First, let me say thank you for sharing one of my life’s most amazing moments. My last writing really was just that for me.
As we continue to move forward in this great Gospel effort, I am reminded of Paul’s statement that states “the Gospel IS the power of God.” He declared that the rationale behind this power is a divine revelation of GOD’S righteousness. The following statement in Romans 1:18 declares that without THAT understanding verse 17 indicates that all you are left with is a view of God as a wrathful God. And that, my dear friends, is not true!
Until my eyes were opened to this Gospel, I saw God through the prism of the Law. One might ask, “Why would viewing God through the Law leave you with an impression of God as wrathful?” Simply stated, it is because the Law works wrath. Wrath is the only logical conclusion to the Law of God, for through it there is none righteous. No not one!
Unless the heart and mind is freed from the Law, there can never be a clear understanding of the Gospel.
I think that most all of evangelical Christianity sees the issue as some form of mixture of law and grace. However, that is simply a double minded perspective of God and HIS Gospel. It is so easy to hear this two-faced view from the statements of the legalistic Christian. One moment you will hear absolute statements about unconditional love. The next, maybe even the following week’s sermon will be of absolute wrath.
Herein reveals the heart of understanding the Gospel. Is it a line drawn to separate good from evil based on God’s Law? Or, is it a line drawn between law and grace? Yes, here is exactly where I depart from evangelical Christianity’s view of truth. While making grandiose statements about respecting God’s Law, they really dishonor God’s Law! Why? Because they confuse God’s purpose for giving the Law to Israel in the first place.
While many profess respect for God’s Law, I think our articulation of the Gospel is the only true absolute respect for the Law of God. And, by the way, this is the view that agrees with the Law. ALL who were born after Adam were declared to be sinners, without exception.
You simply cannot take one single issue then try to make a moral statement out of it as people who judge by the Law do.
I sometime wonder why the Christian and religious world wants to debate who is and who is not right with God based on the Law, when the Bible is clear that ALL are guilty. Just what part of ALL is so hard to understand?!
So someone may ask, “Michael is homosexuality condemned by the law”? Here is where I could imagine Jesus answering a question by asking a question. “Is EVERY sexual thought against the Law?” The answer is, of course, a resounding “YES!” because that, ladies and gentleman is the true heart of the Law! The answer YES is the correct one to any question that ponders if God condemns any human endeavor short of His perfection.
Galatians 5, which I believe includes ALL of us, never debates the validity of the condemnation of every human aspect as declared by the Law of God.
Entire religious movements form in order to excuse one area of failure or another as they attempt to keep the Law. And then they stand back and judge others for other laws THEY are not keeping.
Here’s a case in point. Many “gay” churches exempt homosexuality from the Law. I do not. Whether self-righteousness comes from a gay person or the “Church Lady” herself, I care not! I will never vacillate. The Law declares ALL to be guilty, including me. Let me say it again, ALL. God’s Law is pure, converting the soul. That includes me. That includes you.
I have no problem at all with a complete and total admission that if the Law were in effect today that I would be under God’s wrath. Can you say the same? Just where does our righteousness come from? Is it a mixture of His righteousness and ours? No. Thank God, it’s just HIS!
Thus Paul’s testimony in Philippians 3 reveals his conversion was not from a murderer to a pacifist. It was a conversion from his own righteousness to God’s! Hallelujah!
Then just why was the Law given to the Hebrew children? One thing is for sure, it was NEVER given to make them righteous or it failed more miserably than Communism. It was given for the sole purpose of revealing to the human mind that ALL were sinners, as a result of Adam’s transgression. To this end, there has never been a greater success.
God had already declared ALL to be sinners due to the disobedience of one man, Adam. The Law did not help God differentiate between who was a sinner and who was righteous. God already had declared who was a sinner. Do you actually think the Law helped God to see sinners for what they were? That would be laughable. The Law did NOTHING to help God see humans for what they were. Neither did the Law make a man a sinner. The Law did not set the parameters for human behavior. Virtually all the Law does is declares us to be human and God to be God.
What does the Gospel reveal? God is God and we are human and righteous humans at that! The current debate is that “without God’s Law a human has no guide to behavior.” Don’t they know that there are entire cultures that have NEVER heard or seen God’s Law who have much more respect and care for humanity than some Christian individuals have ever had?
You see the black hole vacuum of judging by the Law sucks everyone who uses it that way into a blinded, skewed understanding of the Gospel. While swirling in the blackened confusion, they point the finger at the “lawless” and live in their own self-imposed private hell of guiltiness. Running to and fro, using the name of Jesus as a cover for sin, and NEVER accepting Him as the removal of all sin.
“For where there is no law, there is no sin!” One of Paul’s statements about the Law is that should you ever, ever use it to judge someone else, you are NOT a doer of the Law any more at all. According to Paul, we see that the Law was ONLY and STRICTLY given to judge one’s own self, not for one to judge another.
Let’s suppose that God’s Law WAS still in effect today. Now let’s apply Paul’s understanding of how to use it LAWFULLY. Ok then, can I only use this code to judge myself? Yes, the law cannot be used to judge others, ONLY for your self.
WOW, bring back the Law!! And then let’s use it LAWFULLY! For being TOTALLY under the law AND using it lawfully, is far better than this convoluted disrespect and mixture of God’s Law AND His grace! Herein is found the understanding of the Cross. Without a FULL understanding and acceptance of the Law, there will never be a full and complete understanding of grace.
LAW? 100%. ABSOLUTE. WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
GRACE? 100% ABSOLUTE. WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
If you miss the guilty “revelation” of the Law, you will miss the righteous “revelation” of the Gospel. Can you even imagine a world where the Law of God was used by individuals to judge one’s self and NEVER as a tool to judge another? Could the statement in Revelation be about this? Be HOT or COLD. Luke warm is sickening! Is HOT one who keeps God’s Law and COLD one who breaks God’s Law? I think not, because then law breaking is just as acceptable as law keeping. Be hot or cold! This is what is acceptable. Could it be he is suggesting that you should either get totally under the Law or totally under Grace? For to be in the middle is a sickening misguided view that can only lead to confusion and a lack of understanding of both the genius of God’s Law and the beauty of His Gospel!
The Law didn’t need a little gospel and the Gospel doesn’t need a little law.
Let me declare, “I love God’s Law”, because it reveals God’s opinion of us through the first Adam. I will never forget its revelation! I Love the Gospel equally to God’s Law, because without the Law those of us who tried to be accepted by it would never know the glory of His grace.
So we declare like other revolutionaries: “Give me grace (liberty) or Give me law (death)!
Grace is indeed a “revelation” of liberty and law is indeed a “revelation” of death! Therefore, I now can address the issue of morality on any issue, as can any who do NOT judge others by the law.
My view of morality can be summed up in this single statement: Morality is totally and completely irrelevant in the message of the Gospel which leads to the freeing of the heart.
Now, let’s take on the issue of freedom. Freedom NEVER wants to violate the liberty of others. And it’s not that this violation in and of itself is a God’s Law issue. But it is an issue of the heart. Is this a subjective call? I think not, because it is only those who use God’s Law to judge others who make that Law subjective.
Yes, I can now hear those who do judge by the Law shriek, “What?! Did he just say morality is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY irrelevant in the Gospel message?” Yes, without wavering, it is irrelevant.
Is morality irrelevant in the commitments we make to each other? Absolutely not. If you are not ready for commitment and promises, don’t make them. You could possibly destroy yourself and the person you make the promise to. Let your yes be yes and your no be no!
Thus my view, sexuality is NOT a Gospel issue. It is a personal, private issue to be worked out in the strictest separation of law and grace like every other moral issue. And just like each of those, it is to be worked out in the heart of each of us, like the ones about eating pork, having intercourse during the menstrual cycle, women covering their heads, etc., etc.
With this absolute separation of law from grace, is sexual predatory behavior a private issue? NO! A sexual predator is a violator of another’s freedom. Thus, no understanding of the true Gospel would lead a heart to limit another righteous person’s freedom. Nor does the Gospel revelation lead to inaction when standing for the freedom of others to live free.
“Then why, Mike Williams, did you bring up your sexuality in the last letter?” I did so ONLY because it was already brought up previously in a false light. I am not afraid of the light shinning on it now in order to correct my own previous misstatements.
Yes, we’re staying the course. The current of the river of religious bigotry is very strong in the world. However, do not waiver, dear one. Do not be sucked into the hypocritical vacuum of compromised “Christian values”. Stand fast, therefore, in the LIBERTY (see definition below) wherewith Christ hath made you free and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage. In other words, stay the course!
Liberty: Exempt from moral, mortal, sacrificial, and ceremonial law.