Well, then, why not just keep Sunday if we can declare what is sacred?
I’m showing my age, I realize, but there was once a time when the use of drugs, although illegal, was rather glorified. Sometimes, that showed up in the lyrics of various songs, sometimes it was reflected by the name of an album, and sometimes even in the name of a band. Growing up in Cincinnati, this particular album by the band of the same name, The Sacred Mushroom, was brought to my attention on a local radio show. Since I’d not been in the area for decades, it brought back some memories. Of course, the name comes from the “sacred” or “magic mushrooms” that many cultures had used to basically hallucinate and supposedly see into the spirit world.
Superstitious, huh? After all, we in the 21st century Church of God wouldn’t have any sacred cows, let alone sacred mushrooms, lying around, would we?
List of Words and Phrases … Wait, What?
I know, I am obsessed with collecting words and phrases not listed in the Bible. However, far from a trivial exercise, it should be one to get you to think. Just because they are not there, it doesn’t mean they are not true, for language is fluid, changing and constantly being reinvented. Whether you agree or disagree with the process is pretty immaterial, since there is little you and I can actually do about it.
However, they are only as accurate as they represent the intent and ideas expressed in the written word. All of the concordances and books on Hebrew and Greek are not so much about studying stale words and esoteric pronunciations as they are about how to best express the ideas in contemporary language.
To this end, there are words and phrases that, simply put, should not be uttered by true Christians! The ideas contained in them do not reflect reality at all! In fact, they even contradict us and undermine our own teachings!
Therefore, I want to propose we also need a list of words and phrases that should be banned from our speech, and particularly from public speaking! I’m not talking about the more obvious things that border on blasphemy, but rather I am referring to those things which simply put are not true, cannot be true and have a psychological impact of making us seem hypocrites.
I remember the first time I heard this expression, it was in reference to youth camp. “It’s like a mini-Feast”, the person said. I was pretty new in the faith, and I just sort of looked at him. I have to admit that I just did not know how to take the phrase.
Since then, I’ve heard it used to other events, and especially to the “winter family weekend” events.
I mean, really? Are we actually going to compare these human inventions with God’s feast days? Someone is smoking some serious sacred mushrooms here!
Think about what that means. We have a get together in the middle of winter while everyone else is observing a “solemn” and “sacred” season, and we have the audacity to compare another human event at the same time to God’s festivals?
How does that appear, brethren? How many “in the world” look at that behavior and shake their heads at the absolute hypocrisy? To their mind, we might as well and go ahead and decorate a tree!
Even if it were not that season, should we really be comparing that which is profane to that which is holy?
26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
I think it is high time that a few ministers began to pay a little more attention to this!
“The Sacred Calendar”
This phrase is particularly annoying, and it contradicts itself.
There is no such thing as a biblical calendar. Period.
Even when observed, the witnesses would appear before the priests who would rule on the truthfulness of the witnesses. IOW, the priests could overrule any sighting of a moon based upon whether or not the testimony was believable. If the observation could not be made because of weather, the priests would decide to postpone the month one day.
BTW, where in the Bible does it say that the sighting could be delayed?
Where in the Bible does it say what a “new moon” even means?
Where in the Bible does it command anyone except the priests to even observer a new moon? What were priests to do on the new moon, and could the ministers of today do such things?
So, think about what I’m saying. If there is no biblical calendar, then where in the world can we get a “sacred” calendar of all things? Can we make anything holy? Can we invent a system of days, months and years and declare them sacred?
If it is not in the Bible, then God did not declare it sacred, and therefore there is no such thing as a “sacred calendar”!
You cannot have it both ways. Either there is a biblical, and therefore “sacred”, calendar, or there is not.
The Talmud, the traditions of the Jews, is not a sacred writing.
“God as God Is God”
Here is a good example of a phrase I’ve not heard in a long time. That’s a good thing, IMO. So, why include it?
Simply put, to show that when sayings trivialize the very ideas we are trying to put forth, we can stop using them.
While I understand what is behind this particular saying, it still was borderline blasphemy. Yes, we will be spirit. Yes, we will be children of God. Yes, God is creating a family of powerful beings just like Himself. However, there is one area where even Jesus is not God as God the Father is God: In authority.
Jesus Himself submitted to the Father. This is perhaps the main reason the “trinity” is blasphemous. It trivializes the authority of God the Father. So does “God as God Is God”.
“I Believe in What HWA Taught”
Human beings are fragile, mortal and fallible. Even the Apostles realized this. In fact, Paul had some sort of problem or ailment that he prayed to be relieved of, but God refused to take it away, telling him instead, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2Co 12:9).
We are supposed to be led by God‘s Spirit and God‘s word. Yes, human teachers and preachers play a major part in this, but how do we know which ones? Look around! The world is filled with false teachers all over! How are we supposed to know which are teaching the truth vs error?
The thought came to me just this morning that there is a particularly interesting story that illuminates the struggle to find truth. I could quote various passages where we are to obey God rather than man, where the Law and testimony is the standard, etc., and I have in the past. However, remember the Samaritan woman at the well that Jesus spoke to? She ran to tell her entire town that she had found Messiah. What was their reaction?
40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his own word;
42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
You know, people often point to the Bereans, who did a similar thing. They listened to Paul and Silas, but it did not stop there. They searched the word of God! They were listening to Paul and Silas, but they believed in God’s word!
Besides, people who say they believe the teachings of HWA are lying anyhow. Some of them, for example, belong to organizations that do not teach the church is the government of God and sanction birthday greetings.
Then, there are others that believe HWA started out OK but his later teachings were apostasy. Still, there are others who believe he learned and grew and hold to his later teachings which contradicted his earlier teachings. So, which teachings and when?
You see the problem with setting a man as the standard? God’s word is the standard, not a man!
You can do the wrong thing for the right reason, and there is a possibility that God in His mercy will forgive the act. You can also do the right thing for the wrong reason, and God knows your heart. Which is worse? We cannot pin our salvation upon a man, dead or alive, or even the teachings of a church organization. If we are to be trusted with carrying out God’s commands with power and might, we had better be working from an intimate knowledge of God’s word and not the teachings of men.
Traditions can be good if they are grounded on truth and the word. However, if they are not, then they are simply sacred cows, and they need to be slaughtered.
It is high time to stop hallucinating. It is time to follow God’s word with clarity of heart and mind.