James, pastor of the first century Jerusalem Church writes, “to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin,” (James 4:17, NKJV). While the context involves doing the good of properly respecting the reign of God over our lives in considering any plans for a tomorrow (vs.13-16), the spiritual truth James declares can and does also more broadly apply to all similar evil instances including partial obedience by professing Christians. The repost of my 2013 blog series on obedience continues today with part one of a blog exploring the sin of partial obedience to God.
Originally Posted August 4, 2013
Equally sinful as selective obedience in the eyes of God is partial obedience. Anyone that has parented children is well acquainted with the less than full compliance with a command or instruction given they can serve up out of willful disobedience. While today’s humanistic parenting requires giving children fully reasoned back stories for commands or instructions accompanied by insistent pleading, God the Father and perfect Parent is hardly seen in the Bible at all providing any explanations for His.
In fact, the Lord Jesus ties the faith that pleases Heaven directly to a willingness to receive and carry out divine commands and instructions in obedience without question when He commends the Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5-13). Rather than hearts devoted in love to pleasing God the Father and Jesus as Lord in obedience to the Word, many 21st century Christians and leaders behave as children willfully seeing just how little they can obey and get away with; foolishly testing the limits of divine longsuffering and patience.
In The Strong Man Of God, I write about the partial obedience of pastors in the churches they serve that for the sake of placating feminists and their sympathizers have sought to go as far as they can in putting women into men’s roles and responsibilities not only in worship, but throughout the church’s programming. I spent a brief time among them until the Lord showed me I was in sin and called me to repentance (get more details in the book). What does the Word directly and without equivocation say?
The truly anointed apostle to us Gentiles, Paul, wrote: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression,” (1 Timothy 2:11-14, NKJV). The instructions of the great apostle to his son in the ministry, Timothy, and to us are given to uphold the divine instituted mortal, human order for this age which was expressly affirmed by God to Eve in Eden (Genesis 3:16b).
God’s order of the home does not end at the church steps (which is supposedly His house) or into the larger community for that matter. Therefore, for any pastor to take it upon himself to change God’s express command to Eve and the women coming after her in these latter days is willful sin indeed. Even when a pastor as I once did puts the women at a different podium to speak to honor the divine will (so we think) because she is not technically preaching or teaching or barking out commands to the men at the pastor’s pulpit, it still violates the spirit of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation; it is a less than full hearted obedience to what we know God has commanded.
Many pastors attempt to justify their partial obedience by convincing themselves there are no men that can do what needs to be done. But that does not fly with God since you can do it yourself, go get and train the men you need or eliminate the chore--much of what we do in the churches is of manmade tradition in the flesh (this includes what passes for worship and the making of announcements) not divine will and we sin putting our stuff before His commandment (Mark 7:5-13)! There are, of course, some pastors that are unwilling to obey God’s Word as it is written because they believe it is wrong and unfair to women.
Obedience is a distinctive character trait of the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, “The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics” (view, like and share “The Strong Man Of God Book Trailer” now on God Tube). God is so serious about obedience, all disobedience is sin (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-11, 17-19)! Not even the Son of God got a pass on being obedient (Hebrews 5:8). Yet, many professing Christians are in rebellion against God’s Word and order as though He that is immutable has changed His mind about obedience. Over the next few weeks, I am re-posting a blog series that challenges such deceit and continues God’s call to repent in His house for the sake of restoring men and saving rebels that obey (Jude 20-23)!
Originally Posted July 28, 2013
I know well the pain of disobeying God not just long ago but this past week. Every day in some way I come short of God’s glory and miss the mark of His perfect righteousness and on some days willfully disobey a clear directive of His Word. I also understand very well the continuing struggle faithful believers have to resist being selective in our obedience to certain spiritual, moral and ethical demands of Scripture such as loving neighbors or forgiving our brothers when you don’t feel like doing so or it is culturally acceptable to ignore them (“nobody obeys that”). However, the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ has no option but “to press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” even after failure upon failure (Philippians 3:14, NKJV).
Indeed, it is our heartfelt resolve to please God and do His will (Colossians 1:9-12)! We are called to obey the whole Word of God as it concerns His commandments, spiritual, moral, and ethical imperatives as well as principles, precepts and exhortations. We cannot pick and choose what we will obey as it suits us. To be purposely selective in our obedience to God’s Word as so many have throughout Christian history, is to set ourselves up as superior judges of God passing judgment on His perfect righteousness.
The Lord Jesus rebuked Israel’s religious educated elite for practicing selective obedience and no one will convince me He at any time has given His followers a pass (Matthew 23:23). The apostles presented us the “whole counsel of God” in Christ and we are to honor it in our lives by obedience even stumbling and fumbling in sin weakness through the flesh as we go for He has provided help through the Holy Spirit and continuing forgiveness upon our proper confession in genuine repentance (Acts 20:26-27; Romans 8:1-4, 26-27; 1 John 1:5-9, NKJV).
Willful, selective obedience has stunted the spiritual growth of so many professing Christians as well as hurt their witness and the cause of Christ on earth from the first century until now. Truly, enabling societal racial double standards is among a long list of many permitted ungodly attitudes and behaviors that have been carried on with impunity by professing Christians in direct disobedience to the teaching of God’s Word. We try to pretend like all of this has really done no harm, but according to the apostle Paul speaking to proud and failed law keeping Jews, we are deceived (Romans 2:24).
As one case in point, over the past century we have had many pastors willfully and defiantly disobey God’s command through the apostle Paul concerning the role and conduct of our sisters when the church is before Him in the worship assembly. One falsely held reason for this is that these men act as owners of God’s house rather than the stewards like Moses in it they have only been called to be since God in Christ is the Builder/Owner (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 3:1-6)! And like Moses, pastors too as stewards are to be found faithful in their Master’s house obeying His commands without deviation (Luke 12:42-48; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
Paul teaches that our sisters are not to assert any form of leadership--preaching, speaking, teaching, leading worship etc.--in church assemblies out of reverence for God’s long standing command in the Garden of Eden that transcends the legal code given to Israel and was honored by Christ since there is no recorded instance in the Gospels where He put women in authority over men (Genesis 3:16b; Matthew 5:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 14:33-38).
No matter how they arrive at giving themselves permission to do it, pastors and churches that put women into the exclusive leadership roles and responsibilities of men in whatever other ways they are obedient, have selectively chosen to disobey the consistent instruction of the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation not to do so. And now, as a result of this disobedience, churches not only showcase women Scripture readers, worship leaders and preachers, but have graduated to allowing them to serve as pastors along with those that are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender! As I write in The Strong Man Of God, many churches are today so compromised as a result of this particular act of disobedience, they are also seen as an ally to the world in its all out rebellion against God and are proud of it.
To the women that truly love and would please God: do not follow after the way of selective obedience that is finally leading to severe judgment in His house (Isaiah 1:10-20; 1 Peter 4:17-18; Revelation 2:18-29). Also, do not let anyone lead you into disobedience whether it be a so-called apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, theologian, other teacher--no matter how credentialed, father or husband (Matthew 10:34-39; John 12:26, 14:15, 15:9-11). To the pastors and all professing Christians that willfully practice selectively obeying God’s Word: repent! For neither God nor His Word changes nor did He suddenly in the 20th century begin to look favorably upon disobedience (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).
Also, selective obedience is not the mind nor does it in any way honor the example of Christ who was “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross,” (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV). Do not be deceived. The Lord does not treat our sins as they deserve, but is longsuffering and patient with us (Psalm 103:10; Romans 2:4). Finally, however, if we will not repent, He will deal with us as our Lord Jesus declares in Revelation 2:21-23. I know these truths personally, intimately and painfully as I hope I made clear in the opening of this blog. Too, as an aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ, I also know the joy of pleasing God with faithful obedience in the strength He supplies.
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