1 THESSALONIANS 2 = CATECHISM 675, 676, 677

 

THE GREAT APOSTASY

during End Times

 

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THE BLAME GAME

            The classic example of the Blame Game is pointing your accusing finger at someone else. Your thumb may then be poised over your cell phone to text the blame to others. But there are still three fingers aimed back at you.

 

            Where has that finger been? In your nose? Smashing a bug? Grasping toilet paper? And it is called a trigger finger. We need to be more subtle.

 

            OK, but a lot of things arenít my fault.

 

            The word of the day is ďinsidious.Ē Intended to entrap or beguile. Stealthily treacherous or deceitful. Operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but with grave effect. Blame is insidious. It is the root of much of our misery and sufferingÖ and separation from God. It got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden.

 

            Why would God allow all the misery and suffering? Especially where I live. I love God and am working hard to love my neighbor. And all that rain. Why?

 

            What did Jesus tell us? ďHe causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.Ē[1]

 

            OK, when that noisy atheist who lives next door got flooded, I got swamped too. Can I blame him?  How about the real-estate agent who pushed this prime location? My wife wanted to be near the kids. And what about the insurance agent who didnít tell me my valuable stamp collection was not covered. Where is FEMA when you need them? I pay taxes. And my toilet paper is wet. This is miserable.

 

            Maybe Satan is involved with this rain thing in some way.

 

            We are back to Sneaky Snake enticing Eve with his own sin. Adam leaned forward to hear, ďFor God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil[2] Adam though he could be like God.

 

            Wasnít the Original Sin disobeying God? He said donít eat from that tree, and they did. The first result of their action was Adam and Eve saw each other as naked. When God arrived the fig leaves did not cover their exposure to Him. Then came their sin quickly learned by later generations, the Blame Game. Iím Good, youíre Evil.

 

            Was it the apple action or the intent? Adam didnít care about knowing good and evil, whatever that was. He wanted to be like God. The apple incident was insidious.

 

            Why would we want to be like God? Even Adam and Eve understood that God knew more, could do more, probably had a better hut, and He could eat the apple. They wanted what He had. The intent was envy.

 

            Today we are told to be more like Jesus. Then our friends will envy us. Is there Denominational pride?

 

            God later inspired the words, ďA heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones[3] That sounds miserable and that bone bit would certainly cause suffering.

 

            Is envy more concisely condemned in the Commandment, ďYou shall not covetÖĒ?[4] Might we covet that house on the hill?

 

            OK, stuff happens. I got flooded. I feel miserable. But it wasnít my fault.

 

            The houses with a view my wife and I looked at up in the hills were older and more expensive than the newer and nicer home we bought down below. When we were in escrow, I complained about the insurance premium for buying in a flood plain. They said it was mentioned in the fine print I skimmed in the purchase contract. I think our real-estate agent mentioned it, but nobody said it ever flooded here. It was closer to work and the schools. Our church is just down the block. They got flooded too.

 

            Wait a minute. The unexpected tropical rain was from global warming. Itís those rich guys with the gas guzzling cars and airplanes. And the emissions from all those cows needed for people who eat too much beef.

 

            Isnít hindsight wonderful? Maybe I could have made different choices. No, we need a lawyer do dig into the details. Or is suing just legal blame? Lawyers play Adamís game.

 

            And looking back at that Eden incident, whoís to blame? Well, Satan, of course. And didnít Adam and Eve pass on to us their Original Sin? The apple was a little like the nice house on level ground we chose that already had a play set in the back yard for the kids.

 

            Original Sin. Didnít we start life with inherited sin? You heard about it on the playground, in Sunday school, from the pulpit, and your parentís allusions. Theologians have for millennia told us who to blame. We are infected by Adamís sin. It is Adamís fault. Or have we have sucked up Satanís insidious lie? It is really our personal fault for copying Adamís sin of blame.

 

            If we do not blame away our sinful thoughts and actions, we will be naked before God. We will need more than fig leaves. Original Sin is a guilt-reduction pill that has not been checked by the FDA for side effects. Original Sin is Adamís fault. Or is that blame?

 

            But Adam didnít learn about good and evil. He flat didnít understand and had nothing to pass on to his descendants except an apple core. That is why God gave us his Word. We are buried in stories of misunderstanding, so we got the 10 Commandments and Moses a bunch of rules to guide us back to good. God made it easier for us with the sacrifice of Jesus, but still we are buried in gotta-dos and no-nos. We go to Bible studies and hope we get some insight into our own lives or export our brilliance. And still we have a wandering heart and eye.

 

            Jesus said, ďanyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.Ē[5] Adam looked lustfully at Eve, but they were married. We know adultery is a problem, so letís downgrade Ďlustfulí to mean something like a Ďpretty sunset.í Or adjust our intent or where God might string the yellow tape. Letís skim past Jesusí words like that fine print in the purchase contract.

 

            We are told to be more like Jesus. Who did He blame? He came down hard on the teachings of the Pharisees and flipped the tables of the money changers. But at whom did He point his finger?[6]

 

            In the Temple courts the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and Jesus was asked if she should be stoned to death. Jesusí finger wrote on the ground, and He said, ďLet any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.Ē[7] The sinful accusers actually paid attention to Jesus and left. Jesus told the adulteress[8] He did not condemn her but told her to leave her life of sin.

 

            We are sinners. When we become aware of a sinful thought or deed, repent. Donít point. Repent twice and thrice, until you get it right. Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving our sins.

 

            Do we envy God? Or do we just want to be enough like Him to not need His direction anymore? Then all our choices will be good choices. Should I move to higher ground?

 

            OK, but a lot of things still arenít my fault. Itís alright to blame them. So, pick up the first stone and throw it their way in judgment.

 

            The Blame Game: Iím good, youíre evil.

 

            Wait, Sneaky Snake said, ďyou will be like God, knowing good and evil[9] The Devil lied. We didnít know good and evil, we used it. We lied to ourselves.

 

            Thatís insidious.

 

            Point your finger and question your allusions, illusions, delusions, and conclusions. Left-handed or right-handed, your sin is your own.

 

[1] Matthew 5:45.

[2] Genesis 3:5.

[3] Proverbs 14:30.

[4] Exodus 12:17.

[5] Matthew 5:28.

[6] Who would we blame if we had no sin?

[7] John 8:7.

[8] Where is the adulterer? He blamed her.

[9] Genesis 3:5,