08 January 2023
Let me continue on yesterday's thoughts.
It's not new by any means, but there has been a resurgence lately in church folks trying to deny that Paul was an Apostle. First, let's make this very clear: Peter said that Paul's letters were Scripture (2 Peter 3:14-16). Denying that Paul wrote with divine authority is denying Jesus, who started it all with calling Simon "Peter" and Keeper of the Keys. Thus, I need not take seriously anyone who rejects, or even weakens, the authority of Paul's teachings in the New Testament canon. Indeed, I don't regard them as Christians at all.
I won't drag you through a bunch of references, but you should know by now that Paul specifically forbade wearing decorative stuff. He said don't wear jewelry, don't wear fancy hairstyles, or elaborate clothing. He said don't flaunt your body, especially if you are female. He wrote these things in a tone of "this should be obvious to you" regarding how we carry forward into the New Covenant things that arose from the Old Covenant. This is part of customary behavior as Children of the Covenant of the Messiah.
Yes, there is an obvious measure of sanity here. In our world, a wedding band on your left ring-finger is okay, but don't buy ornate stuff that doesn't glorify the Lord. Wear a watch that serves the purpose of showing the time, not a flashy expensive status symbol on your wrist. You could make the case that even wearing a suit and tie is over the line. Ladies, tie your hair back with simple cloth or leather, for example, nothing ornate. Hoop earrings are a primary marker of a prostitute; don't wear earrings at all. Do we have to explain you don't pierce any other part of your body for decorative purposes? But tattoos can be okay, depending on what they depict. You get the picture.
If we were all together in a genuine household of covenant faith, we would naturally tend to scold people who violated these customs. Sadly, almost none of us have anyone around us who walks in the Covenant, so we are mostly isolated. I'm fortunate to have a covenant wife. No one else near me claims the Covenant. Almost none of us are in a position to treat others as genuine family of faith.
Instead, we are presented with a wide array of folks who claim our attention online as fellow believers. You can see where this is going. It's one thing to accept information from outsiders; that's the reality of how we live in a fallen world. It's another thing to hail them as fellow Christians. Even if you never say a word to someone else about that outside source, it's very easy in your heart to give too much deference to someone you should not trust as family.
In the case of women having their own video channels and websites, we should be especially careful. I have in my mind a certain gal who claims to be an MD. In her videos she wears heavy makeup and flashes her cleavage -- not a covenant woman. She tends to run through her spiel, and at the very end of the video segment, throws in a bunch of religious gobbledygook, as if that justifies the rest of the video.
And then there's this fellow pretending to be a serious journalist, but whose real profession is bounty hunter. There's nothing wrong with that, if you do it honorably, but the pretense of being something much more socially acceptable is wrong. His religious blather is not credible, since he is an alcoholic, and is alleged to be a wife-beater. I'll give him just enough credit to say that, if a woman honestly deserves a regular beating, why are you still keeping her around? If she's that difficult, she's not worth the trouble; she'll defile your testimony. And if you can't control your chemical abuse, you haven't yet submitted enough to the Lord that I should trust your oh-so-important moral pronouncements.
Some of you can probably guess who these two are, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that neither of them is covenant family. The woman flouts the New Testament, and the man hides behind a false front. These are so-called liberty-mind folks who claim to represent Christ; they claim to warrant your attention. Both are quite popular with the alt-right and conspiracy theorists.
Note: Most conspiracy theories are at least partly true. Every human government is the result of a conspiracy to rule. There has been no human government without people conspiring together. Do the research; pray and make up your own mind about conspiracy theories presented for your attention. Then keep praying, because a lot of very real conspiracies that affect you are still not something to which you can respond. Yes, know as much as you can about what touches your mission and calling, but don't get entangled in something God hasn't put into your hands. God Himself commissioned Satan to be Prince of This World.
Most of those popular conspiracy theorists are trying to provoke you to action that God doesn't sponsor. Their whole schtick presumes that this world is worth saving. It is not. This world is doomed, both in the short term and in the ultimate end. I knew in my heart the world was being destroyed during my lifetime before I ever heard about solar catastrophes. The realization that a micro-nova was coming was just a matter of the means. My convictions knew that most advocacy was pointless long ago.
Don't get lost here. The futility of human effort does not preclude the Lord calling you to carry on with your job. We are infiltrators for the sake of the Eternity. The Lord places us where His glory needs us. Just don't get caught up in believing that the job matters; it's the mission of glory that justifies the job. Do your work, and do it with excellence, even if you know it's all going to be wiped away tomorrow. The Lord sees and remembers, and He will reward you accordingly. As others have said, it's the process, not the product that matters.
Know the Covenant boundaries; walk by them. Discern who is family and who is not.
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