If Christianity were criminalized, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Leviticus 11 & 12
Leviticus 11 & 12:
The daily details of life
Chapter 11 contains all the dietary restrictions God set for Israel. They were being taught to obey God in the daily details of life. That’s a tremendous truth for us, as well.
In Luke 16.10 Jesus is talking about how we use our resources, but the principle is the same. He said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” If we’re not faithful in the little details of life, we won’t be faithful in the big things.
Would there be enough evidence?
Another thing these dietary laws served to do was to help them, and us, understand that as believers in the One True God, we are to be different, set apart from the world around us. Those around us should see a difference in us. Someone posed the question, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
Christians are to, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2.14-15).
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13.34-35).
And in Matthew 7.16 He said, “You will know them by their fruits.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5.22-23a).
I have to admit there are times when I don’t look any different than the world around me. What about you? Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Another reason for these restrictions was that they helped keep them separate from the pagan nations around them.
That thought grabbed my attention because of something I read about Muslims. In Dr. David Jeremiah’s book What in the World is Going On?, Dr. Jeremiah quotes an Iraqi Christian by the name of Georges Sada. He says, talking about the words Fatah and Jihad, “… these doctrines express the belief that Allah has commanded them to conquer the nations of the world both by cultural invasion and by the sword.”
Did you get the word cultural? He goes on, “In some cases this means moving thousands of Muslim families into a foreign land—by building mosques and changing the culture from the inside out, and by refusing to assimilate or adopt the beliefs or values of that nation—to conquer the land for Islam. This is an invidious doctrine, but it’s … being carried out in some places today by followers of this type of Islam.”
Make no mistake, these radical Islamics are committed to the complete conquest of the West by any means, including the sword, as we well know. But one of the ways they’re purposefully working is through their cultural identity and by forcing it on others. This is happening in schools where administrators have been forced to set aside times of prayer and by changing cafeteria menus to accommodate Muslim students. At the same time Christians are barred from demonstrating their faith in any way.
We are called to be culturally different. Yet, too often, we prefer to blend in with everyone else.
Driving through a strange city
The need for humility and the fear of God are emphasized throughout the Scriptures. Here we see that it is those who humbly see their need for God and His instruction, and who understand that He alone is God, that He guides and teaches.
Verse 15, “My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”
Maybe it’s because I’m directionally challenged, but as I meditated on that verse, I thought about what it’s like to follow someone through a strange city. You don’t take your eyes off of them because they know where they’re going and you don’t. God knows the end from the beginning. He knows the plans He has for us, plans for our welfare and not calamity (Jer. 29.11 NASB). And if we’ll keep our eyes on Him instead of looking around at the circumstances, He’ll keep us from the enemy’s net.
The desire of the wicked
We sometimes feel like the wicked are prospering without any consequence, but verse 3 tells us that in God’s timing “the desire of the wicked” will be cast away. We need to stay focused on doing what God has shown us and allow Him to deal with the wickedness of others.
The danger of religious traditions
In this passage we continue to see Jesus challenging the religious traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees (vv. 23-28). We cannot forget that denominational preferences and our religious traditions are not on a par with God’s Word and sometimes stand in opposition to it. When there is any doubt, we must go back to His Word.
He calls the undeserving
We also see Him calling Levi, the tax collector (v. 14), better known as Matthew, who wrote the Gospel we just finished reading. It should give us great hope that Jesus would call a tax collector to be one of His 12 disciples. Tax collectors were hated by their fellow Jews because they co-operated with the Roman government and then padded their own pockets by collecting even more than the Romans required. God loves to save and use those who least deserve it when we repent and turn to Him!
Do those around you see something different about you? Are you a light to them? If so, is it bright enough for all to see or is it just a dim flicker once in a while? If being a Christian were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Are you as determined to protect what is uniquely Christian in your life as radical Muslims are to what is theirs?
In what area of your life do you need to get your eyes on Him and not the circumstances?
Share your thoughts with me.
Lord, help us to be lights shining in a dark world. Help us to stand for truth while loving and praying for the lost around us. Help us to remember that those who seek to conquer our country are also a great mission field. Help us, also, to remember that while we are in the world, we are not of it, so help us to live holy lives, so that others will see You and that You will be glorified!