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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Christmas trees in Jeremiahs days.

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ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Dear Heartsong,


"How can it be that my words would "place guilt" in the conscience of others?

From what I have experienced, there are two influences - good and evil. If I have my eyes on the Lord, and am abiding in Him, what others say is of very little consequence regarding the things that I do, or do not do."



I understand that this may be your experience, but you are in a public forum interacting with people both seen and unseen.


Please Heartsong, let me, as gently as I can, urge you to consider what you are saying here and how it might affect the consciences of others, and to consider some of the warnings in the scriptures in regards to how we are to treat our judgments of others in matters that may not be clear or easily agreed upon.

For instance, in some matters, where we may have liberty of conscience to do or to not do something, we are not to make judgments about others(Romans 14:1-10 for example).



In the same way, I realise that you may be very uncomfortable with the idea of Christmas trees and I do not want to pursuade you otherwise. Only I think that you in turn should be very carefull in making a declaration that the same Christmas trees are idols to the believers here, if they have them in their houses.


This is a condemnation of sin upon them, and yes I think it could bear upon their conscience(Mat 7:1-2).



Please consider these things,


Thankyou,

Chris



[i]edited to correct errors in spelling[/i]


_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/12/27 0:02Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Hi again everyone,


I want to respond to this directly for the sake of the discussion here:


Quote:
How can it be that my words would "place guilt" in the conscience of others?





I think that we can do this by deciding for others that something is sin, if it is not.

I think that this is what Paul warns against in Col 2:16.

According to Strong's the word [i]judge[/i] there means


G2919
κρίνω
krinō
kree'-no
Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: - avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.


_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/12/27 0:30Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3156


 Re:

Chris,

Thank you for your patience with me - but I am still not getting it. How can I be judging you if I don't even know whether or not you have a tree? As for my feelings about Christmas trees, personally I don't care one way or the other whether or not someone has one - I am not even uncomfortable being around them. However, what is of great concern to me, is that the Lord would not have me to have one - and I would assume that there is a reason.

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." - 1 John 3:18-21

Please pray for me in this matter, as I would not want to do anything that would harm any of His children.

 2008/12/27 1:12Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3156


 Re:

Quote:
I think that we can do this by deciding for others that something is sin, if it is not.

I think that this is what Paul warns against in Col 2:16.


Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: - Colossians 2:16


This does not say do not judge. It says do not be judged.

 2008/12/27 1:19Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7452
Mississippi

 Re:

I used to be perplexed by the commandment "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of anything that is in heaven above or in the earth beneath..." This really came home to me one day when I was playing with my children, modelling faces out of play-doh because I was trying hard to form a human head with my clump of play-doh.

Then I looked at the OT scriptures some more, especially the historical part. History teaches us how people regarded God's statues, their responses and God's.

Soon after the ten commandments were given, God also gave them specific instructions, very detailed, on how to build the tabernacle. They were told to make pomegranates, flowers etc out of beaten gold; cherubims graced the top of the mercy seat...So it appears God was contradicting himself by telling them don't do it and then in the same breath telling them how to pretty up his tabernacle by making figures resembling things found in nature! Jehovah just does not operate that way, at least not according to my understanding of the Word.

So, what does the commandment mean? Then I noticed this in Exodus 20:5: "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God.." ah, so this must be the clue: fall down and worship and image you have made. Well! now this concept becomes far more encompassing then the mere construction of an idol: it can very well mean any work that I adore above God. hhhmmmm.

My grandfather, who was raised Amish, had strong aversions to having his picture taken...When I got a camera as a gift at 13 I took candid pictures of him on the sly and later I found out it really upset him because he felt like this was a violation of this second commandment. I loved my grandfather and in respect to him, I no longer took his picture...but his wife loved pictures of their grandchildren... Anyhow, this experience taught me to respect those who have a conscience against something I do not. It is of far more importance to respect these consciences lest we set before them a stumbling block.

Anyhow, this has been the story of my pilgrimage during this maze of understanding what the Scripture sayeth on this issue.

Blessings,

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2008/12/27 8:20Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7452
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
Where will it end? If you allow bitterness to grasp you, it will eat away like a canker. Yes, I said bitterness. The most lethal cankers are those that expand in the realm of spirit, cloaked by an auora of "godliness" and "sanctification" by those whose consciences are offended by certain objects they deem as pagan. In most cases, however, the consciences of these believers are surprisingly accomodating and malleable when the issue of jeopardizing their own personal comfort and convenience comes into play.

What happens is, in their irrepressible quest to be holy and separate from pagandom, they surface-scan the scriptures and tediously pick apart the etymology of each and every event in life that others might find enjoyment in. If they find any trace of an element that doesnt conform to their preconceived ideal of how Christianity should operate, the whole shebang is automatically labelled anathema and discarded. Deep down, however, these "anathema hunters" are full of unrest, critique and disdain. It is a paradox; you would think God would verify their zealous disassociations and pagan insights, but, for the most part, the Lord does not infer His fragrance upon their critiques. I think He does not touch them, because He knows the root from which they bloom. The more dry, the more parched the dirt, the less likely a frangrant flower will take root. Instead, we see wildflowers, crab grass, ragwed and cactus. I propose that much of the sharpshooting and pagan allegations we see this time of the year (and in general) are nothing more than wildflowers. They look pretty from a distance - brilliant colors - but have no aroma of sweetness. They smell like dirt up close. And a factor that contribues to their resplendency it the fact that they all bunch togeter in one patch.



Paul, this is profound...perhaps you need to post whis where it can easiy be found?

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2008/12/27 8:26Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: deciding for ourselves and for others

Hi Heartsong,


Thank you for taking the time to respond also.


"How can I be judging you if I don't even know whether or not you have a tree?"


I understand, but calling the trees [b]idols[/b] implies that those who have them are idolators, or at least that they have something [b]sinful[/b] in their homes. Even if we do not say that to them directly.


I think that statements like that(the trees are idols), if taken to heart by those that read them, can lead them to feel as though they have to make a choice about the trees in order to have a clear conscience before God. That may be good, but it could also be bad if they have a sense of guilt about something that God is not holding against them.



Also, about the passage in Colossians,


"This does not say do not judge. It says do not be judged."


Right, but does that mean the Apostle approved of those that were judging them in what they ate or drank or the days they observed? I don't think it does. In the same sort of context, that is, about similar issues, he writes to those in Rome:

[i]Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?[/i]


and


[i] But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother?[/i]




I think that these passages show us that there are things which should be left up to the individual to decide before God as to whether or not it is right or wrong.


And so for us, we should consider if what we say could be in effect, deciding for them, if they believe what we say is true.




I don't know if this has been helpful to be clearer; I hope so and I appologise if it is not.



Chris


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/12/27 10:18Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3156


 Re:

Quote:
I understand, but calling the trees idols implies that those who have them are idolators, or at least that they have something sinful in their homes. Even if we do not say that to them directly.

I think that statements like that(the trees are idols), if taken to heart by those that read them, can lead them to feel as though they have to make a choice about the trees in order to have a clear conscience before God. That may be good, but it could also be bad if they have a sense of guilt about something that God is not holding against them.


But anything can be an idol. And anything can be sinful.
And anything someone says can be considered as being judgmental.

It is the direction of the heart that determines the matter.

 2008/12/27 10:35Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Quote:
But anything can be an idol. And anything can be sinful. And anything someone says can be considered as being judgmental.





Yes, and calling them [b]idols[/b] takes the guessing out of it. Doesn't it.


Especially in a forum about that very thing.



_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/12/27 10:40Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3156


 Re:

If your heart is clear on the matter, it should not be a problem.

Is your heart clear on the matter? Have you asked the Lord to show you how He feels in the matter? Have you listened for His reply? Would you be willing to turn away if that is what He required?

 2008/12/27 10:46Profile





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