Tuesday, February 28, 2023

How to Test Claims that Something is a Sin

When trying to determine whether something that is claimed to be a sin actually is a sin, you only need to ask these three questions:

  1. Does Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy) have a direct command against it?
  2. Does Torah list items that are permitted (or required) in a category that the item in question is in but is not on the list?
  3. Is there a penalty associated with it, but without a direct or indirect command against it?

It really is that simple, as Torah alone defines what is right and wrong.  Whatever is contrary to Torah is sin and whatever is not contrary to Torah is not sin.  The Prophets do not define sin.  Jesus does not define sin.  The Apostles do not define sin.  Only the Law of Yahweh defines sin.  And for those who would say that Yeshua does define sin because he is God, let me remind you that if he is to live a sinless life as a human being, he must abide by the same Law that everyone else is expected to abide by.  If he were to teach what is contrary to Torah, then he would have sinned and his death on the cross would be useless for our salvation.  Therefore Yeshua does not define sin.

Also, I originally listed just the first two questions, and would have considered things that meet the criteria of the third question as things that God hates but does not forbid.  But while writing this post, I changed my mind, hence the third question.

Jesus said to live on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).  And you're not living on it if you are adding to it or subtracting from it.  For the Law says in multiple places, such as Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 to not add to or subtract from God's commandments.  This means that once written, the Law of God is read only.  Nobody after that can in any way change the Law, not even Jesus after he rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.  The Apostle Paul said multiple times that Torah defines sin, such as Romans 3:20 and 7:7.  The Law itself defines sin in multiple places as transgressing the Law.

For any given thing that is claimed to be sinful, answering "yes" to one of the above questions proves the thing in question to be sinful.  If the answer to both questions is "no", then the thing in question is not sinful even if it is detrimental or believed to be detrimental.

The first question should be self-explanatory.  If God's Law has a direct command against something, then that something in question is a sin.  Theft, adultery, lying, murder, and slander are all sinful because the Law has a direct command against each of these.  The same for eating animals like pigs [Leviticus 11:7-8].  And if you think of twisting 1 Timothy 4:1 to claim that I'm teaching "doctrines of demons" (as some have done), then you would be calling God a demon, for God himself gave that command.

The second question is a bit more complex than the first.  There are some places in God's Law that list of a number of things in a category that are either allowed or required.  In these instances, whatever is in that same category that does not make the list is forbidden.  A good example of this is the list of holy days in Leviticus 23 that we are to use to honor God.  So even if it could be proven that Christmas and Easter did originate within Christianity, it wouldn't change the fact that those days are not on the list of holy days for honoring God, and are therefore sinful to partake in.  We may see those days as serving God, but that's not how God sees them.

There are some things that do not have a direct command against them (answer to question 1 is "no") or an indirect command against them (answer to question 2 is also "no").  This is where the third and final question comes in:  If God's Law also does not list a penalty for doing something (answer to question 3 is "no"), then the item in question is not a sin.  But if there is a penalty listed for doing something, then the item in question is a sin.  Otherwise, there would not be a penalty.

A good example of something that has a penalty listed, but no direct or indirect command against it is extramarital sex.  In Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29, if an unmarried couple are caught having sexual relationships, then the man is required to pay the bride price to the woman's father, the two are required to marry (unless the father forbids it), and they are never allowed to divorce.  The bride price, can be multiple years worth of wages.  And if a woman had this type of sexual relationship, then presented herself as a virgin to another man and her deception was discovered, then the woman could die (Deuteronomy 22:20-21).

In any case where the answer to all three of these questions is "no", then the thing in question is permissible.  In fact, since Torah is described as "the Law of Liberty" in James 1:25, then we should approach things in a "freedom by default" manner.  That is, unless we can prove it goes against God's Law, we should allow it.  Some examples of things that are not against God's Law include dancing, games and sports, and gender-neutral bathrooms, lockers, etc.

There are some things that Yahweh technically allows, but also hates.  These things are often identified by whether God's Law has a provision for them, but also a lot of restrictions.  One example is divorce, where as I explained in a previous post, is intended to be done only in cases of unfaithfulness in marriage.  We also know that Yahweh hates divorce because of Malachi 2:16, where Yahweh explicitly states as much when speaking through one of his prophets.

To summarize:  If you cannot prove that something is contrary to God's Law either by (1) a direct command, (2) by not making a list of items allowed or required that are in the same category as the item in question, or (3) by not having any penalty for doing something, then regardless of how sinful you believe it to be or how much you object to it, that thing is not, I repeat, not, a sin.

I'll leave you with this exercise:  Exodus 20:26 says, "Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it."  So what is the sin here?  Is it to build steps up to an altar, to approach the altar naked, or both?  Don't forget to prove your answer.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Is it Ever Acceptable to Break God's Law?

For those who have read a significant number of my blog posts, you might think that I will answer a definite "no".  But there is one problem with that:  The purpose of Yahweh giving his Law in the first place.  That purpose is to promote life.

Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you. [Deuteronomy 4:1; NKJV]

You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess. [Deuteronomy 5:33; NKJV]

Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. [Deuteronomy 8:1; NKJV]

You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you. [Deuteronomy 16:20; NKJV]

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. [Deuteronomy 30:6; NKJV]

in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. [Deuteronomy 30:16; NKJV]

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; [Deuteronomy 30:19; NKJV]

If the purpose of the Law is to promote life, which it is, then it should stand to reason that if a situation comes up where obedience would put a life in danger, then the preservation of life would take precedence over God's Law and we would not be guilty of sin.  And that the exception to this rule would be if a person or animal committed a capital offense.  So, are there any instances in the Bible where people broke the Law to preserve life and not guilty of sin?  As a matter of fact, there are.

In 1 Samuel 21:1-9, David and the men who were with him ate from the holy bread in the House of God, which is against God's Law, but were not guilty of sin.  If we take a look at the chapter before, we find that David and his men were fleeing from King Saul, though they had done nothing wrong.  They ate the consecrated bread because that was the only thing available.  In Matthew 12:1-8, when the Pharisees asserted that it is against the law to glean the fields on the Sabbath (human law, by the way), Jesus responded by pointing out what David did, and said that he was innocent.  He also made mention of the fact that the priests on Sabbath duty actually break the Sabbath, but are also innocent.  Later on, Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, saying that God's Law allows us to do good on the Sabbath, citing the fact that a person would help their animal out of a ditch on the Sabbath.  That by the way, is something else the Pharisees forbade (for the people, not for themselves).

In another instance, in 1 Samuel 25:2-35, Nabal's wife Abigail rebelled against her husband after he refused David's request, and went to David and his men with gifts and an apology, saving the lives of every male in Nabal's house.  For David intended to destroy him and his house by morning.  The Law of Yahweh makes it very clear that a woman is under the authority of her husband.  But had Abigail not broken God's Law by rebelling against her husband, every male in the house would have died by the hand of David.  By the way, Nabal had a heart attack when he heard what David had intended to do.  And he died ten days later, but was the only one in the house to die.

So not only is it acceptable for the preservation of life to take priority over God's Law, but it is also acceptable for a person's well-being to take priority over God's Law.  This does not mean that a person deserving of the death penalty should be spared such a penalty (which would pervert justice), or that it's okay to set aside the commandments of Yahweh because it is convenient to do so.  It does mean that we should not abstain from doing good in instances where it would break one of God's commandments, because a person's life and well-being take priority.  But when a person's (or animal's) life or well-being is not in danger, then we must not by any means set aside God's commandments.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

What Did Jesus Mean by "But I Say..."? [UPDATED]

IMPORTANT NOTE:  This article was originally published on December 27, 2021 but contains a serious error that I am correcting here.  You can still read the original in its entirety through this link.  Other than this one correction, this post is completely unmodified from the original.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Theistic Evolutionists vs Deuteronomy 13

I have used the phrase "Deuteronomy 13 Test" 9 times in previous posts so far, and have made at least one reference to 22 times in one way or another.  It is the number one most important test for detecting false teachers.  If you fail this test, then nothing else matters!  Why?  The premise of the Deuteronomy 13 Test is quite simple:  Obedience to Torah (aka: God's Law, aka: the Law of Moses) is the definition of loving and serving God and listening to his voice, while the rejection of his Law is the definition of idolatry (aka: following other gods).  Here, read Deuteronomy 13 for yourself!

Did you also catch that Deuteronomy 13 is as much God testing his people as it is his people testing the teachers/prophets?  If not, go read it again!  As those who love God and keep his commandments (the one who does not keep his commandments by definition does not love God), we are tested with false teachers and false prophets to see if we love God with all of our hearts.  If we listen to the false teacher or prophet, then we have failed the test.  And here are the most commonly-known ways for a false teacher or prophet to fail this test.

  1. Openly lead people to serve other gods.
  2. Teach people to reject keeping God's Law.

There are a couple of other ways that people are led to follow other gods that actually fall under the category of failing the Deuteronomy 13 test.  (Remember, Deuteronomy 18 is about when a prophet gets things wrong while speaking in the name of Yahweh, or prophecies in the name of another god.  For the Deuteronomy 13 Test, the prophet does not have to speak in the name of another god.)  One of which is to speak in the name of another god while simultaneously saying that it's Yahweh, but by a different name.  Either by butchering God's name, or by using the actual name of a false god as if it's one of God's names.  New-Agers are good at failing it that way, but that's a topic for another post.

The other way to fail the Deuteronomy 13 Test that's overlooked is to discredit God's Law by discrediting Genesis.  How does this fail the Deuteronomy 13 Test?  By causing people to not trust Genesis, you also cause them to not trust the rest of Torah (and also the rest of the Bible)?  And this is exactly what theistic evolutionists do.  And most probably know exactly what they are doing (in terms of getting people to not trust the Bible as a whole).  Remember:  Satan's goal is to keep people away from God and keep them from receiving the promise of eternal life (and to wipe-out humanity, which he cannot do directly, so he has fools in high places knowingly try to do that for him).  Part of keeping people away from God is to keep them from following God's Law.  The other part is by keeping people away from Jesus, which theistic evolution does quite nicely.  Keeping people from receiving God's promise of eternal life is accomplished by keeping people from having a Biblical faith in Jesus, which includes believing that Jesus, and the one who sent him are trustworthy, and which lease to obedience to the one whom they believe in.

Would it surprise you if I said that the "New Testament" is worthless if Genesis is not the historical account it claims to be or is not in any way an accurate historical account?  Well, the "New Testament" is indeed worthless if Genesis is not the historical account that it claims to be.  In fact, the "New Testament" is worthless unless Genesis is (a) the historical account it claims to be, and (b) is an accurate account of the beginnings of Creation.

Guess what:  The "New Testament" is also worthless if the rest of Torah is not to be trusted.  Most conservative denominations teach distrust of God's Law through the typical "Jesus fulfilled the law so we don't have to" type of claims, but theistic evolutionists do this by deceiving people into not trusting Genesis.  If we cannot trust Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy as containing the eternal commands of God, then all of the moral teachings in the "New Testament" completely collapse, for these teachings come directly from the Law of God.  And the Law of God (which includes Genesis) is completely dependent on Genesis being the truthful account of the origins of Creation.  By the way, Torah alone is the sole authority on right and wrong.  Every instruction in the Bible that comes after Torah ultimately either (a) comes from God's Law or (b) provides the correct interpretation of Torah.

To close, here's how you can identify the theistic evolutionists who know exactly what they are doing:  Anyone who says "we should reinterpret Scripture to fit the science", then goes about doing exactly that knows exactly what they are doing.  But do not assume that those who do not say that are ignorant of the issue at hand.  More than likely, they too know what they are doing.

Monday, December 26, 2022

5 Inconsistencies in Church Doctrine

When it comes to doctrine, a lot of what the Church teaches (at least concerning conservative and fundamentalist churches and ministries) is perfectly consistent with other teachings by the Church.  And many of these teachings I actually agree with, even if a lot of my posts do spend a lot of time criticizing the Church for a lot of its teachings.  But I've also found, over the years, many teachings that are inconsistent with other teachings.  We will take a look at five of these inconsistencies and look to Scripture for the resolution.  This list is in no particular order, and there will be overlaps!

1. Obedience to God's Commandments

Most mainstream ministries will teach that because we have Yeshua, there is no need to keep God's Law.  They will often label this the "Old Testament Law" to further cement this point.  However, there are many commandments within the Law of God that the Church expects you to keep.  For example, "do not lie", "do not commit adultery", "do not covet", and "do not worship idols".

One "resolution" to this inconsistency is to assert that we only need to keep the commands that were reiterated in the "New Testament".  But those who make such claims fail to realize that if the Law no longer needs to be kept, then whether they are reiterated in the "New Testament" is irrelevant.  This rationalization however, proves that they know that there is a need to keep at least some of God's Law.  Bit it is still inconsistent with the doctrine that we don't need to keep his Law.

Another rationalization is to divide the commandments within the Law into three laws:  The "moral" law.  The "civil" law.  And the "ceremonial" law.  The claim is that the "moral" law applies to everyone, the "civil" law applies only to the land of Israel, and the "ceremonial" law only applied before Yeshua's work on the cross and that it's this law that we don't need to keep.  But this too conflicts with the core teaching that the body of the Messiah does not need to keep the Law of God.

Some will say that we only need to keep the Ten Commandments.  But every Christmas they put up a nativity with an image of Jesus in direct violation of the Second Commandment, which forbids the creation of an image of anything, anywhere!  Whoever sets up an image of Jesus is worshiping the image, not Jesus.  They also change the Sabbath (Fourth Commandment) from the seventh day (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday), which is literally named after the sun in the sky.  Whoever observes the first day of the week as the Sabbath worships a ball of plasma!  And changing God's Law is rebellion, not obedience!  And once again, if the Law is no longer needed, then neither are the Ten Commandments

In order to resolve the inconsistencies in the first two doctrines, the have made three additional teachings which also conflict with the first.  As I mentioned earlier, Christians know in their heart that that there are some laws that must be kept, proving false the doctrine that we don't need to keep God's Law.  So it's the heart and mind of man that testifies against this doctrine.  But we're going to look into Scripture to see for sure what we are supposed to do.  And just to prove the point, I will only use "New Testament" passages to prove just how false this doctrine really is.

Jesus himself said in Matthew 4:4 that man is to live on every word that comes from the mouth of God.  And in Matthew 5:17-20, he made such obedience mandatory for membership in God's Kingdom.  Note in verse 17 how "destroying the Law" and "fulfilling the Law" are framed as being mutually-exclusive.  If he didn't come to do away with it, then he must have come to teach it (I'm ignoring the Hebrew idiom here).  He also said in Matthew 19:17 that keeping the commandments is a requirement for "entering life".  And you can find numerous places where Jesus called-out the Pharisees for nullifying the Law of God for the sake of their traditions.  For example, Mark 7:5-13.  So according to Yeshua himself, we are to keep the Law of God.

What about Paul, whom the Church practically worships (funny how it's not Jesus who is treated as the ultimate authority of the Christian)?  In Romans 2:13, Paul says that it's those who keep the Law who will be justified before God.  In Romans 3:20 and 7:7, he says that the Law defines sin.  And in Romans 3:31, he states that we who believe in Jesus uphold the Law of God.  So much for Paul teaching against God's Law.

Let's see what James says.  In James 1:22-25, he says we should look into the perfect Law of liberty with the intent of obeying it.  And that if we do, we will be blessed in all that we do.  James 2:12 says we should act as if we will be judged by this law.  So James also teaches obedience to the Law.  Of course, if Jesus and the Apostles were teaching from the Law with the expectation for us to obey it, then we should expect to find many of the commandments being reiterated throughout the "New Testament".  And if the Law did not have to be followed (or should not be followed), then they would not be reiterating any of the commandments.

2. Biblical Inerrancy

One of the most blatant inconsistencies between two doctrines has to do with the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy.  Which doctrine runs afoul of Biblical Inerrancy?  The doctrine that forbidding the consumption of certain meats (eg: pork) is a "doctrine of demons."  God's Law forbids us from eating pigs or even touching the dead bodies of pigs (Leviticus 11:7-8).  And Isaiah prophecies against such people in Isaiah 65:4 and 66:17, declaring that they will perish.  Yet because Paul wrote about those who forbid "certain foods" in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 (among other passages that are twisted by the Church), the Church insists that anyone who says we shouldn't eat pork (or other animals that God said to not eat) is teaching a doctrine of demons.

Think about it:  If the command not to eat certain animals is really a doctrine of demons, then it means that the Bible is in error about the origins of such commands, and the prophecies against those who break such commands.  If there is even one error in Scripture, then the Bible is by definition, not inerrant, and the inerrancy doctrine is therefore wrong.

On a related note, if 1 Timothy 4:1-5 means what the Church claims, then Paul is going against his own teachings that we should keep the Law of God.  We already went over this in the previous section.  It would also mean that if the Law and the Prophets are correct about the origin of the commandment and prophecies against those who break it, then Paul is the one who is wrong, and the Bible is not inerrant.  And if Paul is teaching both obedience to the Law and rebellion against it, one of those teachings is wrong by definition and the Bible is also not inerrant.  And it also lends credence to those who claim that Paul was a deceiver.  And if Paul was a deceiver, then the Bible is definitely not inerrant.

Peter warns us in 2 Peter 3:16 that Paul is hard to understand, and that uneducated people twist his words to their own destruction.  So the solution is an interpretation that is hard to see just by reading the passage, but is consistent with Paul's teaching of obedience to God's Law.  We'll start with the definition of "food".  Since Paul taught obedience to the Law of God and the Law of God tells us what is and is not food for us, the definition of food that Paul (and the other Apostles, and Jesus) is using is that which God's Law defines as food.  And guess what:  The Law explicitly states that pigs are not food.

Now that we know the definition of food that Paul is using, we can see that the "creatures of God" refers to the clean animals that God gave for us as food.  Although God made all animals, both the clean and the unclean, only the clean animals are referred to here as the "creatures of God".  Finally, we see that these animals are set apart by the word of God and by prayer.  If everything is set apart, then nothing is set apart.  The words "sanctified" and "holy" lose all of their meaning if everything is said to be set apart.  And the word of God (which is referring specifically to God's Law in this instance) did not set apart pigs as food.  What Paul is actually teaching against are teachings about food that are contrary to God's Law.

3. The Shame of Nakedness

I've covered the topic of nakedness a lot on this blog.  And a search through my posts will reveal that quite quickly.  But what about the shame of nakedness?  The Church teaches that before there was sin, there was no shame in being naked.  In fact, we read in Genesis 1 and 2 that mankind was designed to always be naked and that this nakedness was very good.  But in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sinned, became ashamed of their nakedness, and after they failed to provide adequate clothing for themselves, God himself provided them with clothing.  The Church teaches that ever since then, there has been a universal shame of nakedness.  So where's the inconsistency:  Well, Jesus took away our sins by his blood, wiping-out the record of our transgressions.  Since our sins have been taken away, so has the source of our shame of being naked.  And the Bible says in numerous places that those who believe in him shall by no means be put to shame (1 Peter 2:6).  And in Romans 8:35, Paul says that nakedness is incapable of keeping us from God's love.

While I have been teaching for a long time on this blog that there is no requirement in Scripture to be clothed (except for the priests when they are performing their duties), I still didn't realize the inconsistency about the shame of nakedness before finding this article on the topic, which also inspired me to write this post on 5 of the Church's doctrinal inconsistencies.  If sin truly is the only source of the shame of nakedness as the Church teaches it is, then those who have had their sins taken away should not be ashamed of such a thing.  But the Church still teaches us to be ashamed of being naked because of sin.  The very sin that the Church rightly says is taken away by the blood of Jesus just by believing in him!  In my post on Genesis 3, I proved that it was the serpent who told Adam and Eve that they were naked.  That, by extension, means that the source of the shame of nakedness came from the serpent, not from the sin that they had just committed.

Just like with the first inconsistency I pointed-out, for this one, I'm only going to use the "New Testament" to expose the magnitude of this inconsistency.  And I'm also going to do it using the view that sin is the only source of the shame of nakedness.

When Yeshua came to Jerusalem on a donkey, many in the crowd took off their garments and laid them on the road before Jesus.  This is recorded in Matthew 21:8, Mark 11:7 (the Disciples put their garments on the donkey for Jesus to sit on), and Mark 11:8.  Many of these only had a single garment, yet took it off for Jesus, and Jesus accepted it.  This of course, is perfectly consistent with the teaching that the shame of nakedness comes from sin, because they were not actively sinning when they greeted their Savior and our Savior at the gates of Jerusalem.

In John 13:4, Jesus himself set aside his garments in front of the Twelve and proceeded to wash the feet of his Disciples.  This too is consistent with the doctrine that sin is the source of the shame of nakedness because Jesus never sinned and therefore had nothing to bring him shame.

In John 21:7 (after the resurrection of the Lord), Peter is fishing with his friends naked (go read the context).  This was actually common place back then, for a laborer to work without clothing.  And this may have also been the reason why Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener in John 20:15, for Yeshua left all of his grave clothes behind when he rose from the dead (Luke 24:12, John 20:6-7).  This of course is perfectly consistent with the doctrine that sin is the source of the shame of nakedness.

4. Avoiding Salvation by Works

It is often said that anyone who keeps God's Law is by definition, trying to work for his or her salvation.  And whoever teaches obedience to God's Law is by definition, teaching works-based salvation.  For some reason, the Church absolutely hates the idea of keeping God's Law and actively teaches that such things are not only not necessary, but also evil.  Now this overlaps with the first inconsistency listed in this post, because the Church actually teaches obedience to some of the commandments in God's Law (chiefly, the Ten Commandments) along with most, if not all, of Leviticus 18, among some other commands also found in God's Law.

Interestingly enough, nobody says that obedience to Yeshua's commandments is salvation by works, even though his commandments seem more difficult to keep than the Law of God.  For example, as pointed-out in my post on what Jesus meant by "but I say", Jesus linked coveting your neighbor's wife with committing adultery with her.  He also linked bearing a grudge against your neighbor with committing murder.

Now, when writing this post, I realized I made a mistake on the post I just linked.  I accidentally wrote:

So according to Jesus himself, anyone who nullifies the Law of God is guilty of sin.  This means that it can't be that Jesus is nullifying Deuteronomy 24:1 by forbidding adultery.

But I meant to say this:

So according to Jesus himself, anyone who nullifies the Law of God is guilty of sin.  This means that it can't be that Jesus is nullifying Deuteronomy 24:1 by forbidding divorce.

I'm going to be leaving that mistake in because I have a policy that once a blog post is published, it does not get any edits done to it for any reason.

Speaking of divorce:  As mentioned in that post right after the mistake, I mentioned that the intent of Deuteronomy 24:1 is being ignored.  The intent of the verse is to give provision to terminate a marriage in very specific situations (eg: a woman hiding any premarital indiscretions from her husband).  The Pharisees twisted it to allow for divorce for any reason.

So not only is Jesus teaching obedience to the Law, he's linking commandments together that are usually considered separately, making the Law harder to follow simply by keeping Jesus's commands.  But Jesus didn't make the Law harder to follow.  He simply exposed the intent of the Law and gave the correct interpretation of the Law, which is harder to follow simply because of human nature.  So if keeping our flawed understanding of God's Law is "salvation by works", then so is keeping Yeshua's commands.

But how exactly do with solve this inconsistency of obedience being salvation by works?  Simple:  There is absolutely zero Biblical support for the assertion that obedience to the Law of God is by definition, works-based salvation.  None!  In fact, those who make such assertions prove that they do not know God, and are lying when they claim to know him (1 John 2:3-4).  The Bible also says that keeping God's Law is by definition, loving God (1 John 5:2-3).  There's also the passages referenced for inconsistency #1.  And James 2:14-26 explains in detail how faith is made complete by our works and how works prove our faith.  It also refutes the "faith alone" doctrine, which is used to justify rebellion against God.  So we keep God's commands because we love God, not to somehow earn our salvation.  And this keeping of God's Law proves our faith.

5. To Sin or Not to Sin

One common objection to the teaching that Christians should keep God's Law is that we allegedly cannot keep it, so we shouldn't even try.  This overlaps with inconsistencies 1 and 4 quite a bit.  You might have heard the phrase, "you will sin every day in thought or deed", which I covered in a previous post.  Often, this saying will have a context that implies, "you're going to sin anyways, so don't even try to not sin".  These same people will also rightfully say that we should not lie, steal, murder, or commit adultery, for example.  Other examples of things that they will tell us not to do include "lusting" after a woman, becoming drunk, or judging others.  In some cases, they have many additional rules in place to try to avoid sinning, which are themselves considered sinful to break.

On one hand, they teach that we shouldn't try not to sin, because will will sin anyways, or because trying not to sin is "salvation by works".  And on the other hand, not only say that we should not sin, but that we should any situation where we could potentially sin at all costs.  But what does the Bible say?

Jesus said "sin no more" [John 5:14] and Paul said "do not sin" [1 Corinthians 15:34].  In John 9:21, we read that God does not listen to the sinner.  That explains the lack of healings in the Church.  And in Romans 6, we are told not to allow sin to have any power over us because we have been freed from sin.  In fact, he states that sin does not have any power over those who believe in the Lord Yeshua.  And 1 John 5:8 says that whoever is born of God does not sin.  Now who is it that says "you will sin every day in thought or deed"?  Oh right, the one who's mind is driven by the flesh instead of the spirit.  Such a person is unable to submit to God's commandments [Romans 8:7].  And that explains why conservative Christians have so many heretical rules to try to avoid sin.  They're treating the symptom instead of the cause.  The one who is delivered from will naturally keep God's Law and be able to avoid sinning.  And even when such a person does stumble (which is contrary to that person's nature), that person has an advocate with the Father [1 John 2:1].

How to Test Claims that Something is a Sin

When trying to determine whether something that is claimed to be a sin actually is a sin, you only need to ask these three questions: Does T...