The Social Will of a Holy God

            There are so many issues in our society that we often do not know what is important to believe, and what is not; what is important to follow, and what is not; when we need to act, and when we need to remain still and wait upon the Lord our God. He is always with us, but we do not always know how to listen. His Word is strong and decisive, but we do not always know where to look for answers.

            The world is always ready to tell us what to believe. Often, the Social Bloggers are even ready with scripture to help us anchor our social stance with that of the world. Doesn’t scripture tell us to be kind to our neighbors? Doesn’t scripture tell us to treat others in the way that we want to be treated? When the social bloggers come with the scripture to tell us how to believe, how can we argue against what they say, with “chapter and verse,” is the word of Holiness?

            In response to the Pharisee’s query, Jesus states that the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39). Most who point to that commandment conveniently ignore the first, and greatest commandment. “You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37). In other words, we must put God first. We must follow His will. When He tells us to love God with our whole being, He is telling us that we are obligated to worship Him. We are obligated to be in His house to worship him (Exodus 25). We are obligated to follow His will. We are obligated to know that His word is HIS WORD, without the qualifiers that man wants to put on His word to make it comfortable for each of us.

            He tells us that if we will turn your foot from doing your own pleasure, and call His will a delight, and honorable, and desist from your own ways and from seeking your own pleasure, and seek your own word, THEN you will take delight in the Lord, and he will make you ride on the heights of the earth, and He will feed you with the heritage of Jacob, for the Mouth of the Lord has spoken! (Isaiah 58:13-14). And, yes, those who truly understand the Word of God will recognize that He is speaking of the Sabbath Day in this passage. They will also recognize that in order to keep the Sabbath Day as He wishes, is to keep His law as He wishes. The Covenants that He has given (including the Covenant of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-18) are given to us to keep us close to Him.

            So, when we are ready to abide by the words He speaks to us through Isaiah 58:13-14, we will be ready to turn to the second great commandment and observe that commandment. Loving the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, means that He is your true God. He is the one who directs your life. If we put anything else before God, we are not ready to move on to the second great commandment. We have not yet learned what it means to treat ourselves. If we do not know what it means to treat ourselves, how do we know how to treat our neighbors?

            But, nobody is able to live up to that expectation, we rail! Exactly! That is why we should be doing our best to be compassionate, That is why we should be thinking of our own sin before we point out others’ sin. That is why we remember that Jesus also said not to judge others, because our own injustice is too great. It is our responsibility to tell other what sin is; it is not our responsibility to judge them because they do not live up to those expectations.

            I know that there will be those who will argue that social injustice is too great to sit by and be silent. Social injustice is too great to sit by and be silent. But we are all guilty of some social injustice. We are all guilty of some sin that we want to hide away so that others (we think) will not know that we have our own hidden in the closet.

            But Social Injustice is …. Go back three paragraphs and begin again. Every time we think that we need to rail, go back three paragraphs and start over!

April 12, 2022

What, Exactly, Does Easter Have to do with the Resurrection of the Messiah?

               The Christian Church gets itself embroiled in tradition that has little, if anything, to do with historical truth, let alone theological truth. As long as the Temple was standing in Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Christian Church was in the hands of James (the brother of Jesus), and Peter (the cornerstone upon whom the Church was built[1]).[2] With the destruction of the Temple the Jerusalem Church was dispersed to Alexandria, Rome, Greece, and other lesser centers in Asia and Europe.[3]

               Along with the dispersion of the Apostles came more dissention between what came to be called the Church at Rome, and Christianity’s Jewish roots. The Roman Church did not appreciate being persecuted because of the Hebrew arrogance and rebellion against Roman Civil authority. The Hebrew people were the only conquered people who were granted a waiver from worshipping Caesar and the other elected Roman Gods. Before 70A.D. when the Temple was destroyed, the Sanhedrin was required to pay a tax, and present a sacrifice to the Hebrew God for this privilege.[4] However, the Hebrew people were never enchanted with the fact that they had been conquered by the Romans. They repeatedly flaunted their superiority and independence at the Roman leadership in Jerusalem.  Consequently, the persecution continued to get worse. The Roman contingent of the church sought to widen the gap between themselves and their Hebrew roots. By the end of the second century they had traded the Sabbath for Sunday. By the end of the third Century they had traded Passover for Resurrection Sunday. And, by the Nicene Council in the mid fourth century, they had made anything Jewish an abomination and heresy.[5]

               Saint Bede[6], the leading early historian on the Christian Church in Brit and Anglo-Saxon regions of the British Isles traced the conversion of some Brits to the invasion of the Roman Guard in the second century A.D. However, there was no incursion on the Saxon population until the fifth or sixth century A.D. Eostre was known to be a Saxon Goddess of spring fertility. The Rabbit and eggs were part of the traditional celebrations among the Saxon heritage. Consequently, the beginnings of the use of Eostre (transliterated to Easter) could not have been used by the Church fathers until at least one century after the Council at Nicaea when the Greek word for the Hebrew word or Passover (Πασάς) was replaced with Resurrection Sunday.

               One of the main tenants of the Christian Church is the Ten Commandments. The First of the Ten Commandments is “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them, nor serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the father on the children, on the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”[7] He goes on to explain this more in Genesis 23:13 by saying, “don’t even mention the names of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth. The Hebrew word for “mention” is זכָר (tzcar) which indicates that even remembering their name is the same as “mentioning” the name out of your mouth.

               If the Saxon Goddess Eostre did not even come onto the scene of the Church until the fifth or sixth century A. D., why is the Church universal so adamant about declaring our holiday of redemption to be a holiday of gathering colored eggs and eating chocolate bunnies that are being left in our houses by marauding rabbits while our children are asleep in their beds. Yes. Christianity is about forgiveness of sin. Christianity professes to warn us against judging others for their miscreant behavior. But, don’t you think that calling the holiday that celebrates redemption from sin by the name of a direct violation of the First Commandment of a founding tenant of basic theology is just asking or theistic retribution?

Just something to think about.

[1] Matthew 16: 18-19.

[2][2] All scripture references, unless otherwise indicated, will be taken from the New American Standard Bible, Spirose Zodhiates, Ed., The Lockman Foundation: LaHabra, CA, 2008.

[3][3] Gutierrez, Juan Marcos Bejarano, Forgotten Origins: The Lost Jewish History of Early Christianity, Grand Prairie, TX: Yaron Publishing, 2017, P 326.

[4] Josephus, Flavius, The Jewish War (Rev.), G.A. Williamson, Trans., New York: Penguin Books, 1969, P. 135-137.

[5] Behr, John, Formation of Christian Theology (Volume 1): The Way to Nicaea, Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001

[6] Public Domain.

[7][7] Exodus 20:11

Central Seventh Day Baptist Church

Central Church was organized in July 1978 with the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Chroniger as the founding pastor. Pastor Chroniger served central Church for fourteen years. The Church met just North of Central Avenue in Mitchellville, Maryland from 1980 until 2022 when they moved to Upper Marlboro. We believe that the Bible should be our rule…

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