Preferences and their proper place…

Dear Brethren,

Why, oh why, do you persist in insisting all of us have the same preferences as you do?

I really do get it, that some of you find comfort in the liturgy and symbolism of the Catholic/Orthodox/Lutheran churches… and others…

I even understand that some of you find comfort within the structure of the Torah observant groups.

While I could thrive in those environments at need, that is not where God has placed me. You remember Him, right? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He keeps sending me to fellowship with Indy Fundy Baptists and mildly charismatic non-denominational groups…

The only problems I really have with you folks is when the leaders of your respective movements start twisting scripture to try to make it seem as if your preferences are mandated and that all should abide in them. If you choose to follow those branches of Christianity, you should at least be allowed to do so honestly, realizing that you are following a set of preferences. And that I don’t need to follow them…

If you don’t want to observe holidays, and I do.. that’s nothing more than a preference. If you don’t want musical instruments used in church and I do… again, that’s a preference. Or… how about this one? traditional hymns vs contemporary…. preferences.

It’s does get more serious when your leading lights start rewriting the Bible to support their claims, but all in all… I would rather let God deal with them on that one. I will hold forth the Truth for people and pray that they let the Holy Spirit guide them out of those dangerous fellowships.

I will put forth the thought that when someone says that they have discovered biblical truth that has been lost for centuries, you should excuse yourself and depart for God has preserved His Word and made sure it is fairly easy to understand. It is people that complicate it as they seek to build themselves up, rather than honor God.

Read your Bible, seek God’s face and let preferences be preferences, not doctrine.

Jeremiah 10: 1-5

This passage has been used for years in attempts to bully followers of Jesus into not putting up Christmas trees. This tends to be part of a larger push towards convincing them that Christmas is a pagan holiday. We’ll look at the verses cited first:

Jeremiah 10King James Version (KJV)

1Hear ye the word which theLordspeaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

2Thus saith theLord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

5They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

So far this can be convincing to someone who has only a cursory knowledge of the issues at hand. Upon reflection though, one can see that what is being discussed here are idols crafted to be worshiped as ‘gods’, and that their shortcomings are many when compared to the Lord of Lords. No matter what the craftsmanship, they are but created things.. even if a demon chooses to manifest in one of them, they are still created things. This is in contrast to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Even those who have walked far different paths than I will understand as they read further into the passage….

Jeremiah 10

6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, OLord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

9Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

10But theLordis the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

11Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

12He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

13When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

14Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

15They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

All of this in contrast to simple holiday decorations…. for I know of no one at all who worships their Christmas tree, or considers it a ‘god’.

Now, I want all who read this to think a moment the next time someone claims that Christmas is a pagan holiday… and ask them to explain exactly which of the pagan religions celebrate the birth of Jesus. After all, for a follower of Jesus, that is what Christmas is all about.