Monday, November 4, 2013

What Do We Base our Faith On?

Last week, a prominent gentleman in the homeschool community & avid proponent of strong Christian families stepped down from his position with his company, and canceled his future speaking engagements.  He has been convicted of the sin in his own life that is contrary to what he is preaching, teaching, encouraging others to be strong in.  My heart is saddened by his admission & what he said about the circumstances ~ I will be praying for his wife, family, and others this directly affects.

With that being said, what is even more disheartening is reading the comments about him.  Many aren't even about the situation but more attacks on his beliefs, his teachings, the homeschool community, stay at home moms, etc.  Several blogs have cut off their comments sections because of the viciousness of the attacks and erased nasty comments.

And that brings me to my title "What do we base our faith on" or "in"?  Do we base our homeschooling faith and encouragement on a person?  Do we base our methods of teaching our children on someone's exact model of what they do, how they do it, and when they do it?  If so, we aren't doing our families justice ~ we are just copying.  What about our homemaking?  Do we follow exactly what our mothers, grandmothers, or neighbors do ~ or do we do what works best for us?  Getting tips, pointers, advice, etc. is great ~ it doesn't mean you have to do everything but instead folks are sharing what works or has worked for them.  It helps to be polite, listen, ask questions, then implement what will work in your own household.  I could say with both of these examples, that women that have homeschooled many years & been keepers at home many years will be able to guide you much more effectively than someone who has no children or works outside the home will ~ its what they know!

What about at church?  Do we worship the God of the Bible or the God of our own imagination?  Do we follow what the Bible says about how we should live, what we should avoid, how to deal with temptations, how to daily follow Him?  Or do we base our lives on what someone says about the scriptures without seeking out the truth ourselves.  Believers can read the Lords words in the Bible and discern His will for their lives ~ this takes time, effort, truly seeking His will, prayer, study, etc.  And oftentimes the Lord reveals something in our lives that for us is a sin.  But it may not be a sin in others lives ~ this is difficult from both sides in understanding, obedience, attitude, etc.  Paul wrote on this in teaching about freedom.  However, freedom exercised that causes a brother to sin, could be sin for the more mature believer.  We have to work it out for our own families. 

My life style decisions on the freedoms in Christ are not done as an effort to win brownie points or earn my salvation.  Christ paid for my sins/short comings/failures by His sacrifice on the cross.   Our decisions are based on searching the scriptures, listening to sermons by different pastors, family discussions, my husbands counsel, and not made hastily but over a period of time (sometimes months).  In our family, on some of these points, others may view us as "legalistic." We do not.  We are free in Christ to say no to the standardized living of the world ~ or in common words, this is how we live and it works for our family.

The gentleman in question is still a human, still subject to temptations from Satan, and must answer to the Lord, his family, his church elders and others for his actions.  Just like the rest of us.  For the believing, the Lords grace covers his sins.  His embarrassment is very public because he was open and honest about it.  It could happen to any of us.

Romans 3: 22-26

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all believe.  There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed before had unpunished ~ He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 6:6

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.

Romans 7:6

But now by dying to what once bound us, we have ben released from the law so that we serve the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Romans 12:3

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus paid the price for our sins (His children, believers, those whom he draws to Himself), that we shouldn't be slaves to sin, that we are to live by His grace & mercy & not all the Old Testament laws, and we shouldn't think too highly of ourselves ~ pride & arrogance should have no place in our lives.  And finally ~

Romans 16:17-18

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned  keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of na├»ve people. 

There are, unfortunately, folks who will set out to deceive you (wolves in sheep's clothing) ~ whether purposefully or through their own ignorance.  This is where you have to discern what the Bible actually says ~ read the text in context, know if it relates to a certain people group or to everyone, is it interpreted correctly or is it the speakers opinion or preference? 

(Scriptures quoted are from the NIV Bible version.  They are from Pauls letter to the Romans.  In the book of Romans he summarizes what he has been teaching about sin, Christ, and the way of salvation.)

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Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.