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The Day of Danger

Next to experience, repetition is one of the best modes of teaching. Perhaps, Moses was painfully aware of the human condition, so focused on the present that lessons of the past are forgotten. The Book of Deuteronomy simply means second law, serving as a constant reminder of God’s expectations. From the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-26 to the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12, if important principles aren’t brushed up on, you won’t be prepared for the day of danger that will rock your world.

For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place], Ephesians 6:12-13.

The context of this expression is found in what Bible scholars refers to the armor of God. As tension within the spiritual dimension builds, powers of darkness are lurking, waiting and eager to pounce upon weakened and lonely Christians, 1 Peter 5:8. This invisible danger seeks to steal spiritual truths within young and vulnerable hearts. Meanwhile, trials and tragedy are just a few of the weapons used to steal dreams and poison souls. If you think you’re exempt from the day of danger, just listen to the words of King Solomon below.

A prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering], Proverbs 22:3.

What’s odd about this passage is that five chapters later in Proverbs 27:12, Solomon chooses the exact same words. As one of the wisest human beings to walk the face of the earth, there must be a specific reason. Perhaps, one of his son’s was forgetful or had a short attention span. As Jesus often said, “you have ears, but do not hear.” When the timing isn’t right, crucial lessons fly by, out of sight, out of mind. Yet, when the timing is right and hearts embraces these spiritual morsels like a sponge, Christians are prepared when your day of danger arrives.

by Jay Mankus

O.C.D. in Religion

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a modern term to describe those who feel the need to anally repeat things over and over.  Activities can include locking doors, washing hands and thorough routines similar to a superstition.  This repetition serves as a method to ease anxious tensions.  Unfortunately, most individuals don’t rest until several minutes have past with some wasting an hour of their day displaying the same pattern of behavior.

The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles, Mark 7:3-4.

After reading through the gospels, Pharisees, religious leaders and teachers of the law in Jesus’ day appear to portray O.C.D. like tendencies.  Oblivious to their condition, Jesus brings this to their attention in Mark 7:6-9.  Somewhere along the way, these respected individuals began to over-emphasize human traditions by de-emphasizing God’s commands.  In the process, faith became legalistic, following a set of rules rather than purifying their hearts before a God full of grace.

Jesus replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ’These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, ” Mark 7:6.

Not much has changed since AD 30 as a segment of Christian churches are more concerned about being a watch dog than converting hearts and minds to follow Christ, Romans 10:9-10.  Using their places of worship like a bully pulpit, sermons are forcefully preached to control their congregations, trying to maintain power as well as squash those with contrary views.  Unfortunately, theology can be divisive, leading some pastors to follow in the same footsteps of the Pharisees.  May those who struggle with religious OCD, see the error of their way, come to the light and be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

 

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