...Who Know that We Are Born This Way...
This is the month of Av on the Jewish calendar, and this Shabbot marks the date of many calamities in the Jewish History, the most notable being the burning of the Temple. Therefore there is great mourning on this day called Tisha B'Av, and usually fasting as well. However, when Tisha B'av falls on Shabbot, the required fast is deferred to the next day in honor of Shabbot. There are many reasons given for this practice, but I think the one that makes the most sense to me is that G-d commanded the observance of Shabbot, and mourning for the Temple is their own idea, though it is an honorable one, since they mourn for the lost presence of G-d. Still, had they obeyed Him when they did have His presence the Temple would most likely not have been decimated! These original Israelites are such transparent examples of humanity. We all have a tendency to spit in G-d's face, until we need Him, and then grieve and mourn for our perceived losses - when really, what we do not realize is that we had lost Him, and His benefits in our lives, long before we perceived Him gone!
This week I began writing a series of articles on a troubling social phenomena that the "Church" at large seems to be embracing. And by "the Church" I am not just referring to their main spokesmen, but the majority of Church-going people who weigh in as followers of G-d or believers in Yeshua - also known as Jesus. You see, we as humans tend to get ourselves into ironic difficulties because it is not entirely natural, and therefore not really easy, to get hold of G-d's perspective and keep hold of it. I think the "chosen people" illustrate that difficulty plainly enough, time and again, as is recorded in Scripture and even modern history. So what is to be our stance on Tisha B'Av as Messianic believers? As those who consider themselves to be grafted into that tree known as Israel? I think that many of us may fast on behalf of the Nation of Israel, because they have suffered much over the centuries (Never mind that they asked for much of it by being stiff-necked, we would do well to avoid the seat of judgment on that subject, since I think we are doing the same thing, with much less of an acceptable excuse!). But honestly, I personally do not feel the need to mourn the loss of that temporary Temple, for I have gained access to the eternal one! I have not lost the presence of G-d! In fact, I experience the presence of G-d everyday, thanks to the Messiah Yeshua and His Ruach, that live on in me today, and who will attend any and all who trust in Him! Plus we are assured that in His time He plans to raise that Temple for His own purposes again and Messiah will reign from there! What a day that will be!
But to me Tisha b'av exemplifies exactly the kind of "blind spot" typical of G-d's people, one that has historically ran through our whole existence, first in the physical Israel, and now in the extended, "grafted in", "Spiritual Israel". (Which, by the way, are not two different entities but are extensions of one another! How can there be two entities if we have been "grafted in" to them! How can the branches "replace" the tree? Branches have no root in and of themselves! G-d did not clone another tree! So much for "replacement theology".) But the other irony is that we mourn for that which represents "His presence" to us, be it a lost tradition, a special place or object, the death of a mentor or friend, or whatever, and in that mourning for what we held sacred in His place, we manage to miss the plain fact that He, Himself, is available to us for the effort of seeking Him!
This why many of us are so misguided, I believe, and why it has taken me, and so many others, so long to grasp hold of what He is trying to do in and for us! It is why, I also believe, that we have lost our social moorings. It is why we have become confused about what is "normal" and what should be "tolerated" or embraced. So this leads me back to the original discussion.
I am propounding what may seem like contradictory ideas on this social issue of how to look at and think about homosexual orientation, and other issues that are Scripturally considered to be sin or unrighteousness. I feel that we need to take a careful look at what we are propounding, as a religious community, because, for those who claim to be the "Church", we represent a Holy G-d, who expects a Holy people to follow Him! So, "The Blood Bought", the "Redeemed", or whatever title one wants to use for those who claim to be "walking by faith" - or who have stated that they believe in the "inerrant Word of G-d" - the current stance of the politically correct "tolerance" or social acceptance of this lifestyle is completely inexcusable; and to say that there is "nothing inherently wrong with it" is idiocy of the worst kind! Scripturally speaking of course. It shows a complete misunderstanding of what they claim to believe!
Conversely, as I have said, for those who openly claim no such belief in G-d or His Scriptures, but who take a humanistic, anti-Judeo/Christian slant, who do not believe the Scriptures contained in the Torah to be the standard of righteousness for humanity, inspired by a Holy Creator, this is a completely logical stance!
Thus, my issue is with the "family of G-d", because I feel like there is a disconnect between what they say they believe and what they live as though they believe. And this is dysfunction and mental instability! Even the Scriptures themselves state that the "double-minded man is unstable in all his ways."! Therefore, I am simply trying to clarify what the Scriptural stance is on the subject for those who claim to care.
But it is obvious that most do not care. I frequently see these "Bible thumpers", the "religious right", as they are called, who I frankly don't think can get it any more wrong, err off both sides of the scriptural path! One bunch goes to the ditch of condemnation, wherein they condemn self-professed sinners for doing what comes naturally to them (can you feel me rolling my eyes at the idiocy of this practice?); and the other bunch goes into the ditch of "open-minded social tolerance" wherein one must "show love" by tolerating sin and swallowing everything the world peddles, "hook, line and sinker"!
What is wrong with simply standing on the Scriptural premises that sin is wrong, and has been judged, and that we will be judged accordingly - while pointing out the "Good News" of redemption, that our loving heavenly Father made a way out of that judgment for us if we will have it?! I don't get what the issue is.
It is like a bunch of two year olds trying to convince mommy that cookies are now good for us! And the "Mommies" are running around being bi-polar, on the one hand condemning the eating of cookies under any circumstances, and on the other hand, guiltily doling them out to prove how hip and tolerant they are! Good grief. What happened to cookies are desert not food. Period.
And sexual intimacy is a holy union which was G-d's idea. And that He ordained this physical intimacy to be had between two married people, specifically One Man and One Woman, who can be completed into His image through this union, and procreate the race of men and raise them to love G-d! That is not all that complicated is it?
But what is our objection to that kind of firm boundary? What is the real issue? I don't have all the answers, but at the heart of the difficulty is rebellious, sin-infested flesh, that does not want to give up its Normandy Beach! It does not want its main stronghold taken! It will never surrender! In the end, however, resistance is futile, for we are assured that it will be defeated. For those of us who have accepted the Messiah and His atonement for our sins, it should have already been taken! And the surrounding territory conquered in His Name!
However, as it stands now with the religious community divided between un-G-dly, Scripturally incorrect judgmental criticism, on the one hand, and equally Scripturally incorrect "tolerance" of known sin on the other - how is it to be expected to stand, much less advance His Kingdom!? Either way, the so-called "Christian", religious, community comes off looking like a bunch of non-thinking idiots who don't know their Bible from a hole in the ground! Oy vey! And then we wonder why people don't want to come to church?! They don't come because they don't want their brains sucked out, they do not want to become the religious robots they see, dogmatic and inconsistent at the same time, insane! However, the irony of that is that they don't realize the general media system in this world is nicely doing that for them already, in the comforts of their own home, car, office, etc. But that is another writing.
For now I just want to leave us with this thought, "Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.", I think that has been attributed to Mark Twain. So what do we, as "Christian" people stand for? On what do we base our stands? That is what we, as Americans, need to figure out. What exactly is the foundation for our belief structures? If it is not the Scriptures, which begin with the Hebrew Torah, then where do we get our standard? And if those Scriptures are our standard of righteousness, then why are we not following them? Selah. (Pause and calmly think about that.)