BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Dear Colleagues,

OUR CONFUSION BETWEEN GRACE AND LICENSE

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 Recently, a teen-aged lad in a family we have known over the years impregnated a non-Christian girlfriend a relationship his parents had strongly disapproved of, but to no avail. He admits his preference of dating non-Christian girls, with little regard for his parents wishes.

 Upon learning of the pregnancy, he contacted a spiritual mentor who counsel him to get back into church and Bible study.  This mentor related to me the lack of shame and repentance over the sin of (1) fornication, and (2) sinning against God and his parents in not honoring their desires. (I Cor. 6:9; Psa. 51:4; Exo. 20:12; Eph. 6:2,3)

 Today, it seems that the general approach to spiritual restoration is a kind of kid glove style, so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of this free-spirited teen. Not so St. Paul: Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.  (I Tim. 5:20) Unimaginable today that we would dare be so brash. Sodirect.  After all, we might loose him!

 This morning in my reading I mused by my way through Exo. 19:10-13:  Exo. 19:10-13: Then the Lord told Moses, "Go down and prepare the people for my visit. Purify them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. Be sure they are ready on the third day, for I will come down upon Mount Sinai as all the people watch. Set boundary lines that the people may not pass. Warn them, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Those who do will certainly die! Any people or animals that cross the boundary must be stoned to death or shot with arrows. They must not be touched by human hands.’ The people must stay away from the mountain until they hear one long blast from the ram’s horn. Then they must gather at the foot of the mountain." (NLT)

 Moses is on the mountain with the Holy Presence, receiving the Ten Commandments.  Meanwhile the bored, impatient and sensual Israelites engage, with Aaron encouragement in riotous and sensual revelry around the newly crafted golden calf. Moses, upon returning to the camp from 40 days in Gods presence is enraged at their sin, smashes the tablets, grinds the golden calf into dust and forces the Israelites to drink it, and commands the slaughter of 3,000 of the men, women and children.  God, in kind threatens to destroy the whole nation; his wrath being turned away by Moses intercession.

What is missing in getting this teenager back on track is a complete absence of comprehension of just who God is and what God requires of him in terms of repentance and a commitment to personal holiness. (Exo. 15:11; Rev. 15:4; 2 Cor 7:1; Matt. 3:2; Heb. 12:14; 2 Pet. 3:11) He needs to understand that Gods grace is not a license to sin (Rom. 6:1, 2)  He also needs to understand the Sixth Commandment:  "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.  (Exo. 20:12) He has violated that command and profoundly offended and grieved his parents.  In the Old Testament, they stoned stubborn, rebellious, disobedient children. (Deu. 21:18-21)

 In our near religious mantra, I have my rights! here in America, our current perversion of the democratic ideal, we are sinking: Free speech and the First Amendment morphs into unbridled expression of the most base, sensual perversion and indulgence of every form imaginable.

 Someone needs to sit down with this teenager and explain a few facts to him:

  • The balance of Gods great grace expressed at calvary with Gods severity and judgment.  (Rom. 11:22) Jesus was enraged at the monitary exploitation and desecration of the temple and trashed the money grubbers, while compassionately forgiving and releasing the woman taken in adultery.  (Matt. 21:12-17; Jn. 8: 1-11)
  • Naked we will stand before the Holy Presence and give an account of our lives.  (Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10).  It behooves us not to trifle with Scripture in rationalizing our behavior in a Christian society on the skid:  Without holiness no one will see the Lord.  (Heb. 12:14b)
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