Buffet Style Religion
One of my favorite places to eat is at Golden Corral. They have a wide selection of choices and you can pick and choose what foods you want and however much you desire. Yet many people in religion have adopted this style of thinking when it comes to the word of God. That the scriptures are a sort of a buffet of various doctrines and commandments, and we just pick the ones we like, and just ignore others that don't suit our tastebud. We see this mind set in the Jewish nation of the first century. They like to emphasize certain parts of the law, like the Sabbath, tithing, prohibitions on idolatry, etc. Jesus said in Matt.23:23, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." Jesus points out that be careful about the tithing law is good, but not when you neglect and overlook the weightier matters of the law is not right. We cannot think of the holy scriptures as some sort of buffet that we get to pick and choose what we want to follow and obey. Jesus in answer to the Devil's temptation in Matt.4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." We live by "every word" not just some here and there on the buffet bar of scripture. When Jesus gave the great commission, he told the apostles, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Then those who were baptized he commanded, "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" Not some things, not lots of things, not almost all things, but "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." Buffets are well and good for the physical man, but it does work for the spiritual man.