Monday, March 10, 2014

Pragmatism Is Unbiblical: God cares about the details

Pragmatic? God doesn't care about the details? God doesn't mind how we treat Him by how we treat His Word (His commands) in worship and conduct?

God considered Moses's disobedience as rebellious as that of Israel when he spoke to Israel and struck the rock twice.

Num 20:8  "Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink."

Num 20:12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

God considered it irreverent when Uzzah touched the Ark of the Covenant as it was about to fall to the ground. God had already commanded how the Ark should be handled, yet the Israelites were pragmatic by using a "new" pagan cart to carry the holy item. 

2Sa 6:6  But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. 7  And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. 

Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to worship or honor the LORD but that wasn't what God required, nor was it good enough because its source was not from God:

Lev 10:1  Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them2  And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 

Sincerity isn't always good enough, especially when it comes to leadership of God's people.

Eli's lack of action according to Scripture earned God's condemnation of the entire house of Eli forever:

1Sa 3:12 "In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 "Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." 

To lie to the Holy Spirit and then to the church about one thing earned Ananias and his wife Sapphira death right there in church during worship:

Act 5:1  But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 
Act 5:2  and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. 
Act 5:3  But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 
Act 5:4  "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 
Act 5:5  And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. 

Act 5:7  Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 
Act 5:8  And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price." 
Act 5:9  Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well." 
Act 5:10  And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 
Act 5:11  And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. 

Why? We're back to Numbers 20 and Moses:

Num 20:12  But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them." 

Heb 10:29  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 
Heb 10:30  For we know Him who said, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE." 
Heb 10:31  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God

All three examples can be justified by today's "Christian"--after all, all three were obeying God on some level. They think God doesn't mind, God is "not a legalist", God knows the heart, God doesn't expect perfection since we're all human and sin.

None of that flies with God.

Firstly, we're to take His Word seriously, not sit in judgment of it and decide what parts we're willing to obey and what parts "aren't essential".

Secondly, God does demand perfect holiness:

Lev 19:1  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2  "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. 

Mat 5:48  "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

1Pe 1:14  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 
1Pe 1:15  but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 
1Pe 1:16  because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 
1Pe 1:17  If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 

Yes, God is the God of grace and mercy, but He is also the God of precision and highest of all standards. His standard hasn't change since He created Adam and Eve. The point of His high holy standard is to point out our utter UNholiness and therefore our desperate need for salvation and forgiveness through the biblical Jesus Christ the Lord, and the continual need of the Holy Spirit to conform us into the image of God's dear Son.

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