I was looking at the daily weather forecast for my area today then glancing at the normal average high temperature and the normal average low temperature for that day of the year I thought; “well it looks like it going to be about normal today and tonight. Then I thought what happens when an above or below average temperature become so regular that it becomes part of the equation, so over time becomes the average instead of above or below average as someone would have thought of it at an earlier time? So, what is really “normal” then and how do we come to that conclusion? By this illustration it is obvious that ‘normal’ is determined by our present environment where we live in time. This milieu we live our daily lives within at this present time sets a mental thermometer in our mind so to speak that tell us this or that is getting a little extreme. Of course this is all relative as much as many would not want to hear that; including myself at one time.
Some will say, “Well, the bible is the standard of what is to be considered normal morally and ethically because it does not change” REALLY? Consider this: According to an American Bible Society article Dec. 2, 2009 there were about 900 English versions! As we know there have been new versions coming out since then quite frequently; probably pushing that number up to around 1000 versions today in English alone! As any bible student knows these vary greatly in many passages as to the meaning of the text.
Also consider; the Jewish people who only accept the Old Testament; do not still sacrifice animals for the forgiveness of their sins, although it is written in their bible that they must do this in order to receive forgiveness. (Lev 4:1-35)
Most people who believe the Ten Commandments are still in effect, getting involved in huge battles over keeping them posted in certain places; do not refrain from work or their normal activities on Friday sunset to Saturday sunset; which would be the actual biblical way of keeping the 4th commandment or the Sabbath Day which the bible says if someone breaks it in any way must be put to death! (Exo 35:2-3, Lev 23:32, Num 15:32-36, Neh 13:15-19) Can you imagine the result of carrying this out to the letter of the law? I know they have conveniently made up an argument changing the day to Sunday but there is not one solid scripture to prove this is right. I think if they actually stuck to the ‘letter of the law’ they would quickly change their mind about this self-righteous crusade for correctness. It’s kind of comical really when you consider that the Apostle Paul made clear in the same bible that God only gave these laws in order to prove to us that we can’t keep them. (Rom. 3:20)
Most New Testament believers allow women to speak in church; even though it is clearly prohibited in the bible. “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34–35, NIV)
Of course again they have concocted clever arguments to make this say the exact opposite of what it was saying to the hearers of that day. This is a mistake; it meant exactly what it says to the hearers of that day; but it does not mean that to us today. Therein lies the key and on point to the purpose of this article. Times Change, rules change, mindsets change as we grow in knowledge, spiritual and natural.
New Testament believers allow women to be in church without a veil after they have cut their hair, while wearing the veil is commanded in the bible. They also allow men to grow their hair long which is said to be naturally wrong in the bible. (1Cor. 11:24, 1Cor. 11:6) These things are allowed and thought nothing of today while other things the bible says are wrong – or right are heavily propounded from the pulpits!
Bible believers allow people that do not work to eat; when this is expressly forbidden and unacceptable in the Old Testament and New Testament (Gen 3:19, Pro 20:4, 2Th 3:10)
Now many will object to these points I have brought up quoting other scriptures in the bible saying these things are justified in other places. Oh no! That would be a contradiction within itself and a perfect standard could not contradict itself or it would no longer be a perfect standard would it?
I could go on and on but this is should be sufficient to see that we really can’t say we can use the bible as an unchangeable standard. We have changed and are changing continuously. Even the bible has undergone change and evolved into something quite different than it was in the past – the New Covenant (Testament) totally annuls the Old Covenant (Testament) (2Co 3:6-17)( Heb 8:6-13) How’s that for change!
GOD is all that does not change but is the pinnacle and height the Glory of all that there is; the Goal, if you will, that we are all moving toward and the ultimate realm of being we will all enjoy with Him in perfect harmony according to the plan and purpose of GOD to reconcile ALL to Himself through Christ. (Acts 3:21, 2 Cor. 5:19, Eph. 1:10)
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Col 1:20 KJV)
To “reconcile” something is to accept that which was unacceptable in the past or change how you feel or think about the person or thing. Jesus Christ acted this out in his lifestyle here on earth to the astonishment of the religious leaders of the day. Where there was once an irreproachable one unavoidably segregated from the reproachable ones – Pharisees (the Holy from the Unholy) now there is unity and harmony – Christ-ians, or is that not what you thought that meant? This is astounding but true, baffling but beautiful.
“Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.” (Ephesians 1:9–10, AMP)
Right and wrong does not change only how we perceive it according to where we are on our journey, if you can see what I am saying. In this life we can only see things from the perspective of where we are; to see the other side of the mountain we must go around to the other side, even then we will have likely forgotten what we saw on the opposite side. Our vision can play tricks on us as well; think of some optical illusions you have seen. Consider what I say and you will begin to see how blinded we really are by the limitations of our present perception of things. We do not have all data in sync to make the program run correctly so to speak. There are glitches in the system. The bible calls these mysteries. Someday when we can put all of the perspectives of all the journeys – all the pieces of the puzzle together, can see all sides of the box at once; then we will see the whole picture; until then we as our brother Paul said:
“For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. “ (1Co 13:12 AMP)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1Co 13:13 NIV)
These are the keys to understanding how to make wise judgments and right thinking in life. In this way we are truly free to Love our neighbor.
- If we will look at everything through the filter lens of “faith” in GOD and people,
- “Hope” for the best in all things and people through the assurance of GOD’S Power, Promise, and Providence,
- “Love” as CHRIST so perfectly displayed in Jesus, sacrificial forgiveness and unconditional, unlimited Love and acceptance of ALL!
If we will practice these three we will always be right no matter what someone or something says; for there is no greater representation of the character and nature of GOD who is THE STANDARD. For we must live not by the letter of the law or a written code; but in the Spirit of the Law. We must not worship nor live according to things made of paper and ink but live by the SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD. The Father is seeking those that will do this…. (Rom 2:29, Rom 7:6, 1Co 2:13, Gal 4:29, Gal 5:18, Php 3:3, Joh 16:13, John 4:23-24)
And so remember:
“He who descended is the same as He who ascended again far above all the Heavens in order to fill the universe.) And He Himself appointed some to be Apostles, some to be Prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, in order fully to equip His people for the work of serving—for the building up of Christ’s body— till we all of us arrive at oneness in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and at mature manhood and the stature of full–grown men in Christ. So we shall no longer be babes nor shall we resemble mariners tossed on the waves and carried about with every changing wind of doctrine according to men’s cleverness and unscrupulous cunning, making use of every shifting device to mislead. But we shall lovingly hold to the truth, and shall in all respects grow up into union with Him who is our Head, even Christ. Dependent on Him, the whole body—its various parts closely fitting and firmly adhering to one another— grows by the aid of every contributory link, with power proportioned to the need of each individual part, so as to build itself up in a spirit of love.” (Ephesians 4:10–16, Weymouth New Testament 1903)
For now then we will have to ride the wave of his Spirit through many changes before we reach that perfect shore and even then, I believe we will be surprised to find we are right where we’ve always been only seeing it all from new spiritual eyes! “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth, As it is in Heaven!” Let him who can accept this accept it; and those that cannot see it from where they are on their journey – the blessings of Christ be with you as you continue on. I pray for the day when we will all come to know the LORD face to face, see as we are seen and know as we are known; Praise God!
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, KJV 1900)
Grace, Peace, and Love,