Okay, now for what I wanted to comment on, the scriptural reference to my path that I'm on. I've been trying to read through the entire scriptures again and I'm reading in 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. Here's what I've notice. Each king that is chronicled is NOT remembered for their personal contribution to the people they rule over. Each king is NOT remembered for the infrastructure built while in power, or for the cities that they've acquired or for the wealth gained or lost during his reign. What each king IS noted for is their return to or straying away from the commandments of Yahweh. The terminology used in the scripture is this: "so and so"king did evil in the sight of the Lord and worshipped the gods of the people" and "so and so" king did what was right in the sight of Yahweh.
One king is noted for their evil deeds and the other for their righteous deeds. Evil is equated to worship and the ways of the nations, righteousness equated to return to Gods ways and His commandments.
This pattern repeats throughout the first (old) testament. The prophets warn the people of Yahweh to return to His ways; I'm thinking of Ezra as just one example. It's one of the main themes of the scriptures.
So here is my question: Why would a loving God, throughout the first (old) testament turn his back on his children who turn their backs on Him by forsaking his ways, then declare in the second (renewed) testament that it really doesn't matter what you do? Why would He suddenly change history really, change his mind and not care about how His children live out their faith.
Yeshua came and fulfilled the promise made to Abraham, the seed that would save the world. Through Yeshua's atoning blood we are rendered innocent of breaking these commandments. Are we only to keep his commandments in our hearts? (that's another blog)
Here is an analogy I've come up with to help explain. Please keep in mind when reading this analogy that approaching the Father is not the issue. Coming into the Father's presence is not what I'm describing. The only way to be declared innocent of breaking the rules is by the "blood of the lamb". I'm addressing the rules themselves, the commandments. With that in mind I will continue with my analogy.
There is a family with one son. He is given the commandments of the house; the house rules. All those who belong to this house are required to the best of their ability to keep the house rules. When the son decides not to keep the house rules and chooses to follow foreign "rules" that the son has learned from his neighbours, His father is not pleased. His father warns him to return to the original house rules, but he does not. Eventually the son is told to leave the house. He has moved far away, following the ways of the neighbours. When the son comes home and wants again to live under the protection of the Father, he repents and promises to keep the house rules. He wanders again, back to the ways of the neighbours and his father again gives him consequences. This cycle repeats.
According to what mainline Christianity teaches this is what happens next in my analogy.
In the neighbourhood there is another son from another family, who hears about the house of the Father. He decides that he wants to be a part of this wonderful home. This is good news for the Father because he has always had an open door policy. Any one could come live in His house. This neighbourhood son comes to live in the house and as long as he's there he doesn't have to keep the house rules. Well not all of them. This newly adopted son has to only love the Father, but the other rules, well they are not that important any more. The other rules are just for the first son, not the second son. Okay, maybe if the original son returns, then he doesn't have to keep the rules either. The rules that were in place, now the Father considers, are obsolete and irrelevant. What was I thinking, says the Father. No one can keep these rules, so I will just toss them to the wind. I will blanket all children living in this house with grace, so whenever they break, whatever rules they chosen to follow, I will just forgive them and we'll all be happy. I don't really care anymore if they worship me in the ways of the neighbours, because, well, at least they are still worshipping me. I know in the past that I've said that I hate this blended worship, but things have changed. It doesn't matter what I said to my original child, even if I did say forever, I didn't really mean it.
In this ending to the analogy the Father would, in my opinion be, cruel. The Father, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow is really not the same. If he can change the rules of the house, at will, how will we ever know what he expects of us. And the poor first son, who lived with consequences of the Father's rules. He was kicked out and left to the ways of the neighbours, for breaking the Father's rules. He is to find out later that the adopted son didn't get any consequences from straying from the house rules. The adoptive son is held to a lesser standard than the first son. If I were the first son, I would feel ripped off. An adoptive son gets relatively no consequences and the original son get dispersed to the neighbours. Hmmmm!
I don't believe that this is what the father has done. I think the analogy ends like this:
The father has grieved that his first son has left the protection of the father's house, but because the son did not want to honour the "rules" he had to give him consequences. The father never "lifts " the rules. The adoptive son, who wants to come live in the wonderful house of the Father, is required to follow the house rules too. (Remember that the way to forgiveness from disobeying the rules is not the issue, but the rules themselves) The rules are the same. If the adoptive son wants to live in the same house as the original son, then the adoptive son doesn't get preferential treatment. The same rules apply. The Father is fair, righteous, and it's clear what is expected from all children living in the same home.