I’m going to offer an idea that I believe is, at least to me, an interesting and maybe good way to view the Bible in guiding how we live; maybe even a proper or even obedient way to live…just a perspective that’s been on my mind, so I hope you’ll indulge me a little. 🙂
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume a few things to be true:
- God is all wise and all knowing, and perfect in these; otherwise, He cannot be God.
- This God created all of creation.
- Man’s heart by nature is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?“, and out of the heart are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23), making it the root of our thoughts and decisions.
- Absolute truth exists.
- Truth to be absolute truth must be outside of ourselves; otherwise, we are left to ourselves and every person’s idea about truth, which means truth is relative and not absolute.
- God is, and brings, that absolute truth.
- God provided His truth in His revealed will in the Bible as to how man should live.
- Sovereign, perfectly wise and almighty God could have brought forth or allowed technologies we have today much earlier so they would have been around at the time the Bible was written, or the Bible could have been written at a time of history that included modern technologies.
Now, let’s do something. Let’s throw out everything we think about how to live all of life — jobs, culture, leisure time, etc…..everything, throw it all out.
And now that we’ve done that, let’s take a blank sheet of paper, and on it, we’re going to write out how to live life based on the Bible. How might that look?
The following are some ideas:
System of Economy
To survive, according to the Bible, man needs food and raiment:
1 Timothy 6:8 – “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.“
In the Bible, how is food obtained? By planting and growing food — herbs, vegetables, fruit-bearing trees, etc., and by raising animals for food and clothing.
Also, these were not only given to man for his sustenance, but as spiritual lessons and pictures as well. For example:
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
How was work instituted? Before the fall:
Genesis 2:15 – “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.“
And after the fall:
Genesis 3:23 – “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.“
And if this is indeed how God describes the necessities of life are obtained, then what does that say about the industrial method of everything that was introduced not long ago? It would say that it is a man-made methodology for life sustenance, and coming from the mind of man, see the point 3 in the list above about the state of man’s heart.
And I believe you can see the outcome of man diverging from God’s way of provision. It not only puts a middle-man of corporations and governments between us and God (eg. if the water goes out, we call the water company), which makes us dependent on most likely ungodly people and institutions. These entities become our “providers”, instead of us living under Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our Provider.
Further, the air and water have been polluted, especially with long lasting chemicals, and the soil has been pillaged of nutrients. The industrial way has gotten us processed foods, a drugged-up population (including many children) on pharmaceuticals instead of natural foods or supplements from creation, lies about the benefits of natural foods, such as good fats (like real butter, saturated fats in good oils, etc.; note that I am not giving nutritional advice; these are just my beliefs)….on and on with what I believe is deception and destruction.
Genetically modified food? Genetically modified anything? Man now has more capability to try to do what he has always wanted to do — be God, the original sin (Genesis 3:5-6).
Should we be traveling at 70 miles per hour in cars? Or even 30 or 40? How many car wrecks have claimed how many lives? Should we be flying?
What about war? The ability to wage two world wars, plus many other regional ones? Wholesale destruction of cities? The ability to destroy the entire planet many times over? And while man will find ways to wage wars, the industrial machine has exponentially multiplied man’s ability to do that, in all the evil imaginations of his heart.
And then, mass media and the ability to globally perpetuate lies, worldliness, and vain (useless) distractions in entertainments away from prayer, God’s Word, family worship, Lord’s Day worship, and heavenly mindedness?
How about the family, where the father left the only “career” I see in the Bible generally for him, which is conducting his work with his family and being head of his household, husband to his wife, and raising his children, to go to the factory, being gone all day. And then the mother, whose only “career” I see in the Bible generally is conducting her work with her family and being a help meet to her husband and mother to her children, soon followed, now having left the family to work a job as well. And I believe you can see the results in society of this decimation of the family.
I believe we will continue to see the results of man’s diverging from God’s described way of life in an agrarian way to the man-invented industrial way, in the continued destruction of people, both physically and spiritually.
A Beard on Men
Men throughout the Bible are described as having beards. God built into creation this distinction — if men don’t shave, generally, they grow beards and women do not. This is an obvious distinction that God has made between the sexes.
David’s men were purposefully embarrassed by having their beards shaved:
2 Samuel 10:4-5 – “Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.“
Christ appears to have had facial hair:
Isaiah 50:6 – “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.“
Again, if we throw out all our preconceived notions and cultural ideas, the Bible would seem to indicate that men should have a beard.
Birthdays / Other Honoring Days
Nowhere in the Bible do I find God’s people celebrating in remembrance the day of anyone’s birth. In fact, birthdays are mentioned in the Bible twice: Pharaoh’s birthday in Gen 40:20-22, on which day he had the baker hanged; and Herod’s birthday in Matt 14:6-10, on which day he had John the Baptist beheaded. Besides both being heathens, the events on those days don’t set a good precedent.
Even Jesus’ birth is not remembered in a yearly way in the Bible. That fact in itself I believe should also make us at least question the idea of the Christmas remembrance, although I believe there are many other issues with that, which I discuss here.
How about things like Father’s or Mother’s Day? I do not find anything in the Bible like that. What is the biblical mandate for this?
Exodus 20:12 – “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.“
That’s one of the 10 Commandments. Are the Lord’s commandments ever not in effect? Shouldn’t every day then be a day of honoring our fathers and mothers, at least in heart and mind if not in some overt tangible way at times?
What would we think if it was suggested Jesus should have taken a specific day every year and get a card for His Father and spend the day with Him to honor Him? Seems like that might be considered absurd, but is that really much different than our cultural parent-honor days?
In the Bible, I find that God’s people were exclusively buried, including Christ Jesus Himself. I discuss that in more detail here.
I don’t see the saints involved in any of these things in their lives. I believe the following shows the general, and what should be the natural, trend of a Christian:
Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Do entertainments on TV or in movies, for example, exemplify those things?
Ephesians 5:15-16 – “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
How do these things fit in with redeeming the time?
I mentioned the following in another blog post, but I believe this to be true and important:
Christianity isn’t something we do — it’s who we are. We shouldn’t fit Christianity into the rest of the things in our lives — the rest of the things in our lives should fit into our Christianity, directed by the Word of God, the Bible.
Do electronic entertainments and watching or even playing organized sports fit into Christianity, if we look at Christianity as described in the Bible, even more especially when they are done on the Lord’s Day?
Again, I don’t see it in the lives of Christians in the Bible, or discussed anywhere in it.
Again, I don’t see this anywhere in the Bible. I see no ceasing of work — 6 days a week, resting on the Sabbath/Lord’s Day. And if someone cannot continue to work, especially widows with no wealth, I believe the Church is supposed to help.
I hear at times, “Let scripture be your guide,” but maybe that isn’t what really happens — it maybe only goes so far. And maybe it should go farther?
My belief is that the world and its rudiments have infected the Christian worldview so much that what is considered normal Christianity just isn’t that far from the world, its worldview, and how people live their lives — basically living just like the world with a Christian name on it.
And is that how Christianity is supposed to be?
Colossians 2:8 – “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.“
Should we trust our own imaginations as to what a proper life that is honoring to God should be? Should what we do and how we do it be invented by man, again whose heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked? Even the true Christian has that carnal nature left inside them (the flesh, which the Spirit is at war against, Galatians 5:17), and so shouldn’t we be careful about what we let dictate our actions in this life?
Again, I’m just putting all this out as another perspective, maybe as something to at least potentially ponder. 🙂
May God grant us light, wisdom and understanding from His Word by His Spirit, and may He grant us a desire to live the life pleasing to Him that He has prescribed for us in His revealed will.