Judging with Righteous Judgment Pt. 7 – Fight Back

There are no specific obscenity laws in the Scripture. Perhaps that’s one reason modern society feels free to define it any way they choose. And the frequent choice is there is no obscenity. Everything is fine. Public nudity, sex in movies, jamming the homosexual lifestyle choice down everybody’s throat, foul language, baby killing, pornography in campaign videos and every place else they can get away with it – it seems nothing is clean anymore.

I’m no angel when it comes to some related issues. I’ve been known to cuss a blue streak when I hit my thumb with a hammer or I’m talking about the latest liberal pile of smelly stuff. I like a good action movie. And I don’t think we should necessarily go around telling people to stop watching R rated movies or give up their subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket.

I can’t tell though if it is that unclean things are getting more invasive and bold, or if I’m just getting more sensitive to it. Could be both. Maybe, in part, I’m just growing up a little more. The more I read the living Word, the more I try to put it everywhere in my life, the more worldly things bother me. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s why we affirm whole Bible Christianity and try to reach people with it instead of preaching at them to give up their favorite things. Get the Word into them, and there’s no room for anything else.

In a little way then I suppose I have a partial responsibility for some of what is out there because I don’t preach fire and brimstone. But it has gone way too far. So in my personal life I am starting to fight back. It’s not just obscenity. It’s also the many people who are actively working against biblical values in entertainment and politics. I’m especially tired of all the profanity and perverted themes in music, TV, movies and political campaigns. Particularly music, because we play songs more often than watch particular movies or vote.

Apparently there are many who think like I do. I found it hilarious that most of this summer’s biggest bombs at the box office had liberal themes. I’m just rolling on the floor laughing now that Matt Damon is king of the box office flops. He is taking over for the second place George Cloony. Maybe Hollywierd is getting the picture that most of us are tired of them smashing liberal lies into our faces.

So to fight back I’m not buying any of the products. I won’t go to a movie if it’s got filth for filth’s sake. If I get a chance to vote on a law against it I will do so. I’ve stopped buying cable TV and use subscription services from the internet. I won’t buy the music that glorifies sex and gratuitous violence. I refuse to purchase movie tickets for the dreck that passes as entertainment. We bagged some door hangers recently for our school board election (though my kids are grown and my grandkids are home schooled), and I am helping make a database for calling conservatives to get out and vote. The candidates might not be perfect, but we can keep trying.

If you are tired of it too, fight back. Get the Word inside of you. Read it and do it. Take His diet recommendations, change your holidays, rest on Sabbath, and use those as steps for learning more mercy, justice, and compassion. Share from the Word as much as you can, mostly with actions. This is the main thing. The emphasis is on what you do, not trying to jump on others about what they do. Get involved in the Word, then let that motivate you to get involved in your local politics. Help find candidates that will stand up for the values you’ve been given from God. There are more of us than there are of them, and if we all get together we can maybe change things for the better. Probably not, because the world is going to hell in a handbasket and it won’t be dissuaded from it’s ordained goals. But I can fight back a little wherever I can. The world might insist on going down the tubes, but it won’t be because I stood by and didn’t try to stop it.

Whence Cometh Whole Bible Christianity?

We didn’t set out to “create” whole Bible Christianity. We stumbled across it as we were searching through many existing church ideas and congregations for truth over the years. In some ways we were forced to whole Bible Christianity because in our search for truth we were rejected by the standard church on a regular basis. “If you’re not being ministered to here then you need to find a place where you can be ministered to” is a fairly common way to tell people to hit the road.

The love that many in the church preach lasted only as long as we agreed with the power structure. “Unconditional love” and “tolerance” are for those who don’t make waves or rock the boat with pesky questions like “Where does that teaching come from in the Bible” or “Why aren’t we doing what the Bible clearly says to do?”

At one time we thought the Messianic movement had a great chance of reaching a lot of disaffected people with the message of the whole Bible. Sadly they haven’t been up to the task. They have become so distracted by genetics, Judaism, language, divine invitations and the like that God’s Word is getting neglected as badly as in the church. In some ways they make the craziest people in the church look orthodox by comparison. Even the people closest to sticking with the whole Bible get lost in Jewish tradition.

So in a way it is the existing structure of church and Judaism that has led to our rediscovery of whole Bible Christianity. We don’t want a separate movement, but they do. We want access to God without intermediaries telling us their version of truth and chastising us if we deviate. In reaching for God we don’t want our hands slapped by people who see a threat to their power. We’re tired of getting our hooves torn off, being maimed and malnourished. It isn’t our fault that we’ve wandered away from dry and grassless desert hungering and thirsting after soul-satisfying food and drink. We’ve found green pastures beside still waters in whole Bible Christianity, and we ain’t goin’ back.

Who is Whole Bible?

Since we started using the name whole Bible Christian in the early 2000’s, we’ve gradually seen somewhat of an increase in other groups who use the name too. Some use it for sermon titles, while others claim the designation for their church. A church in the UK uses a website address of wholelifewholebible. There’s a church in California (led by a former friend no less) that uses a tag line of “The whole Bible, a whole Christian, the whole World.”

Of course, whole Bible is not a new concept. A.W. Tozer for instance gives us a famous quote that “nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” Lots of people and groups have thought of themselves as believing in the whole Bible through out history.

Pharisees are an obvious example of a group practicing “whole Bible” belief. Except while they “believed” the whole Bible they still crucified the Messiah. Lots of people want to use the name “Christian” too but having the name tag is as far as it goes.

Using the term is not enough. Just like using the name “Christian” is not enough to make it into the kingdom (nor is claiming “Jewish” ancestry). To be “whole Bible” is to do everything God speaks. It is to abide in every word from Him. Whole Bible belief includes whole Bible behavior. It means looking for reasons to do what He says as we discover it rather than making up excuses, or holding to a belief in men’s doctrines according to the elemental spirits of the world (Colossians 2). It includes repentance when we falter, and renewed commitment to eat His body and drink His blood (take in His Words and do them) on a daily basis.

It makes sense that people would want to claim this term for themselves. If one person says they are “whole Bible Christian” then that implies that there are people who are not. No one wants to be pinned down to a “part Bible” belief, though it might be prominent in their lives.

Like the UK church or the one in California, a woman told me she was whole Bible but “not like you.” She meant that she “believes” the whole Bible but that she didn’t observe God’s holy days or modify her diet according to God’s living oracles as I do, among other things. How she manages to say this with a straight face I’ll never know. She, like many, sits in judgment on the Word using the fruit from the tree of knowledge to pick and choose what she’s willing to accept from Him. Unfortunately, this is how she looks at the whole Bible, too. Her attitude of picking and choosing is also apparent in her practice of mercy, justice and compassion. She wants to sit at the table, but is fastidious in her choice of bread and wine. She wants to be at the banquet, but doesn’t want to wear the clothes (Matthew 22:1-14). Lots of people are like this. There’s another ancient name we can use for them too, besides Pharisee.

Hypocrite.

Non-Essential Doctrine

I’d like to know: What the heck is a non-essential doctrine? I keep hearing this from all different kinds of people about all different kinds of biblical teaching. We especially hear this when telling others about the wonderful blessings of including His Law in the believer’s daily walk. It seems that to the non-essential people “salvation” is the only essential doctrine. Salvation, of course, is defined by raised hands and going forward in a church or tent meeting, and then giving money while attending their church. That’s it. That’s their “essential” doctrine. Essential for keeping the money flowing, I guess. Essential for making notches in their Bibles or on the crucifix at the front of the church. Essential for building the pastor’s job into a multimillion dollar empire with a vacation house in the Bahamas and a nice Mercedes to go back and forth to church.

I’ve looked and looked in the Word, and I can find no “non-essential” doctrine. God doesn’t have one. I can find “weightier” and “lighter” commands, but the Bible says they are all important. Essential even. Every single word from His mouth as near as I can tell is “essential.” What possesses people to sit in judgment on God’s Word and label much of it non-essential?

Now, there are many doctrines of men I could count as non-essential, including the doctrine of non-essential doctrine. So much of what men teach sandbags God’s Word and directs us away from it. It’s time people ask, “What is essential about the drivel you are teaching and preaching from your high and mighty God’s-Word-denying pulpit?”

Thoroughly Investigate

Our God is a just God, and He expects His people to pursue justice too. But influence pedaling is a major past time. Pastors or rabbis are untouchable. Money is king with a lot of people. Real justice is scarce. Many want to commit the Law to the rubbish heap so they can pursue their agendas unburdened by accountability or humility.

And don’t try to sell me the lame concept that justice and love are separate. People try this all the time. You’ve heard it said (now where have I heard that statement before?) that we should exercise ‘justice in love.’ This is true, except that the two are not separate. Justice is love; love without justice isn’t love.

If we use the Word properly, we are doing both. The reason Jesus had to die is because justice and love both had to be satisfied. One could not be exercised by God without the other. It was a very difficult thing for God to justify sinners without merely ‘overlooking’ sin. The resolution was the death and resurrection of God in human form. There is such a thing as being too harsh. But that is generally connected with condemnation, not justice. We condemn when we try to practice justice outside of God’s Word, and fail to investigate according to the Word.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Thoroughly Investigate

Small Pieces

Speaking of small pieces, in the section of the Word below Jesus tells us in our eighth guideline to avoid neglecting any law, big or little.

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (Matthew 23:23 NASB95)

While it is a good thing to measure out the spices, we should pay equal or even greater attention to weightier issues. The tithing of small things is good. We should do that. But we are not to neglect justice, mercy, and faithfulness while we are measuring our spices. This is like a child with a laser sense of judgment when eyeing a sibling’s dessert, but steals money out of mom’s purse when she’s not looking. If I am nit-picky about tithing some spices, yet ignore more important issues that have a far greater effect on people, something is out of whack.

Feast days, diet, and laws of clean and unclean are important. But we must not forget that love, grace, patience, self-control and longsuffering are weightier. The fruit of the Spirit is just as much a law as avoiding pork and shellfish (except weightier). Don’t neglect the weightier commands while obeying the lighter commands. The lighter helps us learn the weightier, and the weightier reinforces that even the lighter words from God are important.

This is one of those teachings from Jesus skipped over by people who divide the Law into civil, ceremonial and moral sections. They tell us to ignore what they deem “small things” in His precious Word. But Jesus clearly says all the commands are important. Some are weightier than others, but none of them are neglected by the believer. As I said before, Jesus also tells us that if we are faithful in small things we will be faithful in larger things (Luke 16:10).

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Faithful in Little, Faithful in Much

The Believer’s Daily Bread

Some might’ve freaked out a little at our last post on reading the whole Bible. Jesus lost some disciples when He spoke of this concept too. So here’s a short explanation of what we think Jesus means by “eating His body and drinking His blood.”

Jesus describes the new covenant in the gospel of John in a different way. He calls it “eating (His) flesh and drinking (His) blood.”

53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:53-58 KJV)

Remember, this was said at a time when there was no New Testament. You might think Jesus is talking about a so-called sacrament here. But the Protestant crackers and grape juice ceremony hadn’t been created. Neither had the mystical wafer the Catholics favor. It isn’t the feast of Passover or Unleavened Bread (1 Corinthians 10:16), and He’s not saying we should nibble His fingers, or tap His main artery like Dracula. There is life in His flesh and blood, but He doesn’t mean the tissue and corpuscles (although we could argue that point).

63“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63 NASB95)

All Jesus is talking about is consuming God’s Words for our souls like we do food for our bodies. Not such an odd concept. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15:16) Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3) and John (Revelation 10:9) did it. Our new hearts of flesh are fed by the Word and it’s pumped to our limbs for action. This ‘reading and doing’ (hear or see and obey) the whole of the Word is the basis of whole Bible Christianity. His Words – all of them – are His body and blood. It’s not just the words in red that we colored in later. The word ‘obey’ is pretty much the same as ‘abide’ or ‘remain’ and goes along with “hear and see,” and “eat and drink His blood.” Life comes with abiding in God’s Word (John 6:35).

The Law is part of His body and blood. Real communion is to hear and follow. Salvation is faith in action – to hear, obey, abide, and exchange our ways of death for God’s Way of Life. To abide in His love through His Word. Jesus isn’t talking about a picnic, or mystic wafers and wine. He is talking about obedience.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 1 section on The Believer’s Daily Bread

Third Time’s a Charm

The third time eating and drinking the whole of His body and blood from cover to cover will be even better. You will add depth to your realization that God is always in control, and you are His child not because of what you believe but because you love Him and can’t imagine leaving. You will know He loves you too, and will continue to guide you and bring forth fruit from within you, sometimes even when you don’t realize it. Connections between all of the previously misunderstood sections will become clearer. As His Word works its way through your heart, mind and literally your muscles and body parts, filling and changing you, you will wonder how you were making it in life before when you were so deaf, dumb, and blind.

Reading, and re-reading, doing and adding to our doing, over and over again, is all part of the salvation process. The more you read, the more you will understand. The more you act, the more you will understand. This is called being filled with the Word or “knowledge of His will” (Colossians 1:9-12). As your understanding grows, then teach it to others. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) the Law (a.k.a. all of the Word) will be written on your heart, and you will know it and do it without having to be told. But keep reading and doing and teaching. This is love in action – love for God, and love for each other.

4“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NASB95. See also Deuteronomy 11:19)

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 The Stages of Whole Bible Reading

Second Time Through

The second time through the Bible you will have a changed perspective. Many of the sections you struggled with before will start to become clearer. This is because the larger cubbyholes can handle more of what He’s trying to get across to you. The cubbyholes will also be arranged better, in more God-centered ways. You will remember a little better, and you will see connections between sections of the Word that you didn’t see before. This second time through the Bible might scare you a little, because you are getting better at taking God at His Word. You may doubt your salvation a little, because His standard will seem so much higher than you can reach. The fear of God at some point will become sharper and more defined. You will wince when some unbeliever uses His name in vain or an alleged believer speaks things that aren’t in the Word. Stay calm, focus on the Word, and brace yourself for the third time through.

First Time Jitters

The first time reading through the whole book, there will be sections you do not understand. They won’t seem to have a place in your daily living. Trust me (better yet, trust God) they will eventually make sense. What is happening is that as you read and do, your frame of reference, your worldview and the cubbyholes in your brain that you’ve been using to store information are getting enlarged and rearranged. The first time through (remember, with the determination to do what you read) is the toughest. You will stop and start and retrace your steps a lot. You will ask a lot of questions. Just be patient and give yourself time to absorb it.
‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on The Stages of Whole Bible Reading