This is a reply I received to yesterday’s post.
“While I agree that the ‘once saved always saved’ theology does not take into account freewill, I also see John saying that he was writing so that believers could know that they are saved. That said, I get annoyed when I see Leviticus 19 quoted as a command to not have tattoos. Why is it we get to pick and choose which commands in that chapter apply to contemporary society? Do you wear clothing that is mixed? Do you know of anyone in Industrial nations who pay their workers daily instead of paying the wages earned out that day? How about the inference that concubines are okay? Or just scales for that matter? Where do we go to determine fair value of goods in relation to the dollar when the dollar itself no longer has backing other than what public opinion sees its value as? The tattoo reference was so that Israel did not mark their bodies as the pagans around them did to worship their pagan Gods. It is the only place in scripture where it is written. Outside of that Jesus will have tattoos on His thighs at His return, right?
“And lastly, yes, there are tons of laws, rules, precepts and commands. Jesus addressed this with the Pharisees multiple times. Obey, but obey because you are in love with God in such a way that you desire to honor Him through doing His commamds. Paul encouraged believers not to be a stumbling block to one another as we work out pur own salvation with fear and trembling. Paul at meat that was sacrificed to idols, or at the least he thought it was okay. It was a direct violation of the laws you desire to be followed. But he goes on to say that he refrains from doing so when it would cause a weaker believer to stumble in their faith.
“Love is the answer, not legalistic obedience. If you are convicted about driving the speed limit then drive the sleed limit. But give Grace to others as they work out their own salvation. Tell them about Paul’s rationale in obeying government authority but don’t try to be the Holy Spirit for them. Peter was faithful in preaching the message but he also fell back on the laws and Paul called Him out for it. But still, preach and give grace as we all are depraved and worthy of death, whether we obey the speed limit or not.”
I feel it is important to make this rebuttal in a more visible manner due to its import upon the topic at hand. I will go through the response this brother in Christ gave to yesterday’s post one point at a time.
I will start with your being upset due to the Leviticus view of tattoos.
You actually answer your own argument. It is a way of separation from the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). As I stated, there are those that feel through their tattoos they are venerating their faith and belief in God. However, most that tattoo their bodies do not follow this and furthermost of these get it done as a sign of rebellion. But what is it they are rebelling against? Could it be this?
Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
My own personal view upon tattoos comes from a different source. I know that I am a teacher as is governed by Ephesians 4. However I know that I also fall within the purview of Acts 2:17:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
I am a dreamer. Thus my name dreamwalker1960.
Now why I mention this:
In a dream I had in the late 1980’s it showed those that were of the lukewarm before the Rapture, but it is a dream set within a post-Rapture timeframe. These lukewarm were all dressed in grey jumpsuits. Chained together like a chain gang. They were being moved in a single file line toward the back of a now ransacked and empty store. You could tell this by the empty and battered shelves and the tattered advertising hanging from the ceiling.
Those forcing the chained people to the rear of the store all had one thing in common. They were all tattooed. This included a twelve your old boy who came running into the area carrying the severed head of a woman by her messed up blonde hair. All those that were covered in the artwork upon their bodies cheered and celebrated.
So to me personally, especially now some thirty years after this dream took place. Seeing tattoos on a massive increase within the population. Mainly due to not knowing God or the teachings within the Bible. I find this increase a sign of the coming Tribulation.
Back to the point that was made of separation between Israel and the pagan nations about them. As I pointed out in Romans we are told to separate ourselves from the world as well.
Matthew 5:14 – Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Is not good works following the teachings of the Bible? The answer is yes.
Part of this separation is by honoring and following, when not superseded by the teachings within the New Testament, those commandments within the Old Testament, as we are instructed to by Jesus Christ.
I have found that if something is not addressed by Jesus or the apostles in their letters it should be adhered too if it is within reason. Tattoos are not directly mentioned in the New Testament, but does fall within what is required of us within Romans 12 and so should be maintained as a sign of separation.
This works into the question that was asked of what applies to contemporary society. This is why reading and coming to understanding the Bible is vital. Especially in this day and age with the onslaught to destroy Christianity and the teachings of the Bible. A sign of which is shown by the increasing popularity of tattooing.
Now does it mention the requirement for clothing in the New Testament? In a way it does:
Matthew 6: 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
We are to live our lives in moderation. For God will provide our needs. Does this mean we are not to work? No it does not. We are not to waste money upon that which we simply need to cover our nakedness. Seeking after luxuries be they clothing, transportation or even our housing is against Biblical teachings both in the Old and New Testaments.
As to wages. We are required to work within Ephesians 6:5-9. The master being our employer, we the slaves. It is due to government regulations which we are to follow under Titus 3:1 and Romans 13:1-5. These regulations state that we are to be paid weekly, bi-weekly and even monthly.
Concubines is covered in the New Testament that a man take only one wife.
As to the fair value of goods. At this time most nations have regulations on how goods are priced. More and more items are being regulated by the government and so a true fair value cannot be seen due to government’s intrusion into the free market. So simply to say a true fair market society for the most part is non-existent.
Obeying the commandments I agree is an act of love toward God. Thus an act of free-will and a coming to understand those that help to separate us from the world. Thus heading us towards a true reflection of Jesus Christ is a major factor of this love. As I stated, God’s love is eternal. However, as exemplified by Hosea, humanities love is fickle and requires renewing and refreshing in various areas and at various times. This is why we are instructed this in 2 Timothy:
4:1 – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Now it is implied that I am a “stumbling block.” If this is not the case, sorry for misreading. However, here is how I perceive what a stumbling block is.
It is not those that point out the sin and then show you why it is a sin. Then suggest you change your ways. Thus making you become a better reflection of Christ, which is as I see my ministry to be following, and verified by the verses directly above, which you are implying is me acting as “the Holy Spirit.” This is the furthest thing from the truth as is shown above, and is required for all Christians to help their brethren grow.
A stumbling block is when people say “sure go get a tattoo,” which is a conformity to the world. It is when you do not acknowledge that God established a nation’s government and they would prefer to speed about, breaking the speed limit, and if you are not speeding as they do. They come behind you, tailgating you and flashing their lights at you as if you are doing something wrong. Trying to force you to conform to their behavior.
Faith alone, which is love alone is dead. It is an equal balance of both faith and works (James 2:14-26). Works not being legalism, but following the teachings of Jesus Christ which also includes following the commandments. Mistaking following the commandments as legalism is one of the major flaws in today’s society. Works alone without the love for God, which is legalism is dead as well.
As to obeying or choosing not to obey the speed limit, shows your desire through your love toward God as to how you see His Son and the teachings of the Bible. So disobeying the speed limits is clearly stated as disobeying God and thus bears no fruit for God and in time may lead to being removed from the vine that is Jesus Christ, and thus cast into the fire. Obeying the speed limit is one of the easiest way to show your love for God, and serves as a training tool to help you grow in other works through love for Jesus Christ.
So it is up to you how you wish to live your life. Seeking after your own reward and satisfaction within this temporal plain of existence we live within. Seeking after wealth, and luxuries and only seeking to please your own desires. Or do you seek to follow the Bible. Placing God at the center of your life thus following the speed limit and not getting tattoos.
It is up to you how you wish to live out your eternal life that is yet to come. For this life we now live is how our placement in that eternal life is to be determined. By doing works, which are the commandments and teachings within the Bible and doing so out of love for our Savior and His Father we honor and give praise to God in all His glory. This will head us toward an eternal life of joy in the service of God. The other route of seeking only to please yourself, of only thinking God loves you no matter how you live, or outright rejecting God will lead to eternal damnation.
Our goal as Christians is to reflect Jesus Christ not ourselves and is only accomplished through equal portions of faith and works.