One of the things that I note is that even the most irreligious Jews cannot help themselves, but are fervently religious. They may say that the synagogue is useless and evolution disproved the Torah, but they are fervent Buddhists, Progressives, Freudians, Marxists or all four. They are, generally, very verbal, quick to defend. This can be useful if you need a combative spokesman, but it does not make for a quiet and peaceful life. This attitude is also seen in cultures that were calvinist, and are now apostate.
They have lost the spirit of God, but they have the form of religion. They may not call what they worship Gods, but it fulfils their need for a myth, a need to sacrifice, and ritual. Yesterday I had to buy a couple of plane tickets and I was asked to donate to a cause to reduce my carbon footprint.
But I do not worship strange Gods, for if I do, then a people who speak a language I do not know will replace my tribe and nation.
The exception is the Jews, for the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob remains. But Christ was clear. Your lineage will not save you.
Isaiah warns us as well. Too much attention to principles and disputation and precedent will offend the spirit of God, and leave you blinded.
9 “To whom will he teach knowledge,
and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.”
11 For by people of strange lips
and with a foreign tongue
the Lord will speak to this people,
12 to whom he has said,
“This is rest;
give rest to the weary;
and this is repose”;
yet they would not hear.
13 And the word of the Lord will be to them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little,
that they may go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken.
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
If we are not to follow precepts and precedents and the law of the land as defined by our courts (too often judged by Kangaroos) then we need a dfferent methodology. Peter gives us two answers, which relate. The first is that we should be ruled by love. The second is that we should be sober, measured. These complement each other. Even deep emotions need to be expressed gendly and in a controlled manner. There is many a person who has done foolish things in the grip of a strong emotion — be id desire, jealousy, envy or anger.
But those who consider not the spiritual but only this world want us to fit into their model, and in particular want to hate us, for they rule by fear and envy, not love and generousity. So we can expect oppositon, at times violent opposition. At other times, instead, the influtation that gently substitutes the methods of this world for the plain truth of the gospel.
They hate us because we align with Christ and not the world. For Christ saved us, to be in their world. but not of it: to be light, and not converged with darkness.
So when you have opposition. Praise God. Fear instead when the world praises you.