, that is the true cause of the problem. Which causes us to pose the question: Is it too late for the Manhattan Declaration to bring wholeness of mind to the mass of people who have been stricken with the modern plague that is destroying our culture from within?
GodSpeed in TheWay,
Jacob/James - Brother of Yeshua/Jesus