Friday, December 14, 2007

Stink, Stank, Stunk

Another one of my favorites, but for a different reason. This is for all the "Grinches" out there.


5 comments:

Judah Himango said...

Am I included in your Grinch list, Gary? :-)

In the words of my idol Scrooge, "Bah, Humbug!" heheh.

Gary Kirkham said...

LOL...I don't really have a list. I left it up to anyone who stopped by to be self-aware. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas day...even if you didn't celebrate it. :)

Take care.

Judah Himango said...

Hahah.

And I hope you had a wonderful Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) earlier this month, even if you didn't celebrate it. ;-)

You might be happy to know that, like Christmas, Hanukkah isn't a Scriptural holiday. So I've got nothing on you there.

However, unlike Christmas, it is mentioned in the gospels and was celebrated in Jesus' time. The gospels record Jesus being in the Temple for Hanukkah.

So, WWJD? HWCH! (He would celebrate Hanukkah!) And HWNCXMAS! ;-)

Heheh. In all seriousness though, the trees, the balls, the yule tide, gold and silver adorning the tree, mistletoe, even the date of the 25th are all pagan things borrowed by the Catholic Church and handed down to Protestants. Some of these things are specifically prophesied against in Scripture. But I trust God will draw you out when you're ready.

Blessings Gary, take care.

Gary Kirkham said...

Judah,

When I think of Hanukkah I think of the Adam Sandler song...you know the one. :)

I know we have been around and around on the subject of Christmas and the origin of some of the traditions. As you probably remember I am well aware of the origins.

But I trust God will draw you out when you're ready.

I would disagree with that. I believe that God will draw me out when He is ready.

I know that you think that I am against "The Law." Really what I am against is legalism. I am against the notion that there is anything that we can do to be right with God, to stay right with God, or to please God other than placing our faith in His son Jesus. He is the good shepherd and I am depending upon Him to lead me where He wants me to go. If He leads me to celebrate the biblical feasts or any other aspect of the Law, then praise God. I don’t want to do anything with the wrong motivation. I choose to be motivated by the Spirit of God in me than by being coerced externally to keep the letter.

I know that the Law was given for our good. For example, God gave dietary laws, not because He wanted to see Jews jump through hoops, but because His prescribed diet is what is best for our bodies. I have long been convinced of the truth of that and just recently my wife bought a book that shows scientifically the wisdom of the dietary laws. It is called, “What the Bible Says About Healthy Living: Three Biblical Principles That Will Change Your Diet and Improve Your Health” by Rex Russell. Who knows, maybe a change in my diet is in order :)

I would like to ask you to consider why you keep the Law. Are you doing it in the effort of your flesh to please God? Or are you being motivated by the Spirit of God? I know I have to examine my motivations for the things I do and I suspect you do as well. I have been pondering a question and I would like to get your thoughts on it? Does God care more about use keeping the letter of the Law than He does the Spirit of the Law?

Take care,
Gary

Judah Himango said...

Hehehe, that's funny. I remember that song. Who knew marijuan[ica] could rhyme with Hanukkah? :-)

That's cool to hear about the dietary stuff. It's not always easy to eat according to God's plan in this western, modern society. But I think there is both physical and spiritual benefit in doing so.

Getting serious, to answer your question, yes, God is concerned about the Spirit of the Law more than the letter. We know this because Messiah chided the Pharisees -- not for keeping the Law -- but missing the weightier matters of the Law: justice, mercy, faithfulness to God.

Also, Paul talks about the importance of the spirit over the letter, as I'm sure you already know.

You asked me to consider why I keep the Law. Well, I try to live as Messiah would. That is, follow the Law as He did (he kept all the Feasts, the Sabbath, etc.), but still keep the weightier matters of the Law in mind (he pardoned and had mercy on the adulteress who, by the Law, was supposed to be stoned to death). Likewise, I think we should follow the Law as Messiah did, but keep the weightier things in mind and living with his comforter, the Ruach HaKodesh, in us. I am motivated by Messiah's example.

Does that answer your question, Gary?

Sometimes I wonder if we're like the Jews and Samaritans; two groups who didn't really associate with each other, arguing over whether the correct location to worship is on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, or on Mt. Gershom in Samaria. I remember the woman from the gospels saying to Jesus, "Ah, when the Messiah comes, he'll sort this out for us."

We look back at that debate 2000 years ago and think it's silly; here we worship wherever and whenever, no matter your lineage. (Just as Messiah said!) I must admit, I sometimes question if such debates over Law are so critical among those who already love the Lord and are trying to live Godly lives by the Spirit. I guess we'll have to let Messiah sort it out and correct whoever needs correction. If the Samaritan women was any example, neither of us is completely right; Messiah said something that utterly transcended both sides' arguments.

Blessings, and happy secular new year.