Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Choose Life

This article is being posted in light of the Torah portion that was read this Shabbat that has just past (Nitzavim).

There is a very large and popular church in the city where I live (Pretoria South Africa) which has the name of “Choose Life Church.” Now, we all have to assume that this church was named after a passage from the Bible, as it is a Christian church. In fact, on their website, they admit that this is true. Now, if this is the case, then this church must stand up to the principles taught in the Bible too, or at least in the verse from which it gets its name from. If you do a little research, then you will quickly realize that the term, “choose life” appears only once in the entire Scriptures. It is not found in the “New Testament” but actually only in the Torah.

The verse that this particular church used in reference to their name is Deut 30:19. Let us read it together:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut 30:19 KJV)

It is actually a very nice name that is based on a very lovely and beautiful verse in the Scriptures. The Almighty has set before us life and death and has given us the choice as to which one we want to choose. The church in question (Choose Life Church) has clearly stated which one they claim to have chosen, and which things that they supposedly teach accordingly.

The Scriptures make it very clear what choosing life entails and what we need to do in order to choose this life. It clearly says that the Almighty has set it before us and that the heaven and the earth are witnesses to this. We need to read the entire chapter in order to know what choosing life is all about, according to the Word of the Almighty. For a restriction of space, let us start reading from vs 15:

See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, in that I am commanding you today to love יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess” (Deut 30:15-16).

In the verses above is the formula for choosing life. Choosing life is to love the Almighty, to walk in His ways, and to guard (do) His commands, His Laws, and His right rulings. If you do this, then you are choosing life. This is saying that we need to do all that is written in the Torah.

But what happens when you do not do these things? Well, let us read further to see.

But if your heart turns away, and you do not obey, and shall be drawn away, and shall bow down to other mighty ones and serve them, I have declared to you today that you shall certainly perish, you shall not prolong your days in the land which you are passing over the Yardĕn to enter and possess” (Deut 30:17-18)

The disobedience of the Torah is to turn away your heart from the Almighty. If this happens then you will bow down to other mighty ones and serve them. When this happens, the verse says, “you shall certainly perish”. The disobedience of the Torah is choosing death.

So with this information from the Scriptures, it is safe to assume that any institution who claims to base their faith on the Scriptures and who call themselves by the title of, “Choose Life” should in fact be following and teaching the Torah, just as the Messiah did. If not, then they are liars and teach only lies. “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). One cannot take a title or verse from the Scriptures and use it totally in the wrong context. If one does so, then it is a total deception to all who come into contact with them.

So let us compare the teachings of the church (called, “Choose Life”) with that of the instruction manual of the Almighty, called the Scriptures (The Word of the Almighty Creator).

But before we get started with this list, let us have a look at one of the prerequisites that the Choose Life Church has for becoming a member of their church is. On their website, the second prerequisite for becoming a member is as follows:

”You should be endeavoring to live a life that pleases God. You should not be living in sin.

Now let us go to the Bible and see what it says what sin is:

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV)

So according to the statement of the Choose Life Church, we have to assume that all its members are living according to the Law of the Almighty. If not, then they should not be members (according to the requirements of the Church itself). If the leaders and pastors of the Church also do not live by the Law (which according to the Bible is living in sin) then they are hypocrites and liars. This is according to their own standards.

Sha’ul (Paul) makes a clear statement in 2 Corinthians regarding those who do not keep the Law (Torah), “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14). He makes it very clear that those who do not live by the Law of the Almighty are unbelievers and darkness and the opposite of righteous. And what did the Messiah say about those who are lawless?

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master, shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens.
Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mat 7:21-23).

The Messiah himself proclaims that those who do not submit themselves to being obedient to the Torah of his Father, even though they profess to be believers and do many mighty works, will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. These people who do not live by the Torah are not known to the Messiah and will be rejected at his return.

So now, let us look at a few examples of what the Torah teaches and see if the members of the Choose Life Church lives up to the standards of the Scriptures.

1) The Scriptures teach us that we need to rest and learn Scripture on the Sabbath (the seventh day) and that it is an eternal covenant. The Sabbath is also a sign between the Almighty and the people of the Almighty (Exodus 31:13-16). The Sabbath is also a commandment, the 4th one (Exodus 20:8-11). If we do not keep the Sabbath, then we do not guard the Commandments and deny the creation of the heavens and the earth, and therefore are not choosing life.

Does the Choose Life Church keep the Sabbath? NO… they get together on the first day which was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church to make the statement that the Church is above Scripture (Word of the Almighty) and has the authority to change the Scriptures. Choose Life Church does not choose life by breaking the Sabbath, which is a transgression of the Law, which is living in sin.

2) According to the Scriptures (Lev 11), the eating of any sort of unclean animals (like pork, rabbit, prawns etc) are an abomination to the Almighty. It is still as relevant today as it was in the time of Mosheh (Moses) and is part of the Law.

Does the Choose Life Church keep to and teach the eating of clean animals only, and the abstinence of unclean animals? NO, they do not believe that to be relevant at all anymore, even though they claim that the “Old Testament” is the Word of the Almighty, on their website under “statement of faith”. It is just too convenient to pick and choose which parts of the Law they want to keep.

3) The Scriptures make it very clear that we should not learn the ways of the world (Deut 18:9), and that the friend of the world is an enemy of the Almighty (James 4:4). The celebration of pagan festivals is an abomination in the eyes of the Almighty and is considered as idolatry, which is the transgression of the 2nd commandment.

Does the Choose Life Church abstain from idolatrous celebrations as the Scriptures require? NO, They celebrate Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Gregorian New Year, Sun-day, etc. All these celebrations originate from paganism and are an abomination to the Almighty.

4) The Scriptures make it very clear that in order to belong to Yisra’el (spiritual Yisra’el), all the males have to be circumcised. This is the sign of the covenant (Gen 17:10-14). If any males are not circumcised, then they cannot partake in the Passover (that means no communion) (Exodus 12:43-44) and (Ezekiel 44:9).

Does the Choose Life Church practice and teach the necessity of circumcision? NO, They teach that it is not necessary to be circumcised, which is contrary to what the Scriptures teach.

5) The 3rd Commandment commands us not to bring the Name YHWH to naught (Exodus 20:7). The Torah also commands us not to use the names of other idols, and not to even let it be heard out of our mouths (Exodus 23:13). Substituting the Name of the Almighty, with that of the name of an idol, is forbidden and an abomination to the Almighty. Also, using the names of idols in place of names and other words is also an abomination.

Does the Choose Life Church use the correct names and words as correctly translated from the original text, and do not substitute them with the names of idols? NO, they have chosen to follow the Roman Catholic Church who dictates all the Christian doctrines and totally undermines the authority of the Scriptures. Choose Life Church rather follows after man made doctrines rather than the written Word of the Almighty.

Why do they do so? Because it is far more profitable (in the worlds eyes, money -wise) to follow the corrupt Christian system. If the Church taught Scripture and Scripture alone in the correct context, then they would never be able to function as a business (which they really are) and make a profit by exploiting its members.

Is it not a little fishy to realize that the only form of the Law that the Church keeps is that of the tithes? Even this is twisted so that the people are fooled into giving their hard earned money to the church.

For an organization who claims to follow the Scriptures, the Choose Life Church certainly cannot be more wrong. They even support people who supports absolute transgression of the law. They support a preacher who believes homosexuality is acceptable and that homosexuals will also inherit the kingdom of heaven. They even have a link to this preacher’s website on their website.

Choose Life Church is a business that does not promote Scripture, but rather “good feelings” to its members so that they will always have a constant supply of money. One statement that this church cannot say is that their teachings are based on the Scriptures. If you desire to follow the Teachings of the Almighty, who created heaven and earth and sustains it all by His eternal Word and choose life… then Choose Life Church is certainly not the place to be.

One great problem that arises from such churches and people who follow these churches and teachings is that they are the ones who persecute and abuse the righteous people who are keeping all the commandments of the Almighty and walking a righteous life.

Christianity is a religion of pure hypocrisy saying that their faith is based on the Scriptures and yet, they go and transgress all the commands of the Almighty in everything that they do. 

It is very easy to say that you choose life, but it is another thing to actually choose life by obeying the Word of the Almighty.

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