Yet, the good book says many things! It also says we are to become HOLY. What does the word "HOLY" mean to you? Does it mean we become pious and arrogant? Is a holy person worth more than a non-holy person? Is the holy person a better person?
No, the term "HOLY" is also misunderstood by many Christians. It simply means we are to be set apart, separated from the World. We are to be different than the World, not doing the things the World accepts as "good". Go read 1 Peter, Chapter 2 and you'll see what I mean. Isaiah, Chapter 55 tells us we are to let the wicked go the way they wish and we are NOT to join them.
Some of my friends love to repeat the phrase, "unconditional love" over and over again. It has become a mantra to them. Look up the word, Mantra. It comes from Hinduism. It is a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer. In Hinduism incantations are seen as magical and powerful. Incantations are also part of black magic and satanic worship.
Open up your e-bibles or look in your indices and search diligently for the word "unconditional". You won't find it! Why? Because Yahovah, YWVH, Yeshua, Jesus, the God of the Universe; never states that love is unconditional! Yet, I know that we've have probably all heard the phrase repeated in our churches and synagogues.
So where does the misunderstanding come from? It comes from a misstatement of scripture! Please notice, I said "misstatement", NOT misinterpretation. The secular understanding of unconditional love denotes that we love each other "without any limitations", that is; we show our love and acceptance of one another regardless of one's outward behavior. I have actually had people say to me, "if we only accepted each other unconditionally, without any judgment on how we behave or think, we would have world peace and all conflict would go away!"
Wow! Not only is that statement illogical, it is childish as well. Who, in their right mind, believes that a mass murderer, terrorist, or child molester would become peaceful and loving because we accept the sin he does with "unconditional love"? Who also, in their right mind, believes that the God of the Universe wants us to remain in our sin? Who actually believes that God accepts our sin?
Here's where the misstatement of scripture comes in to play. Yahovah says in many places in scripture, directly and indirectly, that He wishes ALL of us to be saved and enter into His Kingdom. He does not want any of us to perish. He states that even in our sin, He loves us. Have a look at Matt. Ch. 18, John 3:16, 2 Peter, Ch. 3. A helpful word search is to search on the words, "perish" and "love". You'll get a full days reading out of that one!
Since God is so loving, people naturally assume He turns a blind eye to our sinful natures as well. Keep reading your Bibles, He doesn't accept our sin! Conduct a word search on "sin" and you'll discover that we are to do our utmost to NOT sin! IMO, the phrase, "unconditional love" should not even be used in Judeo-Christian circles.
To say it more succinctly, man has taken the endless love and patience our Savior has for us, even as we are drenched in sin; and turned it into a philosophy of unconditional love for the sin itself. This is completely backwards, folks. We have heard another saying that's closer to the truth; "hate the sin, but love the sinner". You may understand now why I say the "unconditional love" mantra is a "misstatement" of biblical truth, not simply a misinterpretation. Man is trying to make himself feel better about being in the midst of his sin. It won't work folks. We have to be aware of our sin and the sin in others. We can and should fight sin. We can only do it with the help of the Holy Spirit, not on our own!
Here's a good way to think of this. Imagine a hard black vertical line on a graph. This vertical line represents Yahovah's Holiness. Nothing can bypass this line - NOTHING! Our opinions, our conjectures, our sins are represented by angled lines started from the horizontal leaning towards that "hard" vertical centerline of holiness. Eventually, all of the lines we create project up to that line of holiness and cannot pass through! There is no way to get around God's Holiness. God Himself lives by this rule. He has to, otherwise He would not be God. This is why we so much need the patient forgiveness and sacrifice of our LORD. Without Him, we are completely lost! We are lost unless we accept His free gift of grace and do our best to stop sinning, sinners that we are. I am not "preaching" a gospel of "works" here, because our works don't get us into the Kingdom, but the Bible states "faith without works is dead", and "go and sin no more".
It is important at this time to make a point. Judeo-Christianity IS NOT a belief system which endures and prospers in order to make peace with the sin in the World! Have a look at this admonition to the Corinthians:
2Co 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 2Co 6:18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.
Part of the reason we misunderstand these kinds of things is because of another mistake we make. We believe and accept what our Priests, Rabbis, and Ministers tell us without verifying in scripture whether they have stated it truthfully or not. When a prospective clergyman attends seminary he is actually undergoing indoctrination in a specific denomination or sect. He is not, necessarily, learning the Bible. He is instead learning the Bible as seen through the filtered vision of his denomination. Ravi Zacharias, the famous modern-day Christian Apologist, has described these groups as, "denominations of abominations", and Ravi is very right in this!
Now, it is not my purpose here to trash your denomination. You have membership in a particular denomination, that's fine by me! Just be careful that you aren't following man. Follow the Bible's teachings, instead. At least one denomination says you must be a vegetarian, for example, yet the Bible says the opposite. Another says prayer to idols is OK, yet the Bible says no. Another actually rewrites the 10 Commandments and makes them man's law, not God's! The Bible calls this Antichrist! Yet another says the Old Testament (the Tanahk) is finished and complete and can be ignored; the New Testament is the only biblical text one should read. This is practically, biblically, spiritually, and logically impossible! The Bible is linked throughout and about 80% of the Re-newed Covenant (the N.T.) is found within the Old!
I will tell you something about myself. I have NEVER been a member of a church or synagogue and I never will! Please be aware, I'm speaking of my own personal doctrine here. I actually believe that it is an insult to Yeshua to join man's organizations! The fact that I belong to that Olive Tree (Romans, Ch. 11), an unnatural branch grafted into it, is good enough for me! Don't misunderstand, please. I attend services on a regular basis. I believe it is important to do so. Support of one's brothers and sisters is crucial, in monetary and spiritual ways!
There is a question I have asked my brother and sister many times over; "Do you believe in man, or do you believe in God?" If one believes in God he also must believe in His Word! And that "Word", as stated in John 1:1 is the TORAH! Where do you think they got the word "Word" from?
... I hope you've enjoyed Part 1 and that it will cause much study, prayer, and thinking. Also please remember, you are not to follow me either! Read your Bible instead! : )