Romans Exposed (Part 30)

Romans 14.14-23

14 I both know -- and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus to believe -- that there is nothing unclean of itself. Nevertheless, a thing IS dirty if a man esteems that thing to be dirty. See, we humans -- not God -- make up the rules that determine right from wrong, good from evil, clean from dirty. Heh-heh.
15 Therefore, if your herbitarian brother is grieved over your eating meat, you do not walk charitably if you continue to eat meat. In fact, you shall destroy your brother if you continue to eat meat. Therefore, thou shalt stop eating meat so that you do not destroy your brother! After all, Christ died for your herbitarian brother.
16 Besides, if you continue to eat meat, you shall be letting your brother speak evil of the good works you do by eating meat. What the neighbors think is of ultimate importance, you know. Therefore, thou shalt stop doing those good works of eating meat so that old garlic breath is powerless to speak evil of the good works you do by eating meat.
17 Now you know that I am teaching you the right thing to do because the kingdom of God is not made of meat and drink. Instead, the kingdom of God is made of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18Therefore, the man who serves Christ by obeying these things that I command you to obey is acceptable to God. That person also receives the approval of men. So go ahead! Be a people-pleaser, you suckers! Heh-heh.
19 Therefore, thou shalt follow the crowd. Thou shalt succumb to peer pressure. Thou shalt become codependent as Hell keeping the focus on what other people want, and in trying to make yourself fit in with other people's false beliefs and social expectations. Thou shalt walk around on eggs trying to look good, not do good. After all, your attempts to make yourself fit in so you can be loved and liked by other humans are the things that you ought to be seeking. Why? Because fitting in makes for peace. When you fit in by doing what other people tell you to do, those people won't be able to accuse you of making waves and being a trouble-maker like they would do if you told them they were clinging to false beliefs. And trying to make yourself fit in is also that thing with which one person may edify (enlighten) another person. Then again, he may not. Heh-heh. So go ahead, priestatutes! Tell 'em what they WANT to hear, not what they NEED to hear! Heh-heh.
20 Yes, I know that the person who eats meat does not destroy the work of God. I already told you that all things we eat are indeed pure. Nevertheless, I still assert that a man is evil if he continues to eat meat when his herbitarian brother does not want him to eat meat anymore. (And remember that I told you, "Thou shalt abhor that which is evil!" Heh-heh.) In fact, if the meat-eater continues to eat meat, he is offensive to God!
21 Your eating meat or drinking wine can force your ignorant, intolerant, controlling, teetotaling, herbitarian brother to stumble, you know! Therefore, it is BAD, BAD, BAD to eat meat, drink wine, or do anything which causes your rigid, tight-assed, intolerant, controlling, garlic-breathed brother to be offended, or made weak, or stumble.
22 Do you have any faith in the Word of God? If so, keep it to yourself! Happy is he that condemns not himself to Hell by doing that thing which God allows as being righteous but which some ignorant man says is of evil. Every person who does good works and refuses to succumb to peer pressure is condemned to Hell by God, you know.

So you actually believe this hogwash, eh, Christyins? Well, then how about listening to this for a change?

Matthew 15.1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2"Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders, for they wash not their hands when they eat bread?"
3 But He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'He that curses father or mother, let him die the death.' 5But you say, 'Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, "It is a gift by whatsoever you might be profited by me," 6and honors not his father or his mother, he shall be free.' Thus have you made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
7 You hypocrites. Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8'This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'"
10 And He called the multitude and said to them, "Hear and understand. 11Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man. But that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
12 Then came His disciples and said to Him, "Know you that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?" 13but He answered and said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone. They be blind leaders of the blind, and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
15 Then answered Peter and said to Him, "Declare unto us this parable."
16 Jesus said, "Are you also yet without understanding? 17Do you not yet understand that whatsoever enters in at the mouth goes into the belly and is cast out into the draught? 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man, 19for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man."

Do you not understand, people, that Jesus was crucified just because He went around confronting the false beliefs held by religious people? And He certainly commands us to do the same.

Humans do not determine right from wrong, good from evil, sin from righteousness. God is He who decides all that. Thus, the person who eats meat -- right in front of any vegetarian who holds to the false belief that eating meat is a sin -- is doing the will of God! In no way would God condemn the meat-eater. And if the vegetarian accused the meat-eater of committing a sin for eating meat, God would stroke the meat-eater big time if the meat-eater spoke the Master's Doctrine saying that what we eat does not defile us. The evil words that come out of our mouths are that which defile us.

Watch the same thing happen again.

Matthew 12. 1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn, and His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. 2When the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Behold, your disciples do that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath day."
3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he and they that were with him were hungry -- 4how he entered into the House of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5Or have you not read in the Law how that on the sabbath days, the priests in the temple profane the sabbath and are blameless? 6But I say unto you that in this place is One greater than the temple. 7But if you had known what this means, 'I will have mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless, 8for the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day."
9 And when He was departed from thence, He went into their synagogue. 10And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?" so that they might accuse Him.
11 And He said to them, "What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? 12How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days."
13 Then said He to the man, "Stretch forth your hand," and he stretched it forth, and it was restored whole like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out and held a council against Him as to how they might destroy Him. 15But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.
  1. What were the Pharisees saying were sins? Eating with unwashed hands and healing on the sabbath.
  2. What did Jesus do? He told them that they were hypocrites and wrong -- that neither behavior was a sin, and essentially that they were hard-hearted asps for attempting to find fault with Him and His disciples for eating with unwashed hands and healing people on the sabbath. Had the Pharisees held to the belief that eating meat was a sin, and the issue been Jesus' disciples eating meat, Jesus would have responded in exactly the same way, and He commands us to follow Him and do what He does.
  3. So what did the Pharisees do in reaction to His telling them they were hypocrites and that their beliefs about God and what constitutes sin were false? They sought to murder Him!

Search the Gospel and you will see that happening again and again. Our taking the risks of defying social norms and confronting false beliefs in loyalty to the Word of God is a basic requirement of salvation. When we comply with God's commandments that we do so, in rushes the far-a-seas -- the lunatic, self-righteous, hard-hearted, disSpirited adherents to the false beliefs promoted by the world's religions -- seeking to persecute and slaughter us. Inside of us, however, God Himself strokes us with the comforts of the Comforter to reward us for our taking the risks of speaking Truthfully. That is why Jesus says:

"Think not that I am come to send peace on Earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10.34

DisSpirited humans turn into rabid attack dogs when their hard hearts are pierced by the sword of Truth. We MUST become humble, coachable, teachable, willing to:

  • learn,
  • have our conscience pricked,
  • endure pain,
  • dare to be different,
  • dare to disagree,
  • dare to defy social norms,
  • dare to speak up against false beliefs,
  • endure being rejected and persecuted by other people,
  • accept being disciplined by our Father in Heaven,
  • admit our ignorance, stupidity, and errors,
  • work our amends,
  • have our false beliefs challenged by Truth,
  • take risks,
  • make mistakes...

in order to become happy, joyous and free. Developing that willingness is exactly why Jesus says:

"Verily, verily I say unto you, 'Except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.'" Matthew 18.3

We must become like children again who are toddlers just learning to walk the walk, go to school to learn, trust our Father to provide for us, protect us and teach us, accept and take heed to His discipline knowing that it is issued for our own good... in order to become God's children.

As for Jews' dietary laws, they are abSAULutely insane. People are not supposed to be hamming it up, pigging out on the "Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross," and mindlessly swallowing, digesting, believing, and living by the pig slop and dogmanures of the world's religions, that's all.

Back to the oinker god of Christendumb.

23 Furthermore, any person who is unsure of whether something is good to eat is damned to Hell if he goes ahead and eats that food anyway. Why? Because when he eats that food, he is not eating it as an act of faith, and any behavior that is not performed as an act of faith is a sin. So there!

NO! This is a biggee, because Paul was seducing Christians into not taking the risks required of salvation. Nobody can learn right from wrong without testing behaviors because nobody can perceive all of the Gospel all at once. That is not how it works. We must test the Lord's Doctrine and obey the compulsions provided by the Spirit of the Son of man before we gain understanding -- here a little and there a little just like Isaiah says in Isaiah 28. As we pass and flunk the tests, God reveals more and more of His Doctrine to us.

When we do not know whether something is the right or wrong thing to do, and God doesn't tell us in advance, WE MUST TEST IT! I learned to just say, "God, this is a test. I don't know if this is the right or wrong thing to do in this situation. Since you're not talking, I'm going to test it." I say that hoping that if I do the wrong thing, He won't chasten me but just tell me whether I did right or wrong. Then I use my own best judgment, and pay attention to what happens to me afterwards. If I am wrong, God pricks my conscience, speaks to me through other people in the program, leads me to the scriptures that inform me that what I did was wrong, etc. When I am right, He strokes me with the comforts of the Comforter, leads me to the scriptures that tell me I did the right thing, etc.

What I have learned is that many times God does indeed withhold from informing us of right from wrong in advance of a given behavior in order to force us toddlers to use our own best judgment and gain balance. Thus, I am asserting loud and clear that God actually forces us to take the risks of making mistakes in order to

  • keep us humble,
  • force us to judge of ourselves,
  • show us that some behaviors are neither right nor wrong,
  • prove His loyalty to us even when we do make honest mistakes so that we become less fearful of losing Him if we do something wrong...

so we'll stop walking around on eggs scared of losing Him and get better and better at being a risk-taker.

Taking our own inventory teaches many of us that we cannot trust our ourselves, but we carry it too far. Thus, God forces us to trust our own judgment so that we can learn for ourselves that sometimes we do make the right choices on our own -- for while God certainly despises self-exaltation, He despises self-degradation just as much. Since a primary goal of salvation is for us to become down-to-earth and realistic seeing ourselves the way we really are, getting there requires that He sometimes withhold information.

God does not allow His children to be like those monks who hide out in monasteries withdrawn from society, taking vows of silence thinking that by doing nothing, they won't be doing anything wrong thereby ensuring their own salvation. Wrong! Those monks do absolutely nothing to work for the salvation of human life, and are in big trouble spiritually, because God commands His children to serve Him by staying out and about speaking up and working for the salvation, not the destruction, of human life. And doing so requires that we take the risks of making mistakes.

Our need for taking risks is one of the primary reasons why Peter is the rock upon whom the Lord builds His church. In addition to the Savior, we are to be following the example set by Peter the risk-taker.



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