June 30, 2012

Holidays Are Not Holy Days

Filed under: Christianity, holidays, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 8:07 am

Christians have long debated celebrating holidays. I wasn’t convinced of either position after reading compelling arguments for and against – I was confused!  Ironically, after studying pages and pages of commentary and other denominations, I came across just a couple of verses that clarified my perspective.    There are no Christian holidays.

I used to think that holidays were a gray area not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but it is.  Christians are instructed “to abstain from the pollutions of the idols…”(Acts 15:20) and “to abstain from things offered to idols,”(Acts 15:29).

Considering that holidays have pagan roots, what I once considered a gray area is now a prohibited area for me as a Christian.

Fireworks, birthday candles, Easter bunnies, and Christmas trees all at one point were offered and according to Acts 15, polluted by idols.

I am aware of the arguments that state modern “Christians” do not use any of the above traditions (and more) for idolatry, but rather for festive decorations. However, regardless of how it is used now, it was and (still is) “polluted” by idolatry.

Pollution is an impurity, and according to Ephesians 5:3, uncleanness must not be named among pure Christians.

Expressing his fear to his new Christian converts, Paul wrote,“days ye observe, and months, and times, and years! I am afraid of you, lest in vain I did labour toward you. (Galatians 4:10-11)

Paul was afraid for good reason. He knew that his new Christian converts were already risking their salvation.

 And manifest also are the works of the flesh, which are: Adultery, whoredom, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strifes, emulations, wraths, rivalries, dissensions, sects,envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revellings, and such like, of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that those doing such things the reign of God shall not inherit.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

If for no other reason, why mark key salvation milestones –  the birth and resurrection of our Savior – with silliness.  Santa Claus, Easter Bunny – really?

“When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe; (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Young’s Literal Version

June 26, 2012

True Lenders Are Repaid By God

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 3:18 pm

`Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed, and shaken, and running over, they shall give into your bosom; for with that measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured to you again.’ Luke 6:38

I am so familiar with this verse that I can usually remember when and where I hear it – in church prior to the tithing and offering service.

However, it wasn’t until a recent experience that I begin to study the verses prior to this verse, and realized my whole life I have been hearing this verse out of context.

Recently, I loaned a relative a large sum of money.  As a single mom without a double income, a large sum doesn’t have to be in the double digits, but coincidentally this was.

Deep down, I hoped that I would get the money back, and worried what would happen if I didn’t.

I was so consumed with worry about the money, that I didn’t have room for grace.

and if ye lend [to those] of whom ye hope to receive back, what grace have ye? for also the sinful lend to sinners — that they may receive again as much.” Luke 6:34

Hoping for my money, instead of putting my hope and ultimately my faith in God reminded of the sinner I was instead of the saved person I was trying to become. I was humbled.

Then I got the call, my relative was ready to pay me in full.

Considering that was the call I was hoping for, I still struggled as I came upon, “…release, and ye shall be released.”  Luke 6:37

Should I have just forgiven the debt?

The setting for this internal conflict was on a hot, summer day in my car, with the AC blowing full blast – wondering that if I made the trip to collect the funds, would I be on the road to eternal damnation.

The punishing price of gas was a reprimand to turn off the engine and let down the windows while I continued to seek an answer from God.

Then I heard a loud commotion, which was previously muted by the running AC and engine.

Two men were loudly arguing over a debt owed to the other.

“Man, I need my money!  I got four kids!  You need to pay me right now!”

A woman suddenly appeared outside gathering 2 young children inside.

The other man just dismissively waved his hand as if he was swatting away a fly.

“I’m not leaving until I get my money!”  The aggressive debt collector said as he followed the other into the house where the children were called in most likely for their safety.

The two men were no longer in sight, but their argument was still in earshot – from across the street.

As the confrontation and the voices escalated, I became anxious  and I’m sure the children became frightened.

I couldn’t take or hear anymore.  I started my car and drove off.

I headed to my relative’s house to collect the payment. Beyond the greeting and the mutual departing thanks, no other words were passed.  For the sake of the children I just saw, if only it could have been that peaceful for them.

While driving back to the scene of the argument, I was hoping that I would not drive up to the scene of a crime.

I walked up the front porch and one of the men, met me outside.

“I didn’t mean to be nosy, but I overheard an argument about money owed to a man with 4 children, and I just came to pay it so his kids wouldn’t do without,” I explained.

No ma’am, we’re fine.” The second man then appeared, so I knew no one was hurt.

“Are you sure, because I would rather pay it for him so that the argument doesn’t escalate in front of the kids, and he doesn’t have to pay me back.”

“No ma’am.  We were just playing.  “See,” as the first man gestured at the other. “He’s alright.”

As I walked up the porch, I thought about how I could pay the man and show him relevant verses from my pocket Bible, but my conversation didn’t go as planned.

I hope by my actions that the man learned to forgive his debtor as I attempted to forgive his.

And I hope that I have fully learned that regardless of whether I was repaid or not, I should have forgiven the debt, as God Has Forgiven so many of mine.

“Forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

June 25, 2012

Collective Prayer

Filed under: child abuse, children, God's Love — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 1:36 pm

Please pray for the 10-year old malnourished girl locked in the closet.  May God Have Mercy on her.


June 24, 2012

Funny Joke

A Christian was asked, “What’s your religion?”

The Christian replied, “Doer.”

“What was that?” The person replied.

“Doer.”  The Christian repeated.

“What is that?”  The person asked.

The Christian responded, “Doer.  If God Tells me to do something, I just do it!”

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