With Friends Like These - The Right to be Wrong - Purity 770
Purity 770 06/29/2022 Purity 770 Podcast
Today’s photo of blue skies filled with cumulus clouds over a field of green comes to us from yours truly as I was taken by the simple magnificent beauty that was on display yesterday afternoon while I was travelling for work in the Speigletown area of Upstate New York.
Well it’s Wednesday and I actually had a photo of a mountain peak that I was going to share to visually represent our arrival at “hump day” but I couldn’t easily recall what the location or the source of the photo was so rather than running the risk of offending the unknown photographer, I decided to go with one of my own because I really believe that yesterday was a beautiful day and I knew for certain I wouldn’t offend myself.
If you didn’t notice lately the overturning of Roe v. Wade, has caused many to voice their opinions on the decision with some rejoicing over the potential to protect the lives of the unborn and with others voicing their outrage, anger, and fears over this potential loss of a woman’s access to abortion on demand. As we draw near to the celebration of our nation’s independence, many are exercising their right to free speech and are not shy in voicing their opinion in a manner that seems to make it clear that they don’t care who they offend.
Now before you unfriend me, goodbye old friends, frankly I’m surprised I lasted this long, my intention is not to offend but to seek bring peace and to encourage my friends to recognize the world system and how it deceives us.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would wonder about how or why in the last few years there has seems to be a real “wagging of the dog” in our society as the media continually reports on issues that seem to further divide our society. Right? Man, we are just so divided, lately? Right?
Lately? I don’t think so. As far as I can recall, we have always been divided.
Is our division now worse than it has ever been? No, not really.
I was born in 1972 and grew up in the 80’s and as I far as I can recall, the issue of abortion has always been divisive and no matter which way the winds of change blow to change the laws of our land, it will always be divisive. No matter which side you are on of this issue, your posts, on both sides, especially the snarky or insulting ones, will most likely not change people’s minds.
For those applauding the decision, congratulations, but before you get too excited just know that many states, corporations, and systems within our federal government will be operating in the same ways they were prior to the overruling of Roe V. Wade, with some agencies even making the offer of transporting persons across state lines, if necessary, to ensure their right to abortion.
For those lamenting of or who are up in arms over the decision, see the above. Due to the policies of certain states and the championing of this cause of abortion on demand by some, it appears to that the only loss of the “right of abortion” is possibly the loss of convenience.
The simple truth is that is that “where there is a will there is a way” and if you are not happy with the way things are now, just wait and things will change and if the current trends continue ,the media will one day point to 2022 as the “good old days” as things are always getting worse.
The thing that shocks me the most is the wide variety of stances that I have seen my friends take in voicing in their opinion over this issue and how in many instances there seems to be an inconsistency in their logic or morality. I have repeatedly been surprised over the testimonies of some of my friends that would lead me to think they would argue for one side of this issue only to discover they are on “the other side”. Of course, I guess I am only shocked because I have a different view from theirs.
As someone who has dear friends on both sides of this issue, I wish we could all “just get along”, and we can, as in operating civilly in society, we can, right guys?, but I realize that we will all be divided ultimately and it won’t be the opinions of the supreme court, the president, or your “frien-emies” on Facebook by which you will be deemed as righteous. I want us all to have peace but we will only know peace if we have peace with God.
As the Creator of the Universe, God will determine the “rights” and “wrongs” of His creation. And even though He has given man the free will to choose what they will think and do, they are not free from the consequences of those thoughts and actions. And when He calls each one of us into eternity, we will have to judged by His standards and principles reveal in the word of God.
Hey, brother I was just a sinner saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, I’m not here to judge you because that’s not my job but I would have to echo the concerns of the thief who was crucified on the cross next to Jesus who said:
Luke 23:40-41 (NKJV)
40 …., "Do you not even fear God…”
While I know that with free will, and regardless of federal, state, or local laws, “I can do that” but shouldn’t we think about whether or not “I should do that”. While many will argue that this is only an issue of choice, should we encourage people to make a choice that not only takes away one’s right to live but usually encumbers the chooser with the heart guilt that comes from violating God’s standards?
No choice is morally neutral in God’s eyes and when we go against His will, we suffer. The good news is that God offers forgiveness through Christ but He also calls us to repent of the world’s way and to live according to His word.
Often with this issue extreme situations are always brought forth to complicate it but in the end we will need to have peace with God and no extenuating circumstances ever excuses the violation of His law. While man argues for their rights, they usually forsake their responsibilities to obey the Lord.
I can see both sides of this issue and it pains my heart to consider the sick world broken by sin that we live in that would cause this to be something that is argued over.
The preponderance of evidence drawn from scripture would indicate that abortion is murder and thus sin. It is something we shouldn’t do. Also the fornication, incest, and rape that would result in the “need for an abortion” is also a sin. So let’s push for obeying the Lord and our personal responsibility, and maybe it won’t be an issue.
But alas, that’s not what the word of God indicates will happen, we are not going to fix the world’s problems because it is broken by sin. But one day Jesus will return and set all things right and He undoubtedly won’t be looking to make sure we have the right to do something that is against His Father’s word.
It’s is through Christ alone that we are saved and made righteous. It is through Him that we are forgiven, given new life, and have peace with God.
As Christians, we are adopted into God’s family and I can tell you that adoption has worked wonders for my life.
In the days ahead, let’s seek to make peace but also agree to consider the law of the Lord rather than the opinions of men. And let’s seek to love our enemies and forgive them for they know not what they do because they are spiritually blinded. They can’t see that the right they wish to uphold is wrong, but God gave them the free will to choose it.
Instead of being offended, offer your friendship and seek to share God’s love and wisdom. Hey no one said walking and talking with God would be easy, but it’s path that leads to life everlasting and eternal glory in God’s presence, so let’s be patient, faithful, and kind in the hopes that we can lead others into the light and have the peace that goes beyond all understanding.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Proverbs 4:18 (NKJV)
18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
Today’s Bible verse speaks the progressive nature of our faith.
Our future is so bright that we have to wear shades was a sentiment share in an old song from my youth, and today’s verse speaks of the fact that our walk with the Lord should be one of increasing illumination to His truth and to our personal sanctification.
The more we walk with the Lord, the more we should know and live out His truth. We aren’t what we want to be yet but we sure aren’t who we were, right?
This verse also points to the “perfect day” when we will be glorified in the presence of the Lord. That’s good news! No matter how daunting our progress here on earth may be at times, we are assured that one day we will “make it”. The perfect day is coming so keep walking and talking with God because, man, our future is so bright we should probably wear shades but we can also enjoy the progress where things get brighter along the way.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Influence of the Powers on Individuals
Inimical to the purposes of God, the evil powers were believed to exert their supernatural influence to lead people astray from the revealed will of God. They lead people into all kinds of moral impurity. This is one of the reasons that the Qumran community could refer to this evil dominion as “the company of Darkness.” Note how the Qumran War Scroll describes this activity of Satan and his powers:
Satan, the Angel of Malevolence, Thou hast created for the Pit; his [rule] is in Darkness and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and iniquity. All the spirits of his company, the Angels of Destruction, walk according to the precepts of Darkness; towards them is their [inclination]. (1QM 13.11–12)
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs elaborate extensively on this activity of the powers of darkness and are important for giving us an understanding of Jewish belief. The Testaments, dating roughly back to the first or second century B.C., purportedly record the final utterances of each of Jacob’s twelve sons. The Testaments are largely concerned with ethical issues and attempt to promote virtuous conduct among the Jewish readership. The Testaments paint a picture of common Jewish thinking about the way evil spirits influence people in their daily lives. For this reason, they are especially valuable for understanding Paul’s discussion of evil spirits.
According to the Testaments, every individual must personally struggle against evil spirits of deceit, who are ruled by the devil, or Beliar. They exploit human drives and frailties to promote their evil ends.
Sexual promiscuity, in particular, is pinpointed as one of the areas of sinful activity instigated by evil spirits. In the Testament of Reuben, sexual sin is called “the plague of Beliar” and is inspired by a “spirit of promiscuity (porneia) that resides in the nature and the senses” (Testament of Reuben 6:3; 3:3). The Testament does not give the devil and his powers full responsibility for human lapses into sexual trysts; the involvement of the human mind and senses is given an equal role. In reflecting on Reuben’s incestuous sin with his father’s mistress, Bilhah (cf. Gen 35:22), the Testament places more emphasis on Reuben’s own lust and mental titillation: “For if I had not seen Bilhah bathing in a sheltered place, I would not have fallen into this great lawless act. For so absorbed were my senses by her naked femininity that I was not able to sleep until I had performed this revolting act” (3:11–12). Based on his regrettable experience, Reuben’s advice to his offspring focuses on disciplining their minds: “Do not devote your attention to the beauty of women, my children, nor occupy your minds with their activities. But live in integrity of heart in the fear of the Lord … until the Lord gives you the mate whom he wills, so that you do not suffer as I did” (4:1). Nevertheless, in continuing to reflect on what he had learned from the event, he points to the devil’s involvement: “For promiscuity has destroyed many. Whether a man is old, well born, rich, or poor, he brings on himself disgrace among mankind and provides Beliar with an opportunity to cause him to stumble” (4:7).
The evil spirits of error also take advantage of the debase human tendency toward jealousy. The Testament of Simeon reflects on Simeon’s role in the betrayal of Joseph by his brothers (Gen 37:12–36). Simeon relates how a powerful evil spirit exploited his jealousy toward Joseph:
In the time of my youth I was jealous of Joseph, because my father loved him more than all the rest of us. I determined inwardly to destroy him, because the Prince (archōn) of Error blinded my mind so that I did not consider him as a brother nor did I spare Jacob, my father. (Testament of Simeon 2:6–7)
Simeon thus advises his children to “beware of the spirit of deceit and envy” (3:1). If the influence of such a spirit is detected, one must turn to the Lord. Simeon counsels, “If anyone flees to the Lord for refuge, the evil spirit will quickly depart from him, and his mind will be eased” (3:5). Simeon holds Joseph up as a positive example. Joseph was able to love his brothers, in spite of their treachery toward him, because he possessed the Spirit of God” (4:4).
These two examples help us gain insight into what Jews in the first century believed to be true regarding the role of evil spirits in the affairs of daily life, especially with respect to personal morality. Some of the thoughts on evil spirits contained in these Testaments are also reflected in the apostle Paul’s writings.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 67–69.