Friday, June 25, 2010

Blasphemy, or Speaking Against God

Jude 1:14-16 (ESV)
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, [15] to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him." [16] These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
“These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.” Following their own sinful desires. Men are so keen here to supply their own definitions of sinful desires. We think in fleshly terms mistaken with the idea that we wrestle against flesh and blood. Oh there are plenty of fleshly sins that consume our desires. But our sinful desires reach far beyond to more heinous things than murder, adultery, drunkenness and other sins of the flesh. At the very bottom, our most sinful desire is to be our own god, to answer to no one, and to control others as if we were god. This ultimate of sinful desires inborn in all of us, the first temptation that caused Eve to sin, this one is what wakes our desire to commit sins of the flesh. But there is another way, a more heinous way, a way that looks pious but leads to hell just the same. It is to use god’s law to make yourself a god. To actually believe you follow it, when in actuality you ignore it. It is to pick and choose and say that this is more important than that. Inevitably we find those of the second table to be better than those of the first. But then when we find these impossible to uphold we think nothing of replacing God’s law with our own. And this too is blasphemy.
I was thinking about this the other day. Drunkenness is bad and is not to be promoted. To be a drunkard is to abuse a gift of God, same as it is to be an adulterer. It is not sex that is bad but the abuse of it. It is not wine, beer, or liquor that is bad but the abuse of it. God praises wine, but pastors are often censured for doing the same. Sex and sexuality become such a taboo subject that a pastor is hard pressed to talk about it in any way shape or form without others censuring him, or questioning whether or not he is some sort of neurotic. And so man feels free to abuse God’s law, by seeming to make it more stringent, and yet what they do is only to focus here, to hide what they do there. And no, God does not allow this behavior. His law is his law, not to be added to or taken away, and it is an extremely narrow path to follow. And exceedingly narrow path to follow. But you are not at liberty to call wine “the Devil’s drink.” You may abstain if you like, but you may not forbid others, or blaspheme that which is a gift of God. You may not. It is not for you to blush at the harsh language, and the graphic descriptions he uses to describe and condemn sins of the flesh. Nor to censure your pastor for using the same. It is not for you to condone this sin, and then condemn that which is not a sin. This is to set yourself up as god, or society as god, even though appearances would have the world to think you very pious for not smoking, which may in fact be a healthy thing, but it is not God’s law. So don’t pretend it is. Such actions may gain you favor and advantage in this world, but it is blasphemy nonetheless.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Knocked out of the park, out of the city, out of the county and out of the State.