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Monthly commentaries and pastoral letters regarding issues of the day.

bible.gif (3865 bytes)Welcome to The Pastor's Study. Here you will find our monthly pastoral letters containing observations and teachings regarding not only doctrinal issues but also  social and philosophical issues of importance to Biblical Christians in today's rapidly changing world. We will be posting a new letter each month and will be offering the past messages in the archives linked below. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on these issues also. Your input is important.

Volume 1, Issue 3

Another Pastoral Letter

This message is written by the "other" Pastor of the Christian WebRing. Having discussed this letter with Pastor Dick, we agreed that it would be good to demonstrate the possibility that more than one true and honest interpretation can be given to scripture and what Jesus Christ expects from His body.

In February of 1930 my mother, who was 13 at the time, was sexually seduced by one of her
playmates. On November 17, 1930, I was born. Some in the modern Church would say she wasn't a "bad" person: that she shouldn't be held accountable for her lapse of morality because she was "so young," because she "didn't know better," because "we have to show her 'God's love'" and "she was just overcome with passions that she couldn't control."

We, the modern Church, teach that what my mother did was acceptable to the Christian society, because there were myriads of reasons she could not have escaped the wiles of the devil: she was so immature: she hadn't have the proper teaching: perhaps she was neglected: she was in the wrong company: she, after all, was an individual with the right to "personal choices" and who are WE, to dictate our morals on another human? Somehow, we have come to think that "Christian society" should be loving and complacent with people that God Himself rejects except they repent.

When my mother was 13, there was a "stigma" attached to girls who were sexually promiscous: there was a "shame" instilled in society for people who produced children outside of wedlock. Because of that stigma and shame, there were far fewer illigetimate babies. There were far fewer sins of all kinds because people were simply ashamed to be labeled by the sin. It wasn't "nice" to be a thief. It was shameful to be a "homo." It was unacceptable to take something that didn't belong to you. A person's "reputation" determined his status in the community. And God was an "absolut e." Today, absolutes are obsolete and approximations are "appropriate." We have "Ten Suggestions" instead of "Ten Commandments."

My Grandmother sent my mother away, out of the community, to give birth to the child she had conceived. She was hidden away, secluded from society so her shame would not be constantly evident to the friends and neighbors. My grandmother was "ashamed" of what my mother had done. In those days, actions had consequences: God was not a God of acceptance but a God of expectance. He "Expected" His creation to be righteous. He did not "love the sinner, but hate the sin" as we teach now, but demanded repentance and righteousness. There is a hell for the unrepentant sinner. It isnt the "sin" that spends eternity in hell, it's the "sinner." God doesn't punish the action, he punishes the one, the human person, who ignores His requirements. AND He doesn't change. What was sin in 1930 is still sin today.

After all, He had taken on mortal flesh and died the horrible death of cricifixion to bring mankind to repentance: Why shouldn't He expect righteousness and repentance? God, Himself, did not condone deliberate sin: He demanded a "turning away" from evil ways. We had to "come out from among them. be separate." The conditions He gave Nicodemus have not changed: we must all still repent. Or perish.

We teach that a true Christian is filled with Godly love: that we can not condemn or judge our fellow humans. The fact is that Christians (ministers in particular) are commanded to make judgements as a part of our daily life. Those places in the bible where "judgement" is forbidden are instances where Jesus or a disciple is talking to a "hypocrite." If you are a hypocrite, you are admonished to make no judgement on anyone until you have removed the sin from your own life. How can we "come out from among them" if we don't judge the righteousness of those whom we are to "come out from among?"

By the way, Jesus had no problem calling a hypocrite a hypocrite: a fox a fox: an adulterer an adulterer. He called them, whitwashed sepulchers, and children of hell. He violently attacked one group who were defiling His temple and threatened to cut another asunder and bury (appoint) him with the hypocrites. His favotite derogotory words were, "Scribe" and "Pharesee." He didn't care if He hurt their feelings: He required repentance and He wanted to save their souls.

If you are a hypocrite, don't judge: if you are NOT a hypocrite. you MUST judge. If you are smarter than God, you can condone people who practice any immorality whatsoever. If you are NOT smarter than God, you have to draw the line where God draws the line. No place in the bible records where God "accepts the sinner but rejects the sin." He always condemns the person, the soul, DOING the sin.

In the name of love we accept the homosexual: God does not.
In the name of love we accept the adulterer: God does not.
In the name of love we accept the abortionist: God does not.
In the name of love we accept the murderer: God does not.

We substitute "love" for "admonishment" and condemn the above group to eternal separation from God.

God requires "repentance" and a "turning away" from the sin and His principals are immutable: unchanging: "written in stone." We are not given authority to "edit" His requirements.

It is entirely possible for us, as Christians: as ministers, to "love" some lost, sinning soul straight into the gates of hell, to spend eternity separated from his Creator, because we haven't the guts to tell him his conduct is wrong and God requires him to repent. If we really LOVED him, we would try to save him. We WILL be held accountable when we fail to do this.

In His Perfect Peace
Pastor James West
Co-Ringmaster, Christian WebRing

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This letter may be reproduced without charge and in its entirety for non-commercial and non-political purposes without prior permission from ChristRing Ministries. Copyright 1999 ChristRing Ministries, All Rights Reserved.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8 )