Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bethany Bullet - March 12, 2013

Previously we witnessed the first and only episode of “Murder He Re-Wrote” when Jesus re-wrote the 5th commandment: “You have heard it said, ‘do not murder’ but I tell you the truth anyone who calls someone “brainless” (i.e. the Aramaic word “Raca”; it’s not translated in the text of Matthew 5 but simply used means empty-headed) is subject to judgment.”  No longer are physical assaults the only way to break the command, Jesus has re-written it so that Ad hominem attacks also leave one guilt before God. 

Today is the sequel to that episode and Jesus re-writes yet another commandment.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at another lustfully has already committed adultery in their heart.” 

Once again, our Lord seeks to tighten the noose and limit those who might escape judgment.  Ever stop and look a little closer at the advertisement in a magazine or watch the commercial a little closer when the athletic guy with zero body fat, wearing a pair of briefs, standing in the rain is actually advertizing blue jeans?  Or when the Super-model, wearing a tiny bikini, washing a car to advertize fast food is the subject of the ad? We know very well that that which is wrong has an allure that is strong.

Being a sexual being isn’t wrong mind you. God created us as such and called it good. Since the fall however, humanity has been good at taking that which was originally sacred and making it lured. One result has been that words like chastity, modesty, purity and humility have been subjugated into the realm of the “goodie-goodie.” So a sex-crazed society has sought to make the tawdry the new normalcy! A sex-crazed society (and if you study the ancients you’ll soon realize that most societies have been and ours simply has superior technology to aid in the breaking of the command) But back to my point, a sex-crazed society has turned that which is beautiful into that which is trashy and that which is most communal into that which is utterly selfish.  And so we are inclined to seek personal pleasure rather than the unifying treasure in intimacy.

The gift of intimacy and sexuality was given and hence to be experienced within the context of marital fidelity.  Here and only here 1 + 1 = 1. The reason the church which stands on the Word continues to teach and believe that marriage is intended for one man and one woman is because that is what God established. It has nothing to do with intolerance or bigotry; it has nothing to do with being old-fashioned or a ‘fuddy duddy’. You can’t have God’s numerology, “two” and simultaneously deny God’s biology, one man and one woman. God gives the numerology and biology to serve theology. The gift of marriage from a Biblical vantage point, not only serves to carry on the creation covenant as man and woman find delight in one another; it also bears witness to the great redemption covenant as those which are unique and distinct and different. Man and woman – become one through marriage portraying the relationship of those which are unique and distinct and different – God and humanity – which become one in the church through faith.

Jesus re-writes the command because we try to re-work the command. To justify behavior that is contrary to God’s desire by lowering the threshold. In that regard we are fairly Pharisaical, that is we are quite to point out public sin, especially that in which we have no guilt, but we fail to apply the same command to our own situation. For our hidden sin, Jesus became a public spectacle. Through His innocent suffering and death we’re restored and viewed as holy in the sight of God. 

Now this same Word commends us to lives of purity, modesty, and decency for through such we give witness to the One with whom we are one in His Son.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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