A reader wrote me on November 14

A reader wrote me on November 14 November 30, 2016

But because I am a lazy slob, I am only now getting around to replying, to my shame. She sez:

You have been writing quite a bit about people who are “anti-abortion but not pro-life”. You wrote I think very clearly and movingly about the fact that raising one specific virtue above all the others is idolatry. Somehow this connected in my mind with the fact that there are 10 commandments, not just one. God did not say that it is all right if you violate the Sabbath, as long as you don’t murder. Nor did He say that it is all right for you to dishonor your father and mother, as long as you don’t murder anybody. Likewise, He did not say that it is all right to murder, as long as you don’t lie about it. I have started saying to people “There are 10 commandments, not just one”, but I have to keep explaining what I mean.

Also, today’s reading is very interesting, and I think it should be read more often. It is near the very beginning of Revelation.  John is addressing a church, and begins with all these compliments about how the church community has persevered through difficulties, has discerned false apostles, has done good works. But then he says that God sees that the church has fallen away from their earlier love, and is in serious danger of , which I think is a bad sign. So even though they did do all these good things, and can point with some justifiable satisfaction to their spiritual growth, apparently that is NOT enough.

What do you think? Am I on the right track?

You are indeed on the right track.  Here’s the reading:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near.

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne.

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:

“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

The notion that virtue in one area of our life excuses sin in another area is a beloved lie we tell ourselves constantly!  Happily, I never do that, so I’m sure God will overlook the sins I do commit.

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