Thanks for the response to my last post “It’s a Moral Issue…“. I hope with this post, I’ve addressed each point as clearly as possible. I’ve included scriptures (since my opinion really doesn’t matter… the Word of God is the only true wisdom).
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8
“Just because God says so is insufficient reason to view another group of individuals as unequal.”
I do not view any person as unequal. Disagreeing with a lifestyle choice does not negate the value of that person. In John 8, a woman was caught in her adultery. She was threatened to be stoned, but Jesus pointed out the sins of those who stood in condemnation. None were able to throw stones, knowing they themselves were full of their own sin. Jesus did not condemn her either, even being sinless. So we see, we are not to condemn those who are sinful as we are (the time for judgment on all of us will come in due time) but Jesus did not tell her to continue in her sin. He told her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). He did not enable, nor allow her to continue in her sinful behavior – the behavior was still a sin and unacceptable.
“…if you do things only because God says so, how do you fault others who do what their God tells them to do – say, terrorists?”
You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you… Deuteronomy 6:13-14 (emphasis mine)
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Matthew 4:10 (emphasis mine)
The mere worship of other gods is in direct disobedience to God. The Father is the only true God.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should[a] And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. John 17:1-5 (emphasis mine)
Terrorism is evil because it goes against direct commands that God has given throughout His Word. The terrorists reject God and Christ whom He sent and are unrepentant of the evil they commit.
But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 9:20-21 (emphasis mine)
“God also says it’s wrong to eat shellfish. Do you eat shellfish? Do you support boycotts of Long John Silvers, on the grounds that their sales are immoral and enable an immoral lifestyle?
‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat. But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you. Leviticus 11:9-12
I will admit that I love lobster… I’ve eaten my fair share of them also. Being from Maine hasn’t helped (nor has my mother’s love for them either). On that note, it was expressed in the New Testament the following:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1-5
I certainly do not look to myself as a compass for good and right. I reek of sin just like the next man/woman and I assure you that their are plenty of sins I’m not out boycotting. BUT, in regards to shellfish, God forbade them in Leviticus. Since then we’ve learned that many shellfish feed on waste and accumulate heavy metals and/or toxins in their tissues. From the passage it is understandable that it was a health issue rather than a moral issue (seeing as 1 Timothy tells us that all creatures are good and that we are not to refuse any as food). I have actually spoken to many, many a people about the health risks of eating such insects of the sea. On the off chance that I hadn’t, this would not cancel out what God has spoken out against. God is teaching and changing me, also.
“to the extent that the New supercedes the Old Testament, how does Jesus’ first commandment – that humanity loves each other – reflect, incorporate, or fail to incorporate proscriptions on lifestyles?”
The New Testament does not supercede the Old. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with it; as well as to be the living example of God’s righteousness. We have been saved through grace, but this does not do away with our responsibility to continue to follow His law.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19 (emphasis mine)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12 (emphasis mine)
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Romans 6:15 (emphasis mine)
I first wanted to point out that the first and great commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37-38) Then comes the second, which is to love your neighbor as yourself – without condition, as God loves. We can love a person without loving their choices – God loves us but hates sin… His hate for sin does not take away from His love for His children. As cliché as it sounds… “love the sinner; hate the sin” fits perfectly in this explanation.
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40
In fact it is for the sinner that Christ came.
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11
“If you rely on God’s word as to what is right or wrong, you still have to indicate some objective form of reality, or prove why what God tells you to do is good. It’s Abraham’s problem. [God told him] to sacrifice his child (of course he stopped it at the last moment). You can argue that the ends (proving Abraham’s faith) justified the means (traumatizing his child), or you can argue that nothing God does is evil. But does that really sound right? It’s also Job’s problem. God – if you read the Bible literally – killed Job’s entire family, just to test him. Is that morally right?“
First, let’s put in context these two scenarios.
Abraham, in Genesis 22, was commanded by God to sacrifice his one and only son as a burnt offering. Abraham brought Isaac to the place God told him to and prepared the altar, bound his son and nearly slayed him at which point God called out for him to stop. He then provided a ram for the sacrifice and Abraham offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. Okay, there is a general idea of the occurrence that is addressed. Now let’s go back a bit.
In Genesis 17, God came to the child-less Abram when he was 99 years old. He changed his name and made a covenant with him.
“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” … “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” … “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. … Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Genesis 17:1-2; 4-9; 15-16 (emphasis mine)
Reading further we see that Abraham and Sarah were in wonder and disbelief at such a promise of a son in their old age:
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Genesis 17:17
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Genesis 18:11
If God had provided for them a son in such a miraculous way, wouldn’t it be logical to trust the covenant that was made between them (the unconditional promise of land to him and his descendants ~Genesis 15:9-21~ as well as the conditional pledge to be Abraham and his descendant’s God as long as they remain consecrated to Him ~Genesis 17:4, 9~). God said it would be Abraham’s own son who would be his heir (Genesis 15:3). Abraham trusted that God would make a way – believing that He was going to bring a lamb (as he stated to Isaac in Genesis 22:8).
As far as Isaac being traumatized, there is no indication in scripture that Isaac was in fear. Confused perhaps, but as children of even poor parenting, children trust their parents. Being a mother, I’ve seen first hand how much my own children trust and adore me even through all of my failures.
In reference to Job, satan attacked his character; he degraded him before God, suggesting that he had no reason to not trust God because God had kept him so well protected (essentially saying, how could Job be a righteous man if not ever experiencing tribulation, nothing to reveal to Job or to those around him of his faith and trust in God… nothing to cause Job to willingly do so). He went as far to say that if God took what He had blessed Job with, that Job would curse Him to His face. Under God’s permission, satan destroyed Job’s property, took his children’s lives (Job 1 – Job offered burnt offerings for each of his unrepentant children for the sins they were committing), brought sickness upon him, caused dissension among his friends, even Job’s wife encouraged him to curse God so as to be put out of his misery… but Job remained trustful of His Redeemer.
Was either scenario morally right? The great and trusted thing about God is that He is unchanging. Just because words change, cultures change, or we become immune to the evils around us, it doesn’t change the reality of what is happening. If we don’t have the foundation of Truth, who then decides whether something is right or wrong in any given circumstance? This is where experiences, opinions, and ideas can cause major problems in determining morality. Morality is righteousness and all that the word means (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Colossians 3:12-17; Galatians 5:22-26). Immorality (1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19-21; Jude 1:8, 16-19) is all that is contrary to it.
The Bible has throughout time been used to justify (1) the death penalty (which many Christians now oppose); (2) slavery, both racial and punitive, and; (3) the confinement of women to the homes. Most of society now rejects, if not (1) and (3), at least (2). And yet the Bible spoke clearly that slavery was, in at least some cases, morally tolerable. Does the meaning of the Bible, and its relevance for our morality, shift over time? And if not, what do you make of those problems?
Slavery is viewed as an evil in our world today, but slavery itself is not evil. Slavery began when one owed a debt, they became property of their masters. God made it clear how masters were to treat their slaves.
Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Colossians 4:1
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:5-9
The evils committed against black men and women (and the Israelites by the Egyptians), was by the act of man. This was not condoned by God as He commanded masters to be just and fair and treat them with respect and kindness.
As for the death penalty and the ‘confinement’ of women to the homes, I’d have to ask for elaboration on the understanding of what the Word says in regards to those. The wording (and lack thereof) leaves me pondering the intended point and I’d prefer not to assume.
Is it right to enshrine a theological objection to a minority group in the laws of a pluralistic democracy? The answer there, from the First Amendment the Fourteenth, has to be an unequivocal “no.”
I don’t look down on homosexual men and women. The assumption that I view myself as superior simply because I am against an action of a person, truly is a misconception. I have and have had special people in my life who participate in such behaviors, as well as those who have lied, lusted, and cheated. With that said, the 1st and 14th amendments are the very reason I have the freedom to not support such a corporation that is in direct support of what I’m not supportive of. As I stated, it is certainly McDonald’s right and prerogative to do as they wish, but it is also my right and the rights of others who do not wish to participate in this particular funding to not do so and to speak out against it.
I hope I’ve addressed all the points that were made and that I’ve done so clearly. If anyone would like to add onto what I’ve said, or if there are any more questions, please feel free to post! I may not respond right away, but I will do my best to be clear and thorough in my responses! God bless!
Posts on this Boycott:
1. Full Coverage for Sex-Change Procedures?
2. The Boycott of McDonald’s
It’s a Moral Issue…
(my response to
comment from “The Boycott of McDonald’s”)
Just Because God Says So…
(my response to
comment from “It’s a Moral Issue”)
(my response to
comment from “Just Because God Says So…”)
3. Dishonorable Approbation (my response to this comment below)
4. Freedom of Speech (my response to this comment below)
5. AFA ends boycott: McDonald’s agrees to changes (final post regarding the boycott)