Posts filed under ‘Religious – Christian – Theology’
THEN we get to verse 6b of Zechariah 13 and the famous verse that some take to refer to Jesus. It is clear that the false prophet is being questioned here, but about what? The “wounds” on his arms. This is where some people assume it refers to Jesus (because of the wounds He received leading up to and including the crucifixion). Unfortunately, IF we consider that the context is all about false prophets, then the wounds referred to here are more in line with what the prophets of Baal did to themselves in 1 Kings 18:28. They cut themselves in order to get Baal’s attention, much the same way Muslims cut themselves today during certain ceremonies to gain Allah’s attention and favor. Throughout history, there were many of these types of self-mutilation ceremonies connected with Phrygian, Syrian, Cappadocian, and other cultures.
Christians today need to grasp the big picture, the one from God’s perspective. Instead, we are often too concerned about saving America. Our job is the Great Commission, in which Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. He never tells us to save a specific country. He is concerned about lost souls and so should we be. The problem is that all too often (and we can all fall prey to this, including this author), we become embroiled in the political scene because we think that if good men “do nothing,” disaster is the result. We need to choose carefully what it is we are “to do,” because we cannot be both evangelists to the lost and politically involved to save America.
I’m not sure the average Christian truly understands how important it is that Christians actively persevere in the faith, on a daily basis. Though I believe that this will occur for all true Christians, too often today, those who profess to be Christians provide themselves with every excuse to act like the world. We have lost a true reverence for God (if we ever had it). We have no real fear of failure. We do not understand the depth to which our sin causes the Holy Spirit to grieve. We are constantly giving ourselves a pass on the things that we do that we know are wrong. Our job is to submit to Him that His will might be lived out in and through us. He doesn’t expect us to do that in our own strength. He will provide the strength. He simply says we must open ourselves to His will all the time. This is what actively recreates the character of Jesus in our hearts and lives, though clearly, God is in charge of that. Nothing can be taken away from Him.
What our friend completely fails to grasp is that the chapter began with a brief parable of the lost sheep, then segued into the lost coin. In both of those brief stories, the emphasis is on the sheep owner and the woman, both of whom went out of their way to search for what was lost. In essence then, we could say that these are examples of Jesus coming to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and attempting to win them to Him. Israel has always had an “in” and “out” relationship with God. That cycle continues to this day, yet I do not believe for one moment that just because someone is an orthodox Jew, they are “saved.” Jews need to be saved today the exact same way that everyone else is saved, by grace, through faith, in Christ. I also believe that God will one day take from the nation of Israel a final “remnant” of people who will come to believe in Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Messiah. These will represent the final version of the nation of Israel. Still, the method of salvation is always the same.
But if you take the time to listen to the so-called Christian music of today, much of it is short on majesty, theology, and reverence and long on showmanship. Take time to really listen to the singer of some of the music that is being pushed by Christian artists. Some of them sound as though – forgive me – they are sexually aroused while they are singing. That is the growing trend. Then, when a young woman gets up in church to do the same song, who do you think she imitates? Yes, the original artist. So, there she is, standing at the microphone, both hands on the mic, sort of “growling” and slightly swaying as she croons her way though the song. When she’s done? People applaud. They applaud, which simply proves to me that all eyes are on the singer and not God.
It should be obvious that if Christians are not careful, we too can fall prey to the trappings of peer or group pressure. Recently, a group of people in a local church were put on a committee to go through all the resumes in hopes of finding a new minister of music. Eventually, one was found and those involved extolled the process as being good and unifying. They felt that the person they eventually called to the position (and he accepted), must be the person because they (the committee), was in full unity over it.
Let’s remind ourselves of that agenda once again. The left is doing all they can to move America further and further away from the traditional backdrop created by our Founding Fathers who penned the U.S. Constitution. In essence, at least some of the Constitution is biblically based as are many of the laws that helped establish America. Leftists – the people who boo’d God at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 – want America as far removed from the Bible and conservatism as possible.