Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices (part of Christian ethics) that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

In the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon stated that God (YHVH) specifically hates six sins and that seven are an abomination unto Him. While there are seven of them, this list is considerably different from the traditional one, with only pride clearly being in both lists.

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
(Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV)

Another list, given this time by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Galatians, includes more of the traditional seven sins, although the list is substantially longer.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

The traditional list of the Seven Deadly Sins developed in Catholicism. The Seven Deadly Sins do not belong to an additional category of sin. Rather, they are the sins that are seen as the origin of the other sins. Hence, they are called “Deadly Sins” because they engender other sins, other vices.

So which list is correct? The traditional list or the one in Proverbs or Galatians? Actually, none of these lists are correct. Each and every sin or transgression of the law are the same in the eyes of God. The penalty for any sin is the sentence of death.

The Apostle James (the brother of Yeshua) wrote, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:8-11 KJV).

The law was considered an interdependent whole, and any infraction constituted a breaking of the law as a whole. Yeshua said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18 KJV). Therefore the transgression of any part of the law makes one accountable (a legal term for liable or guilty) for the whole law.

In his epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV) and “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 KJV).

No one can stake a claim to righteousness based on his or her own obedience, for all people have sinned and fall short of what God demands. Those who give themselves to sin will die both physically and eternally, whereas Christians are assured of eternal life. Wages implies that the punishment for sin is what one has earned and what one deserves. Free gift is the opposite of something one deserves.

Paul continues, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” (Romans 5:12-17 KJV).

God has provided a plan for salvation and redemption through Yeshua’s sacrifice and atonement. Paul writes, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:9-11 KJV).

If you confess with your mouth does not mean that a spoken affirmation of one’s faith is a “work” that merits justification, but such confession does give outward evidence of inward faith, and often confirms that faith to the speaker himself. Paul does not mean that people need to believe only this individual event with no understanding of Yeshua’s death, but rather they need to believe in the resurrection along with the whole complex of truth connected with it, particularly Yeshua’s sin-bearing death in mankind’s place, followed by his resurrection that showed God the Father’s approval of Messiah Yeshua’s work. Saving faith is not mere intellectual agreement but deep inward trust in Yeshua at the core of one’s being. Paul cites the writings of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 28:16-22) to emphasize that trusting in Yeshua (not works-righteousness) is the pathway to salvation. Shame refers to the humiliation that those judged on the last day will experience when they are sent to hell.

When speaking to Nicodemus, Yeshua said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:16-21 KJV).

The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages” (Isaiah 49:8 KJV).

In his second epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV).

By quoting Isaiah to summarize his own appeal to the Corinthians, Paul identifies his apostolic ministry with Isaiah’s prophetic role of calling Israel to repentance and perseverance in view of the coming day of redemption and judgment. Paul declares that this time of salvation has already arrived in Christ.

When the Apostle Paul wrote, “behold, now is the day of salvation,” he announced a special and important quality of divine grace. It is time-sensitive. It is always a matter of today. It is always a matter of here and now.

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You Cannot Serve Two Masters

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
(Luke 16:10-13 ESV)

The love of money leads to all kinds of problems in this world and in our lives. Greed, materialism, selfishness, worry and dishonesty are among these problems. The love of money has another consequence, it always replaces our love of God.

HarperCollins Publishers is the parent company of both Thomas Nelson Publishing and Zondervan. They are the world’s largest Christian publisher of books, audio recordings, video recordings and Bibles. Interestingly, they also publish The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey. HarperCollins Publishers is owned by News Corporation. Keith Rupert Murdoch is the founder, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate. Keith Rupert Murdoch publishes pornography (film and print), yet claims to be a Born-again Christian.  Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church is  Keith Rupert Murdoch’s pastor. Coincidentally, Zondervan is also Rick Warren’s publisher.

Profit is the goal of all corporations. What are the practical implications of a alleged Christian publisher serving God and Satan, albeit under different subsidiary company names?

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
(John 2:13-16 ESV)

Keep in mind that the money changers and those selling sacrificial animals in the Holy Temple were doing so to enable worshipers to serve God during the Passover Feast. They had setup a type of convenience store in the courtyard of the Holy Temple, selling livestock for sacrificial offerings and money changers, who changed the standard Greek and Roman money for Jewish and Tyrian money. However, none of this was enough to justify their actions before Messiah Yeshua. This is the only account of Yeshua using physical force in any of the Gospels.

An Old Testament comparison can be found in an incident that took place in the Holy Temple can be found in the time of Nehemiah, when Nehemiah overturned the furniture of Tobiah the Ammonite who had, with the cooperation of Eliashib the High Priest, leased the storerooms of the temple, depriving the Levites of their rations from the offerings, and drove out Eliashib’s grandson who had married the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite (Nehemiah 13).

The Bible says that God is a jealous God. The Bible says that you cannot serve God and money. The Bible says that God is Lord over all. Clearly, God wants all or nothing.

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:16-22 ESV)

The Theology of Money

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
(Matthew 6:24 ESV)

Almost everyone has heard the saying that, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Not only that, they will steadfastly insistent that this ‘phantom verse’ is in the Bible. I for one, thank God that these so called phantom verses are not contained in scripture.

As all rumors and lies, howver, their is typically some grain of salt to any fanatical, absurd and fabricated scripture verse. Some quote these verses in hypocrisy and some in arrocgance. So where exactly does, “The love of money is the root of all evil” come from?

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
(1 Timothy 6:9-10 ESV)

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the Prosperity Gospel or Health and Wealth Gospel)is a Christian religious doctrine, which claims the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians.The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always cause an increase in material wealth. I like to refer to Prosperety Therology as Slot-Machine Christianity.

Prosperity theology teaches that it is part of the path to Christian dominion over society, arguing that God’s promise to Israel of dominion applies to Christians today (Replacment Theology or Supersessionism Theology, other unsould heresies that wull be adessed in another article). The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God’s will for his people to be happy. The atonement is interpreted to include removal of sickness and poverty, viewed as curses to be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through visualization and positive confession, which is often taught in mechanical and contractual terms. This stems from an interpretation of the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver his promises of security and prosperity. Confessing these promises to be true is perceived as an act of faith, which God will honor. The doctrine is often based on non-traditional interpretations of the Bible, with emphasis often on the Book of Malachi.

Prosperity churches are usually directed by a sole pastor or leader, although some have developed multi-church networks that bear similarities to denominations. They typically set aside extended periods of time to teach about giving and request donations from the congregation, encouraging positive speech and faith. Some prosperity churches also teach about financial responsibility, though some journalists and academics have criticized their advice as unsound.

Prosperity Theolgy hangs most of its doctrines on one verse, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him (Malachi 3:18 ESV).”

Of course, for every concept there is a negative or reverse concept, and that brings us to Poverty Theology.

The basic idea of Poverty Therology is that wealth is wrong and poverty right. In many cases, it also includes the idea that voluntary poverty is a special class of moral excellence. Poverty Theoulogy is a lifestyle philosophy characterized by the denial of the flesh, especially in the form of basic material pleasures (food, shelter, possessions, etc.). It is called Poverty YTheology because its proponents subject themselves to poverty for theological reasons, namely, the imitation of Christ (Colossians 1:24), amd the conflict between the spirit and flesh (Galatians 5:16-26). Historically, ascetics have done things like renouncing material possessions, begging for food, living in solitude, even beating their own bodies. At its worst, Poverty Theology is accompanied by an unbiblical merit theology. At its best, it is a spiritual discipline undertaken in response to the gospel of grace.

Sadly, much of the teaching about stewarding one’s treasure is prone to either poverty or prosperity theology. Poverty theology considers those who are poor to be more righteous than those who are rich; it honors those who choose to live in poverty as particularly devoted to God. Conversely, prosperity theology considers those who are rich to be more righteous than those who are poor; it honors those who are affluent as being rewarded by God because of their faith. In fact, both poverty and prosperity theology are half-truths because the Bible speaks of four ways in which treasure can be stewarded (Doctrine, Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, pg.388-391).

  • Righteous rich stewards – Biblical examples of righteous rich stewards include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job (both before and after his life tragedy and season of poverty), Joseph of Arimathea (who gave Jesus his personal tomb), Lydia (who funded much of Paul’s ministry), and Dorcas (who often helped the poor).
  • Righteous poor stewards – Biblical examples of righteous poor stewards include Ruth and Naomi, Jesus Christ, the widow who gave her mite, the Macedonian church, and Paul, who often knew want and hunger.
  • Unrighteous rich stewards – Biblical examples of unrighteous rich stewards include Laban, Esau, Nabal, Haman, the rich young ruler, and Judas Iscariot.
  • Unrighteous poor stewards – Biblical examples of unrighteous poor stewards include the sluggard and the fool, who are repeatedly renounced throughout the book of Proverbs.

Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
(Proverbs 30:7-9 ESV)

A loving and generous Father once bought his son a shiny new bicycle. With a broad smile, the Father surprised the son and rolled it out and handed it to him. Strangely, rather than looking happy, the son looked anxious. Rather than riding the bike, he stepped away from it in fear. The Father asked the child what was wrong. The son replied, “Father, I cannot ride the bike. All around the world there are missionaries who do not have a bike. I would like to give them my bike so that they can ride it to unreached peoples and preach the gospel. The Father replied, “If you simply ask me, I am glad to also give you a second bike to give to a missionary.” Yet, rather than simply riding the bike, the son continued to argue with his Father, saying, “I would much prefer an older bicycle. This one is shiny and new. It makes me look proud if I ride it.” The Father explained, “If I want you to ride the bike I gave you, and you are more concerned about what others think of you as you ride it than my joy in seeing you enjoy my gift to you, then you may look humble to them, but I know there is pride in your heart because you are living for their approval instead of my joy.” Unrelenting, the son said, “But some people will talk about my bicycle out of judgment, envy, or jealousy because it is so nice. Some might even stumble and covet my bicycle. I do not want them to sin, and so I would rather not have a new bike so as to be considerate of them.” The Father replied, “If others respond to my grace to you in this way, the problem is not the bicycle but their hearts. I will deal with their hearts should they prove sinful—something you assume will happen but do not know. I will love and serve them by working to change their heart if they respond sinfully. But for you, my request is that you simply ride the bicycle I gave you. You are thinking about it too much and enjoying it too little.” The Father walked away for a few hours, kindly asking the son to consider his request. Upon returning, the son had yet another line of reasoning. “Father, I will not ride the bike because I am fearful. I fear that it is so nice and I would enjoy it so much that it would become an idol to me. So, to avoid idolatry I will abstain from riding the bicycle.” The Father replied, “You could also ride your bike as an act of worship to me, enjoying the gift I gave you to your joy and my glory. Once again, the problem is not the bicycle.” The son replied, “But Father, you are better than any bicycle. You are enough. I do not need a bicycle. I have you. You, Father, are enough.” Grieved in his heart, the Father said, “I know I am enough. But I am a generous Father. I like to give gifts to my children. I like to see them blessed, happy, and free. I just wanted to watch you ride the bike. And I wanted to go for a ride with you. Then, we could have had fun, spend time together, make memories, and laugh.” Tragically, the son never did ride the bicycle. Instead, he gave it away. He did not cause anyone to stumble, or treat his bike as an idol. And he did not obey his Father and worship him by simply being a kid and enjoying the gift his Father gave him because he was too busy being a theologian with a head full of fears rather than a heart full of fun.”
(Pastor Mark Driscoll, Discipleship and Parenting, September 21, 2011)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
(Psalms 37:4-5 ESV)

Money and material possessions are a problem only when we place them before God, which is the sin of idolatry.

  • Here is a short video clip of Pastor Mark Driscoll concerning both “poverty theology” and “prosperity theology.”  http://youtu.be/3C9aa2C-Bdw