As time moves forward, and the Lord tarries, the more and more “open-mindedness” is increasing. People these days can talk themselves out of anything. They can run through rabbit trails to justify anything and everything, leaving all rational reasoning behind. And the Church is certainly not exempt from this. But the Lord has been dealing with me in the area of principality. The definition of principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or a chain of reasoning.
I tend to be a wordsmith and an amateur at that. But, I digress. The definition states that it is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation of a system. Obviously, it says that, you just read it. But that is the portion of the definition I love. FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH. Fundamental is “of central importance.” Can you see where I am going with this?
Many people today like to say “well, I feel…” and then you can insert anything at the end of that sentence that has anything to do with a difference of opinion. Let me give an example. “I don’t feel like I need to go to church to be a good person” or “I don’t feel like God cares about the way I look on the outside.” I literally can not handle a sentence that begins with “I feel” or “I don’t feel.” The problem in those sentences is I. That leads to a very narrow and narcissistic view on anything that would follow. What it comes down to, the things of God are not contingent on how I feel about them. They aren’t contingent on my feelings, my thoughts, my opinions or how well it fits into my agenda. They aren’t contingent on my loved one’s status with God (saved, not saved, believer, atheist.) But what the things of God are contingent on is principle.
As of late, I have heard many Apostolic’s and former Apostolic’s using these sentences. I’ve watched many leave the faith over things that they couldn’t feel this way or that way over. Or they feel that certain things aren’t necessary anymore, even though a couple of years ago the preached them. They use excuses like, the Bible doesn’t say that in black and white. Or, God won’t send me to hell over not wearing a skirt. Or, the Bible doesn’t say you have to wear skirts, everyone wore dresses back then.
The list goes on and on. But it’s time to keep the main thing the main thing. People can ask every question, foolish questions, sincere questions, and at times, the answers aren’t always comfortable. “Can I go to heaven if I don’t get baptized?” That isn’t a comfortable question. “Why did God take my child?” That is a very uncomfortable question. To answer either of those, you would have to base your answer on principle. Consider the following verse.
Isaiah 28:10 – For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
A precept is a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought. Other words for precept are command, ordinance, oracle, injunction.
We are given precepts and lines all over the Word of God. Here is an example: The Bible does not say that you can’t smoke Camel cigarettes. But as Christians, Apostolic ones at least, we believe smoking cigarettes is wrong. Why? The Bible doesn’t say its wrong. Well, you are correct, but it does say that our body is a temple of the Holy Ghost and that it doesn’t even belong to me (1 Corinthians 6:19.) So the precept is that our body belongs to God and is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and the line is that I don’t damage my body with cigarettes. God gives the precept, and He gives us the power and authority to draw the line, and He HONORS the line.
Consider Moses. He had to go up Mt. Sinai to get the commandments from God, and God told him to draw a barrier so that the people wouldn’t follow him up the mountain.
Exodus 19:23 – And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
God told Moses to draw bounds (lines). God did not tell Moses where to draw the lines, He just told him to draw them. So Moses did. And God honored those lines. That’s the same way for us. We are His servants.
Lines aren’t placed to keep people in, they are placed to keep the enemy out. Lines aren’t placed to hinder people, or to keep us from “living life,” they are placed to keep up set apart and unblemished from this world. It is up to the pastor to place lines, that has been God’s fundamental truth since the beginning. When you don’t understand the importance of precepts and lines, and how they are unmovable, then you will be easily swayed by the voices of this world and the enemy. Draw your lines, and keep those lines! Because God is.