2014~ FOLLOW PEACE WITH ALL MEN- An Important Perspective

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good wil toward men."  (Luke  2:14)
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

FOLLOW PEACE WITH ALL MEN

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”      (Heb 12:14)

Can you bake a wedding cake,  sell a wedding bouquet to a gay couple or video tape their wedding?

Legalizing same sex marriage is just that, legalizing it.  It does not mean that it has to meet your approval, nor does it mean that you must find same sex marriage acceptable.  For those who are in a homosexual relationship that is now legal, it does not mean that they will now be recognized as practicing an approved or acceptable behavior.  While some are naively blind or don’t want to think of non-acceptance for what has been now declared legal, their deep moral conscience has only been masked and rationalized since the once immoral and unacceptable behavior has received public recognition upon its legalization in many states in America.

All that said, I come to my main point. Each person has his own self will and has to make his own choices.  We are responsible for our own choices and each person will have to stand before God one day to give account for how he lived his own life, the choices he made and how he treated his fellow man.  Will our testimony be one of living a life of faith in God and loving our neighbor as ourself?  Will it be one of reaching out to others with Christ’s love, or will it reflect a life of self righteousness, religious pride and good works?

How can we Christians be the light of the world and salt of the earth? What will you do with this scripture:

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”  (Heb 12:14)

“Follow peace with all men”

All business owners who serve the public should serve ALL paying customers.  Simple as that.  If not, they are unfairly discriminating and creating situations of ill will and preferential treatment of certain paying customers over others who pay with the same kind of money.

Since when do our transactions and relationships depend on mutual beliefs, philosophies and life styles?  Many  Christians today are being scorned as ‘queers’, bigots, irrational and judgmental, poor testimonies of the gospel of Christ’ love that they are supposed to spread in all the world, beginning in their own communities.

Some Christian business owners are being challenged today to provide their services to homosexuals, which they refuse to do so based on their religious beliefs.  Many will end up in costly legal battles and ultimately close their businesses.  This need not be!  The Bible says to “Follow  peace with ALL men…”  It does not say that you must a first agree to their belief system or life style.  If Jesus thought that way about us, none of us would have been found acceptable!  We are all sinners saved by the grace of God.

When I meditated on this scripture, I saw that ‘Holiness‘ was mentioned AFTER “Follow peace”.  The case in point is that there is a lesson in this scripture that we must be a peace-loving people, first of all.  Yes,we need to work on HOLINESS which is a personal heart and attitude matter between us and God.  And the Bible teaches us to LOVE GOD AND OTHERS- the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is an evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives; Jesus in us that draws men unto God.  There is nothing, no thing, good in and of ourselves that places us above anyone else.  It was God’s great love and mercy toward us that He sent Jesus to rescue us from our sinful lives, and nothing we did to deserve God’s grace.   Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”  and in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Then the last part of Hebrews 12:14 says this:  “no man shall see God.”  It means what it states, 1) Follow Peace, 2) and Holiness (next),  3) without which (BOTH of these essentials-  Peace and Holiness) “no man shall see God”.  If we are not a peaceable people, we will likely not attain holiness, and we stand to lose out on the blessings and rewards God has in store for us.

In conclusion, we should try to interact and do business with everyone, without discrimination and prejudice.  Let’s not speak out of two sides of our mouth and be hypocrites.  After all, our laundry may be done by idolaters and we and they have no problem with that; we pick up fast foods and go out to fine dining restaurants and our food is prepared by atheists, non-believers, or even those who practice spiritism, ancestor worship, meditation and mysticism, and no one is stopping us from enjoying our meals. Walk into some of these places and we may see altars to their gods where they may even have incense and candles burning.  We may do our banking and pass by pillars with dragons that adorn the entrance, etc.  Think of all the people we patronize, where we do our business. Do they all think like you or me?  Not likely!

And did you know that a lot of our favorite foods, the bulk of packaged oriental goods and frozen vegetables and fish are grown and processed by non-Christians in Asia?  Are we ready to change our diet?  I don’t think so. We all need each other, irregardless of our beliefs and life styles.  I hope in 2014 we will be a kinder people to one another and God’s name will be glorified in us.  It was at the birth of Jesus that the angels praised God saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth , PEACE AND GOOD WILL toward all men.”  (Luke 2:14)

HAPPY NEW YEAR- 2014!

GOD BLESS YOU ALL !

 

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About Shofar/Liz

I have a Christian blogsite-'God's Enduring Love' at https://heulu.wordpress.com with 'Words of Encouragement from the Bible and Liz's Journal'. Also, an art blogsite-'Art with Aloha' at http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com 'A Journal About Art and Life. I use acrylic and oil paints, graphite pencils and pen and ink.

Posted on December 29, 2013, in Enduring Love, Hearing From God And His Word and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi liz

    Yes, a worthy consideration, but there is a component that could be added. For ‘conscience’ sake, a believer may not find it tolerable to ‘bake the cake,’ for instance, he could be weak in the faith, or even strong in the faith, but liberty is a christian grace that gives him/her large latitudes.

    ‘To him who thinks it sin,’ etc, so he may think he is sinning if he ‘dresses the icing.’ This is a matter of personal preference, and it would be a hard rule to make for everyone. Your points re. the unbeliever in all walks of life conducting business is strong and valid, but I still would be slow to put all the eggs in one basket.

    Remember the strife over ‘days,’ some fight about the yes/no of celebrating Christmas. Again, liberty here. One is neither better for celebrating, or worse for avoiding. A person may have been a previous same sex disciple, and it may possibly be too hard to ‘support’ the event so to speak.

    This is a charged topic, but the one thing you lit on re. cake (in the news) is an example where ‘not all have knowledge,’ so I would slow to come down on someone for their stand.

    Another scripture reads, ‘as much as its possible…be at peace with all men.’ For some, it’s not possible. But you are right, it’s more of a legal issue which brings plenty of baggage too.

    All the best.

  2. Very provocative post!

    Re for conscience sake. Ga3:27 states we should ‘put on Christ’. Then 2Co5:17 tells ‘..if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new’. The Bible sets the standard on how we should think & behave. So our thinking & behavior, & thus our conscience are molded by the Word of God.

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