Tuesday, May 11, 2021

When the World Shuns Your Existence

Do you ever get confused over contradicting scriptures in the Bible?  We're told we are supposed to love one another just as we love God---it's the greatest commandment in the Bible. Then why do some scriptures contradict that? Or does it? 

Here are some things in the Bible which tells us to avoid certain people. 
Bad influences (1 Corinthians 15:33). "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" 

False teachers (2 John 1:10). "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them." 
(Then what about this scripture? “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"--Matthew 22:36-40) 

Professing Christians with sinful lifestyles (1 Corinthians 5:11). "You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler." 
(In Matthew 7 it clearly says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?")

Divisive people (Titus 3:10-11). "If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them...." 
(But then there is this scripture: Matthew 18:21, 22. "Then Peter came up and said to him, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.'")

We shouldn't avoid unbelievers (1 Corinthians 5:9-11), but neither should we partner with them (2 Corinthians 6:14). "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 
(I honestly haven't found a scripture that contradicts this one. It's pretty consistent with its message. I can try to use "judge not" or "love your neighbor" all day long, but what do you interpret this to mean?)

All my life, I've been friends with different people of various faiths. Not one ever tried converting me over to their religion and vise/versa. We respected one another's faiths and shared genuine friendships. I think people get frustrated with the Bible's messages, and their stories behind it. Oftentimes, the Bible speaks about the "church" itself, and to not associate with this one or that one, and to not judge one another, unless of course, they're "drunks who are promiscuous and reckless." Then wouldn't people want to help them if they're alcoholics? Shouldn't we love the person and not their "sin?" This is where it gets muddled for me. Aren't we all sinners? 

Current times we are facing a huge dilemma in our faith in Christianity. Many Christians and Evangelicals are adamant about their stance over the vaccine containing the name and number of the beast. And while I understand that in previous times, we have had this sort of issue too, between bar codes, the amount of letters in Reagan's name, or the numbers associated with our credit cards. But none really had the name and beast together and---consistently. I'm always skeptical when it comes to proof of the end times, and especially if someone is afraid that they're going to be receiving the name and number of the beast. But I have to say, nothing that has stirred me up so strongly this time. 

So then, if I believe the "V" is the name and number of the beast, then should I avoid all who have had the "V"? Should I see them as rejecting God? Or should I just keep doing what I've been doing all along, like being friends with anyone of any faith? 

See, it's not that I'm afraid of side effects or getting some sort of flu-like illness for 3-5 days---I'm afraid of literally losing my connection with God---to lose my own soul. For me, that's a deal breaker. To mock my belief, and to say that it's irrational, is unfair. It's like telling someone who's Muslim, "Here, eat some of this pork roast." Granted, they'd probably be forgiven, but taking the name and the number---there is no coming back from it. Once you receive it, in my faith, you've lost your soul. This is what I believe for myself. I hope I'm wrong. 

"It's selfish of you to not take the vaccine!"

Is it? Is it selfish of me to be faithful to God? Is it selfish of me to risk losing some of the freedoms they are planning to take away from me? Is it selfish of me to be segregated at a ballgame or to not be welcomed in someone's private business? Is it selfish for children to risk their scholarships and not go to college because of their beliefs? Or, is it selfish to gain the world, and lose eternity instead? Maybe we can even drop the word "selfish" and call it, "self-preservation" or "self-awareness" or "self-sacrificing?" 

I will go where I am welcomed. I will respect those who wish I'd keep my distance. That's okay. I know where my real home is, and that alone is worth more than a million dollars to me. For those who shun me, keep your world. You belong to the world. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at DebsCucina.com for some of her famous recipes!

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