(God said) "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9
When a person looks at the pattern of the Savior's life, a number of consistencies seem to show up with regularity. Consider these for example:
• Jesus was forgiving of sinners who came to Him with a repentant heart.
• He was willing to listen and answer those who asked Him an honest question.
• He offered encouragement to those who were downtrodden, alone, and cast off by society.
On the other hand, the Lord had no use for those people, (primarily and principally, the Pharisees) who made up rules and pretended their rules had come from God, or were as good as God's.
All of this recently made me wonder, what is the Lord's reaction to the acting prayer leader of Tehran who said, "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes"? (Understand that in the last decade tens of thousands of people have died in earthquakes in Iran.)
Evidently, it is the cleric's feeling these earthquakes are directly caused by women who are dressing improperly and immodestly. He believes when Allah gets upset he rocks the country and kills people.
You should excuse me for saying so, but that's a pretty earth-shaking leap of faith. It seems like the cleric is making things up as he goes along. It seems as if he's putting words into his god's mouth so he can have some kind of support for his really strange opinions.
That kind of thing should never happen in the Christian Church. For example, we know God wants His people to behave properly and modestly. We also know the Lord has punished nations for ongoing disobedience. But we can't say the Lord is going to send an earthquake to California because some people wear swimsuits when they're surfing.
Christian preachers and people shouldn't make it up as they go along.
Our messages need to be based on the Word of God. In the pages of Holy Writ we are given the Father's plan of salvation which sacrificed His Son to save our sinful souls. There we are told of Jesus' life, His suffering, His sacrifice, and His slaughter on Calvary's cross. And we are also told about His third-day resurrection which shows to all the success of His mission.
Nothing made up there. It's just God's unvarnished truth which saves -- God's truth which comes from Him directly to you.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us listen to You and not the made-up commandments of men. Bring enlightenment and faith to those souls who are following the words of liars and frauds. Open their eyes so they may see the Savior, His sacrifice, and His victory which saves. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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