What would Jesus do about man-made rules?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by npetreley, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    The missionary thread got off on a tangent about man-made rules, such as rules about card playing, watching movies, etc.

    At least once, maybe twice or more, it was posed: "What would Jesus do?" Fortunately, we don't have to speculate. Jesus addressed man-made rules a few times. Here is my favorite example.

    The man-made rule: The Pharisees created a lot of rules that were nowhere to be found in scripture, but they believed were scripturally sound. One such rule was that it would break the Sabbath if you spat on the dirt. They "reasoned" that spitting on the dirt made clay, clay was used for work, therefore spitting on dirt constituted work and was therefore forbidden on the Sabbath.

    What would Jesus do? Here is what Jesus did:

    That's what Jesus would do. That's what He did. I don't know about you, but I want to be more like Jesus and walk the way He did. So I'm going to go play a game of cards and take my kids to the movies later.
     
  2. mnw

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    Enjoy your cards and the movie.

    By the way, will you abandon your man-made rules and take your kids to see movie rated for adults only? - just wondering which man-made rules you want to abandon and which ones you want to keep.
     
  3. gb93433

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    In the Mishnah has six pages on hand washing. Imagine that!
     
  4. av1611jim

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    A post like this appears self righteous IMO. It is a not so veiled attempt to point out how 'spiritual' one may be if they appeal to WWJD and how Pharisaical one may be if they hold to higher standards than the WWJD clique.

    Truly pathetic.
     
  5. ShotGunWillie

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    It doesn't shock me, Jewish people are extremely cleanly people. Hence the reason why when the plagues rolled through Europe only a small percentage of the people who died were Jewish, because they are cleanly people. That is also one of the reasons they were removed from their homes in Europe. Because it was believed they caused the plagues.

    Good point
     
  6. tinytim

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    What's pathetic is Christians binding other Christians to man-made rules when Christ came to set us free...

    That's pathetic.

    Requiring people to abide by rules that have no biblical basis is keeping people from the grace of Christ.

    Christians live by Grace.

    If the Bible says it is a sin.. it is a sin.
    But just because a preacher has an opinion, and says something is a sin without it being in the Bible... it is not a sin.
    That preacher is trying to be Pope...
     
  7. bapmom

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    Thing is, a preacher has an obligation to draw a line in the sand in regards to where his standards are going to lie for who his church will support - when talking about missionaries. And yes, it is his obligation, because not only is he the authority, he is also the responsible party financially speaking, for that local church body.

    When it comes to playing cards, the issue is not "Oooooh, he used a deck of cards" (for some it is, but Im not so sure that's right).....the issue SHOULD be does the missionary gamble with his money. That's right at the core of the issue when it comes to whether the pastor ought to turn church money over to that particular missionary.

    If we're going to look at movies then perhaps the missionary should also be held accountable for what movies show up on his blockbuster card rather than just whether or not he attended a theatre......hmmmm.......because yes, the missionary must be held to a higher standard of accountability because he's going to the field as the church's personal representative for them and Christ, and the churches need to be sure they are supporting someone who is both financially stable and accountable as well as morally stable and accountable.


    The key is, are the man-made rules with or without Biblical basis. Simply asking "Do you play cards?" to me is not inclusive enough. "Back in the day" it may have been....when to play cards meant virtually the same thing as gambling. Today it really doesn't hold that same connotation, and we have to be clear in what we really are objecting to. It's not the deck we object to, it's the wise or unwise use of monies. In this issue too, YOU might be able to have a "friendly little game" where you exchange pennies and it not be out of place. BUT me and my husband cannot engage in that same thing, because churches will be giving us THEIR money for a specific purpose, and we have to be held to a higher standard.

    You might not like or agree with all of them.....but to just say that all man-made rules should be outright flouted is unwise.
     
  8. charles_creech78

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    :jesus: has aready done it and is seted at the right hand of God.
     
  9. npetreley

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    See above for an alternate definition for "irony".
     
  10. av1611jim

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    bapmom;
    Kudos to you for a level headed and wisely worded post.
    I think there are two extremes to this issue. On the one hand there are folks in churches (even whole churches and pastors) who would prohibit all uses of cards, dance, theatre, etc. On the other hand there are many who go to the other extreme and take liberty and turn it into license. For myself I tend to follow the middle road. I take my pastor's advice (he is careful to present it as such in many of these areas) an seek wisdom in Scripture; then applies those principles to me and my house. I am very careful to avoid stumbling they who look to me and my witness.

    At the same time, I fully support every pastor's right and obligation to set forth certain standards for the missionaries and evangelists we will support as a church body. Being IFB, we have no "association" which sets forth those "rules" of conduct, therefore we as an autonomuos church must carefully develope our own as our pastor is guided by God and we as a body agree to. Being a member of a local church demands that as we were considering petitioning for membership we ought to have prayerfully and carefully considering ALL of said church's constitution and covenant before agreeing to be bound them.

    And I think the same ought to be true for ANY missionary who is petitioning for support from any mission board. I do NOT think any mission board just develops rules and standards will-nilly out of thin air. It appears that there are SOME here who give the impression that that is what they see happening. But those folks are sadly mistaken.
     
  11. npetreley

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    The Pharisee's rule about spitting on dirt wasn't willy-nilly or pulled out of thin air. They had what they thought was a logical reason for establishing the rule and believed the rule was consistent with scripture. Jesus didn't see it that way, though.
     
  12. av1611jim

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    Unless you can show that this is true then your post is without merit. I do NOT think there are preachers who make up "sins" willy-nilly out of thin air. Certainly it is evident that they have considered Scripture when forming their positions. And in addition; as bapmom has already said; those same preachers typically understand that it is THEY who have the greater responsibility. Or do you think you are under no greater responsibility than your flock?

    Again, I ask that you PROVE how admonishing your people to stay OUT of movie theatres, or to abstain from smoking (for example) keeps them from the grace of God. IF they are christians to start with then they ALREADY have all the benefits of God's grace. Grace saves. But after that, one must be OBEDIENT, as any father would expect his child to be. And as obedient children we are warned not to bring a reproach upon that Blessed Name by which we are saved.
     
  13. av1611jim

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    I did not say anything about the Pharisees. Straw man. Try returning to this century.
     
  14. bapmom

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    no, the Pharisee's rule was a RULE, and not merely advice given as to how a pure Christian ought to act. When a missionary petitions a church for support he ought to expect to be evaluated.....and I think most of us know full well that we will be evaluated with a fine-toothed comb. HOWEVER, if a pastor gives this questionaire to a missionary, and then uses it in part to determine if he wants to support that particular man, he is not then declaring that missionary's differences with himself to be a reason to put him outside the fellowship of the church.

    If a person flouted the Pharisee's extra-Biblical rules they were put out of the assembly........I honestly do not think that's what we are talking about here. The pastors who put out these forms, for the most part, are not declaring those who do them to be unsaved......they are just sort of "weeding out" those who they do not feel are the better investments.
     
  15. rbell

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    I have nothing to add to this discussion, except to say that I can't say "willy-nilly" with a straight face.

    Carry on.
     
  16. bapmom

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    the straw man truly comes in when we assume that someone holding standards automatically is being judgemental of those who don't hold to those same standards.

    I admit it can also go the other direction.....

    but I don't believe you can fairly equate Pharisee's mandated laws with a pastor asking a missionary if he plays cards......
     
  17. npetreley

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    Again, the Pharisees thought their position was scriptural. Scripture says not to do work on the Sabbath. They associated clay with work, and forbid making clay on the Sabbath. It's very much like the reasoning that leads one to believe it is wrong to play cards. They associate cards with fortune-telling, and Scripture says that such things are an abomination. So they forbid card playing. They have an almost schizophrenic disconnect with reality - the problem is that they can't disassociate cards from fortune-telling, so they can't see why it's not sinful to play cards.

    Jesus made it plain that He did not approve of people doing this sort of thing. He made it plain by disobeying the rule. Jesus didn't do anything wrong because the rule was unscriptural. It was a man-made addition to scripture.

    First, you have to understand the difference between obedience to God, and obedience to man-made rules. They are not the same thing. Again, Jesus showed us the difference by disobeying a man-made rule without disobeying God.

    Why would Jesus do such a thing? Why is it important for us to know that it is WRONG to create man-made rules like the one the Pharisees created? If you can answer that, then you'll have the answer as to why it undermines the grace of God.
     
  18. av1611jim

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    Wasn't "willy-nilly" that dude who was busted for lip syncing something a while back?
     
  19. npetreley

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    It was both, except that it was how a "man of God" not "Christian" would act. They concluded that Jesus must not be a Man of God because He broke their rule about the Sabbath. They believed that a pure man of God would not and should not break such a rule.

    Furthermore, when abstaining from playing cards becomes a condition for missionary service, it is no longer advice. It is a rule.

    I see. So it was wrong for the Pharisees to establish the rule for everyone to practice. But you're saying it would have been okay for the Pharisees to put Jesus out of the assembly and/or disqualify Him for missionary service because He didn't respect their rule?

    .
     
    #19 npetreley, Jul 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2007
  20. bapmom

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    sir, my comment was not condoning the Pharisee's practice, and I had hoped you would have been able to discern that.


    Speaking of this century now......a pastor deciding not to support a specific missionary is not automatically excluding that man from missionary service. There are many reasons a pastor may decide not to support a certain person....that does not mean that that same person does not go on to mission service.

    You are equating a position of non-support with excommunication from the church body.....they aren't the same.
     

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