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Ray Rooney, Jr.: “Hold Still…This Won’t Hurt a Bit”
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:28 PM

You know, I don’t mind being reminded by leaders within and without the Church when it comes to critical moral and social issues in our society and culture about some of the things Jesus said.  For instance, to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39); to “love thy neighbor” (Matthew 19:19); to observe the golden rule (Matthew 7:12); to be willing to demonstrate hospitality even when it seems you are being taken advantage of (Matthew 5:40); to pray for those who are wrongly giving you a hard time (Matthew 5:44); to forgive people who intentionally hurt us (Matthew 6:14).  And of course, the ever useful and oft trotted out “Judge not that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).  Those are indeed the words of Jesus Christ and I stand by them and ask for God’s grace to faithfully execute and live them out in this fallen world. 

But I would like for those who use those passages in an attempt to mold the Church into the image of society or kowtow the Church into submission on moral issues confronting culture today to help me out further.  Guide me in the following:

* Where did Jesus ever say or even intimate that when a believer is pressured to accept sin he or she should go ahead and capitulate with the assurance of God’s blessings?  That if enough people could agree that what was once considered sin by the Body of Christ is no longer considered sin God would get right on board with that?

* Where did Jesus ever teach that one interpretation of Scripture is as good as any another?  When the Sadducees thought to humiliate Him about His teaching concerning resurrection and told a silly hypothetical story about a woman who married seven brothers wanting Him to explain whose wife she would be in the hereafter, He replied “You are wrong because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).  Well we know they were familiar with the Scriptures but apparently He believed they were wrongly interpreting them and dared tell them so.  When did He change His mind that every scriptural interpretation was equally valid?

* When did He tell His disciples that correctly identifying sin was something to be left strictly to the purview of God alone?  Does “Judge not” mean no Christian is qualified to ascertain the reality of the presence of sin?  Fourteen verses following “Judge not…” He said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15).  Am I to understand from many of today’s Christian leaders that recognizing bad fruit is an act of judgment reserved only for God?  If not, then how in the world does acknowledging the presence of sin equate to “judging” somebody who practices sin? 

* Where did Jesus say that loving my neighbor means quietly acquiescing as he or she works through governmental means to restrict my God given freedoms and rights?  When did “pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) morph into “enable and support those who persecute you to continue their persecution of you”? All this time I thought Jesus bucked the traditions and culture of His day and died on a cross to set His “neighbors” free from the power, destructiveness, and ultimate consequence of sin.  Since when has loving one’s neighbors meant empowering them to engage in sin against me or anyone else? 

* When did Jesus change His mind about evangelism?  In the Great Commission He said to “go…and make disciples.”  He didn’t say to stay and accept applications to Christianity.  Where I come from “go” and “make” are verbs.  Yet in today’s culture of tolerance and political correctness intentional and concerted efforts to perpetuate one’s faith is viewed as narrow and even hateful!  “How dare they assume I need forgiveness of sin or any help from God!”  Unbelievably, we’re not just talking about atheists and humanists howling about Christian evangelism but Christian clergy as well.  When did it change? 

* Finally, when did Jesus say that the planet was of greater value than the people living on it?  Environmentalists, many of whom are proudly religious, vehemently oppose extracting the resources that God has provided in nature despite the obvious benefits to humanity.  Evolutionists and humanists are constantly harping that mankind has no right to make decisions that affect any other species because every other species has equal standing with Man both morally and environmentally.  Many in the Church have been bullied into submission by the intelligentsia in this realm for fear of looking stupid.  Apparently, they ignore the revelation of Jesus that “you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).  When did Jesus undo clear teaching of Psalm 8:6 that “You have given him [mankind] dominion over the works of your hands;    you have put all things under his feet”?   

The point is pretty clear isn’t it?  Worldly people with an obvious agenda have wrenched a few select sayings of Jesus out of context and shamed many well-intentioned but sadly illiterate Christians into believing that our own religion mandates that we assist in paving the path that ultimately leads to our own extinction.  Wake up Church!  Read the whole Bible.  Loving your enemies doesn’t mean you have to help them defeat you.  Forgiving your persecutors doesn’t mean you have to look forward to tomorrow’s torment.  Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean giving the man who raped your wife easy access to your daughter.  Judge not doesn’t mean that you shall not form an opinion that those who engage in sexual immorality of any kind are willfully sinning. 

The early Church wasn’t persecuted because it learned not to make waves.  It was persecuted for one reason and only one reason: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). 

Ray Rooney, Jr. 

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