Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weightier Matters

This OP (see Facebook) came to mind as I read John's own OP challenging the saints in Christ to examine the inconsistent handling of examples in the NT as to when we make them binding and when decide an example is not binding. John posed an honest question.

Much of what is made of examples is supposedly on the basis of the authority of scripture. But, what do we learn as to how Jesus did/would respond to the introduction by Israel of elements of devotion and worship? I have heard the expected carnal dismissal concerning the introduction of mechanical instruments (DO NOT go there at this time.) of worship by David.

Yet, here is another instance in which Jesus refers to something introduced by Israel as being on par with the law God gave through Moses.

 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin,†† and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 24  You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!

I do not believe (I'm relying on my general knowledge as best I can recall and admit this is not a subject I have expended time in study. I would welcome the correction and the enlightenment on this point.) tithing of spices was ever commanded for Israel to observe as part of their giving. What is SIGNIFICANT is that Jesus does not condemn the Pharisees for having INSTITUTED and PRACTICING this tithing of spices, effectively, an addition to the law. What IS also significant is that Jesus' indictment of the Pharisees was that they had settled with the compromise of fulfilling a meager tithing of spices while leaving "undone the weightier matters of the law." Jesus, in the midst of delivering a strong indictment on the Pharisees did not neglect to commend them on their tithing EVEN IF IT WAS NOT as prescribed by the law.

How does this relate to how saints handle examples as binding or not binding, today? It is when most of those examples are like "mint, dill and cumin" while the "justice, mercy and faith," are like the weightier matters of the law and which go undone.

It's like giving (that is, "tithing") our singing (w/ or w/out mechanical instruments) while remaining woefully inept to DO and SPEAK justice, mercy and faith. It goes undone with our brothers and sisters in Christ who SPEAK the same language much less those outside of the kingdom who do not know or speak justice, mercy and faith or the language of the kingdom of God. The reason for the ineptness is because their is no need for any dependence and reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide our minds and give us words of life in that moment.

The claim from saints, like the Pharisees, that they are all about pure and sound doctrine, not adding or taking from the word and following the authority of every example in the NT is self-deception. Jesus unflinchingly described the Pharisees as blind. Elsewhere, he played along with their own self-justification and _ their own self-incurred condemnation: Jesus said to them,

If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
The concern about our use of examples as reference points of authority and subsequent condemnation of fellow saints in Christ. It leaves much room to learn, if we only would, from Jesus how he handled those those things which some saints feel compelled to tear down their brother, their sister and the body of Christ.

Let us do the weightier matters of justice, mercy and faith as disciples of Jesus being full of the Spirit.

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