All About GOD

All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Certain topics have always been controversial, such as women teaching men, women speaking in church, head coverings, divorce, going to court, praying aloud or quietly, paying our debts, tithing, etc.

One will argue against the head covering, citing it as outdated or a metaphor, while upholding not letting women teach because it's not the same and God commands it.

But as I was studying the difference between the terms holiness, righteousness and justification this morning, something I read just answered a lot of questions that are so often debated.

Laying aside all our notions and beliefs of all these matters, when Jesus said to obey His commands, just what commands was He speaking of?

Galatians 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

John 15:10-12
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

  1. Honor your father and your mother.
  2. You shall not murder.
  3. You shall not commit adultery.
  4. You shall not steal.
  5. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  6. You shall not covet.

Every message was to love God and one another, to live in peace with one another. Even Paul's teaching on head coverings and women teaching were wrapped into that central theme. As Paul said, if his eating meat offended a weaker brother, then he wouldn't eat meat. People were offended about women speaking out or showing their head, and it was causing disagreements and dissention in the church because of customs and trivial matters. The church was against one another and divided in beliefs. Kinda like Baptist, Pentecostal, Nazarene. All because of trivial matters, churches divide and write their own "beliefs" a.k.a. rules. When the only written statement should be "Love God, believe in His Son Jesus Christ, and love others." That simple.

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated love. Love takes care of every commandment. If you steal, you hurt the one you steal from. To dishonor your parents is going to hurt them, etc. The commandments were a guide on how to love God and to treat one another.

The Pharisees tried to nit pick it and make up a bunch of rules like you must pay 10% even if you don't have it, you are not permitted to speak (which wasn't even what quietness meant), you must cover your head. All this clouded what Jesus was teaching.

Matthew 23:13-15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

There are 613 Jewish laws. That certainly is placing burdens on people. Just try and commit them all to memory. Some people can but the rest of the real world would be pulling their hair out.

Jesus never commanded us to keep women silent or from teaching. He never commanded us to cover our head or pay 10%. His commands were to love Him and love others. As long as we're adhering to that, truly loving others, we don't need a list of rules and regulations.

We're not going to do anything that would hurt a brother or sister. We won't covet what they have or steal it. We won't dishonor our parents. We won't lie about others or murder them. We won't step out on our spouse and tear a family apart.

But then we'd have nothing to debate and this site wouldn't exist and I wouldn't have posted this. And we'll finally have reached unity and have just one church.

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The doctrine that is essential to the Christian faith, such as believing in the deity of Christ, the resurrection, and being saved by grace through faith is not of a disputable matter.

That's just it. That's all it takes to be saved. Once saved, the command is to love God and love others. Everything else falls into the debatable beliefs. All these divided churches believe the essentials to be saved. The division comes when all the other matters become a central focus and then they split off. 

IE: I've attended the Church of God most of my life but for a large portion, I'd also attended Baptist churches. And I like a bit of both. The only church that actually made me uncomfortable was when I attended once with someone who wanted me to go with them. It was Catholic and the rituals, along with not understanding one word, was just weird. 

Even belonging to the Church of God, everyone asks...Indiana or Tennessee? They split over something that shouldn't have caused any problems. Speaking in tongues. If you don't want to, you won't ask to and you won't do it. But because another does believe and does it, does it make you any less of a brother or sister? 

We've divided over all the interpretation and beliefs on non-essential matters when we agreed on the essential ones. And Paul often addressed just this issue.

One esteems one day more than others....Christmas debate.

Take a little wine for your stomach. ..drinking debate. 

Women should learn in "quietness"...not speak at all debate.

Women should keep their head covered...debates on women not cutting their hair.

Daniel ate only vegetables...debates on eating meat. 

We're picking apart Scripture instead of just asking what do you believe on these matters and why, in order to learn, not to divide because we disagree with what we each believe.  

And I wonder if that's the type of unity called for. Or is it just the unity of believing the essential doctrine of Christ. Just some things I've pondered as I see people come and go in my own church over minor offenses or beliefs.

I have one friend that when a certain person is speaking that night, she just goes over to the youth center and listens to our teen pastor and watches the drama, rather than leave entirely. But another friend is bitter over something and refuses to step foot back in the church. Another provided her home for our group Bible studies, until she got offended at something in the church and that ended our Bible study and she and her husband and 6 kids, and her mom and dad all left. Her mom and dad came back though after realizing the foolishness. But she never returned. Now that we've opened a second location, she's started coming there. It's the same church, just some different people and another building. But still the same leadership. It's like she has something against the building or something. And the offense had to do with the children's pastor, who hasn't even been there for some time now.  

It just seems insane at times.

I faced the same decision once but decided to stick it out and I'm glad I did. It doesn't always pay to jump ship because we're offended. It's the little offenses and how we respond that help us grow. 

Ok, explain faith. If you doubt during a difficult moment but later build your faith back up and realize you were just momentarily knocked down, does it mean you don't have faith or were double minded? So it's essential, but even being essential, there's differences in beliefs. One would say you are double minded or really didn't have faith. Another would say you still have faith but you let satan tell you otherwise for a moment or just went through a bad moment but didn't lose your faith. They say everyone has those moments while the other says they've never doubted even once.

Every one may say it takes faith, yet they still differ on what that actually means.

I personally look at Christ's words to the disciples. Ye of little faith, but not no faith.

There's still those areas of disagreement, and churches will split over these matters...exactly what Paul was speaking about.

That's why I wonder if unity means belief in Christ or getting rid of all the disputes on these matters.

Just curious. Whose reply was deleted here? I know you're not talking to yourself or at least not on here.

I think a lot of Amanda's post are  gone.  :-(  I hope she copied them and re-posts.

Whew girl, that was long.

Hi Seek,

Where would we be without all these fantastic discussions?  I'm so glad that I have an excuse to get out of folding laundry. :-) 

I agree with you.  The principal is love. 

Tithing for example has more to do with radical generosity.  NT examples are of people giving away all that they own to be able to give to the Lord's work...  If we try to translate that into a law it would be crippling.  The vision is always love.  We need to be asking ourselves, How can I live an increasingly generous life for God's purposes?

If regards to women leading in the church, the reason why they didn't in the NT likely has a cultural explanation.  Women in those days did not study the Torah, and they were only allowed to know what the men taught them.  If we go back to Adam and Eve, we will see that God's commands were given to Adam directly, and Adam gave them to Eve.  If Eve had received God's command directly, the outcome may have been different..  I can only speculate, but who knows?  Maybe Eve wouldn't have sinned if she heard it from God herself.  Nowadays, women study God's word.  We have the same access to God's word that men do.  Additionally, women and men are both made in God's image.  Both men and women together reflect who He is, and the diversity of the two working together is beautiful. 

The principal take away is always love.  What is love?  I know you know... But I'm posting it here for multiple readers who don't know, and for convenience.

Love Is the Greatest

13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

So much is lost in these verses when it is reduced to merely reading them at a wedding, then they are quickly forgotten.

Love has the final say, as we don't follow the way of law, but instead we follow the way of love.

I know this is neither here nor there & I suppose us even talking about it is useless but I'm game if you are. How do you think things could be different had God told Eve His commands instead of her hearing it through Adam?

Think of when you talk to your kids.  You have a message for all of them, but you tell one of them and ask them to pass on the message.  Are they able to convey the same importance, passion, relevance, desire, love, intention, commitment, determination...etc... in that message?

You may even tell them to listen extra close and write it down, do they pass on the message in the ways you would hope?  I know mine don't.  When I come back to them later it's always a question of "Did you tell your brother this part?...  Did you remember to say.......?  I usually get a blank stare and a "you never told me that" type of response.  It's enough to make us mothers think we are losing our minds.  :-)

I can't say how the results may have been different, and I think it's probably moot anyway because that's not what did happen.  It never really helps to go into the past and try to interpret what could have been unless we have a desire to learn from it and change the way we'll respond in the future.

Well for one thing, we know that if Eve had been the one to relay the command to Adam, she'd have likely been called the first gossip. LOL!

John 17 was Jesus prayer all about unity -

unfortunately we find reasons to differ on minor things and then we never get to the bigger topics like Israel or endtimes - these are issues that strengthen us in Christ as we find a pathway through them.  Some churches stay silent and believers remain untaught ..... understanding of end times ignites passion for the urgency of the hour and salvation for the lost.

My two favourite quotes are:

St Augustine - In essential unity in non essentials liberty, in all things agape (love)

Anon - I would rather be ten minutes early than one hour late.

I'm glad that's one thing our church does teach. Even last night, the secondary Pastor filled in and preached a message to the regular members and said he wasn't trying to offend anyone but we need to wake up and stop being complacent. Our main Pastor has had a couple of 4 week series on end times. They cover just about everything. There's a few of the teachings I don't agree with but I don't have to agree with everything. We all get things wrong at times. Pastors are not excluded in that. And if I'm the one wrong in it, I'm sure God will show me the truth or accept that I believe in a trivial matter that He cares less about than He does my heart and motives for that belief.
LOL Carla. I'd rather feel good enough to DO laundry than have discussions here. I'd actually like to be able to do both. :-)

I actually feel the same about women speaking OR teaching. Paul spoke because of the times. I notice he also didn't mention widows whose mother and father had already passed away. Or those married to unbelievers who can't teach them what they themselves do not know. Therefore making Paul's comments to ask their husbands at home but not speak in church ineffective. But just as it says that not everything Christ did was recorded as there wouldn't be room to contain it. The Bible also says get wisdom but many stay stuck in a rigid non-essential belief and refuse to study such an area...effectively shutting wisdom down. But as I said, that's been debated so I'll stop there. :-)

The reason I'm studying Revelation...

My brother and I had a discussion on Revelation not long ago. Due to my illness, I had to stop working as the stress was only making it worse. And I filed for disability. My brother was saying what am I going to do when that ends. He said he thinks the Tribulation is going to likely happen in our lifetime and that I'll not have Social Security and can't survive without taking the mark of the beast. I have some differing views on how that all plays out, which will be included in the time line I'm working be completed in 2525 if I keep branching off in studying this, or until I stop seeing doctors like the one yesterday and one today. ::sigh::

But part of Revelation is that it won't occur until the rapture is near. And Christ won't return until we all reach unity of faith. With all these different beliefs, I wasn't sure if that was unity on only essentials, or on everything. I think about just using the part on women...Paul was concerned with disorder and disagreements in the church. That the body of Christ not be having disputes over trivial matters. Since it was a concern, I myself am still not sure if it's unity for essentials or everything, or at least all the splitting off of churches over such matters.

My main Pastor has joked when everyone is silent with "just give me a good Presbyterian nod." He's also used the term Bapticostal for those straddling the fence. I laugh like everyone and I know he's just stirring up lively involvement. But other churches do that about Pentecostals as well. So we're a long way from unity in that area.

My church has had times when someone leaves because they disagree with something or just gets offended at something...One being the Pastor didn't attend a funeral. Well the Pastor had been out of town and didn't even know about it till afterwards. But this whole family, as well as her sisters, took off. And the other felt her kids weren't being included in children's church as much as others, so she, her husband, six kids and mom and dad all left. All of that is of course not unity or even Christ-like.

Amanda, it's not following His commands that I'm wondering about, as that becomes works. Cause we all know we miss the mark and won't follow a list of commands to the letter. Which also brings me back to my brother. What he believed sounds like it's fear based on the rapture. But we're not supposed to fear. I just told him that God can make us stand and I can't live in fear of what ifs.

Anyway, I was asking because of the disagreements and split churches on what was right or wrong on the trivial matters. Not that they all followed them, but that they split and got offended by them.

Ok, I only meant to type a couple paragraphs. So now I might not have time to get to my other discussion, laundry or no laundry.


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