Jesus (Yehoshua) came to expand on the spiritual underpinnings of the Torah. He didn’t give new commands but explained what the true meaning was behind the ones given. In my video below I explain the way I understand idolatry in a similar manner and I discuss my views on how it can affect our relationships and marriages.
The article from Melinda Scott that mentions Paul suggesting we can stay with idolaters in marriage (when the rest of the bible suggests we shouldn’t) got me thinking a few weeks ago. I looked into the verses she mentioned and critically thought about it and what I thought was really meant by the word idolatry.
Before watching my video, you may want to check out this video concerning the origin of the phrase “Fear the LORD:”
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters— yes, even his own life— he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Ezra 9:10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken Thy commandments, 11 Which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying, “The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. 12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.” 13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; 14 Should we again break Thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not Thou be angry with us till Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?
Ezra 10:10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken foreign (non-Israeli) wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. 11 Now therefore make confession unto YHWH God of your fathers, and do His pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the foreign wives. 12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
The word for “foreign” is not necessarily viewed of as bad, but it has a bad connotation here because they were not worshiping the Israeli God, which means they were worshiping idols, false gods.
Malachi 2:11 Judah has broken faith; an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned YHWH’s beloved sanctuary by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, may YHWH cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who is awake and aware—even if he brings an offering to YHWH of Hosts
Deuteronomy 13:6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 the gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the earth to the other), 8 you must not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity, and do not spare him or shield him.
9 Instead, you must surely kill him. Your hand must be the first against him to put him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death for trying to turn you away from YHWH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.
In the video “What Does the Bible Say About Divorce and Remarriage?” (embedded below), Brad talks about how the commandment of death to murderers was allowed only because of the hardness of the hearts, but from the beginning it was not so. I would imagine it’s the same thing here. We aren’t to kill, but the stoning is allowed because of the hardness of people’s hearts who fall into idolatry.
In my video I mention that the Clementine scriptures expound on the hating or division of your family members. So I figured I would collect them and share them here:
From pages 153-154 of the Nazarene Acts of the Apostles PDF
Chapter IV: Not Shalom, But a Sword
Hence, also, He who has sent us, when He had come, and had seen that all the world had fallen into immorality, did not forthwith give shalom to him who is in error, lest He should confirm him in evil; but set the knowledge of truth in opposition to the ruins of ignorance of it, that, if men would repent and look upon the light of truth, they might rightly grieve that they all been deceived and drawn away into the precipices of error, and might kindle the fire of salutary anger against the ignorance that had deceived them.
On this account, therefore, He said, `I have come to send fire on the earth; and how I wish that it were kindled!’ There is therefore a certain fight, which is to be fought by us in this life; for the word of truth and knowledge necessarily separates men from error and ignorance, as we have often seen putrefied and dead flesh in the body separated by the cutting knife from its connection with the living members. Such is the effect produced by knowledge of the truth.
For it is necessary that, for the sake of salvation, the son, for example, who has received the word of truth, be separated from his unbelieving parents; or again, that the father be separated from his son, or the daughter from her mother. And in this manner the battle of knowledge and ignorance, of truth and error, arises between believing and unbelieving kinsmen and relations. And therefore He who has sent us said again `I am not come to send shalom on earth, but a sword.
Chapter V: How the Fight Begins
“But if anyone say, ‘How does it seem right for men to be separated from their parents?’ I will tell you how. Because, if they remained with them in error, they would do no good to them, and they would themselves perish with them. It is therefore right, and very right, that he who will be saved be separated from him who will not. But observe this also, that this separation does not come from those who understand aright; for they wish to be with their relatives, to do them good, and to teach them better things.
But it is the vice peculiar to ignorance that it will not bear to have near it the light of truth, which confutes it; and therefore that separation originates with them.
For those who receive the knowledge of the truth, because it is full of goodness, desire, if it be possible, to share it with all, as given by YHWH; yea, even with those who hate and persecute them: for they know that ignorance is the cause of their sin.
So, in short, the Master Himself, when He was being led to the stake by those who knew Him not, prayed to the Father for His murderers, and said, `Father, forgive their sin, for they know not what they do!’ The talmidim (students of Torah) also, in imitation of the Master, even when they were suffering, in like manner prayed for their murderers. But if we are taught to pray even for our murderers and persecutors, how ought we not to bear the persecutions of parents and relations, and to pray for their conversion?
Chapter VI: YHWH to Be Loved More than Parents
“Then let us consider carefully, in the next place, what reason we have for loving our parents. For this cause, it is said, we love them, because they seem to be the authors of our life. But our parents are not authors of our life, but means of it. For they do not bestow life, but afford the means of our entering into this life; while the one and sole author of life is YHWH. If, therefore we would love the Author of our life, let us know that it is He that is to be loved.
But then it is said, ‘We cannot know Him; but them we know, and hold in affection.’ Be it so: you cannot know what Elohim is, but you can very easily know what Elohim is not. For how can any man fail to know that wood, or stone, or brass, or other such matter, is not Elohim? But if you will not give your mind to consider the things that you might easily apprehend, it is certain that you are hindered in the knowledge of Elohim, not by impossibility, but by indolence; for if you had wished it, even from these useless images you might have been set on the way of understanding.
From pages 68-72 of the Nazarene Acts of the Apostles PDF An excerpt from a debate between Shimon (Simon the Magician) and Kefa (Apostle Peter).
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Then Kefa said: “I am ready, only provided that our discussion may be with shalom.” Then Shimon said: “Do not you see, O simpleton, that in pleading for shalom you act in opposition to your Master, and that what you propose is not suitable to Him who promises that He will overthrow ignorance? Or, if you are right in asking shalom from the audience, then your Master was wrong in saying, ‘I have not come to send shalom on earth, but a sword.’ For either you say well, and He not well; or else, if your Master said well, then you not at all well: for you do not understand that your statement is contrary to His, whose talmid (student) you profess yourself to be.”
Chapter XXVII: Questions and Answers
Then Kefa: “Neither He who sent me did amiss in sending a sword upon the earth, nor do I act contrary to Him in asking shalom of the hearers. But you both unskillfully and rashly find fault with what you do not understand: for you have heard that the Master came not to send shalom on earth; but that He also said, ‘Blessed are the shalom-makers, for they will be called the very sons of YHWH,’ you have not heard. So my sentiments are not different from those of the Master when I recommend shalom, to the keepers of which He assigned blessedness.”
Then Shimon said: “In your desire to answer for your Master, O Kefa, you have brought a much more serious charge against Him, if He Himself came not to make shalom, yet enjoined upon others to keep it. Where, then, is the consistency of that other saying of His, ‘it is enough for the talmid that he be as his Master?’”
Chapter XXVIII: Consistency of Moshiach’s Teaching
To this Kefa answered: “Our Master Y’shua, who is the Navi Emet (true prophet) and ever mindful of himself, neither contradicted himself, nor enjoined upon us anything different from what He himself practiced. For whereas he said, ‘I am not come to send shalom on earth, but a sword; and hence forth you will see father separated from son, son from father, husband from wife and wife from husband, mother from daughter and daughter from mother, brother from brother, father-in-law from daughter-in-law, friend from friend,’ all these contain the halakah (commands/teaching) of shalom; and I will tell you how.
At the beginning of his preaching, as wishing to invite and lead all to salvation, and induce them to bear patiently labors and trials, he blessed the poor, and promised that they should obtain the Malkuth Shamayim (Heavenly Kingdom) for their endurance of poverty, in order that under the influence of such a hope they might bear with equanimity the right of poverty, despising covetousness; for covetousness is one, and the greatest, of most pernicious sins. But he promised also that the hungry and the thirsty should be satisfied with the ageless blessings of righteousness, in order that they might bear poverty patiently, and not be led by it to undertake any unrighteous work. In like manner also, he said that the pure in heart are blessed, and that thereby they should see YHWH, in order that every one desiring so great a good might keep himself from evil and polluted thoughts.
Chapter XXIX: Shalom and Strife
“Thus, therefore, our Master, inviting his talmidim (students) to patience, impressed upon them that the blessing of shalom was also to be preserved with the labor of patience. But, on the other hand, He mourned over those who lived in riches and luxury, who bestowed nothing upon the poor; proving that they must render an account, because they did not pity their neighbors, even when they were in poverty, whom they ought to love as themselves. And by such sayings as these He brought some indeed to obey Him, but others He rendered hostile.
The believers therefore, and the obedient, He charges to have shalom among themselves, and says to them, ‘Blessed are the shalom-makers, for they will be called the very sons of YHWH.’
But to those who not only did not believe, but set themselves in opposition to His halakah (commands/teaching), He proclaims the war of the word and of confutation, and says that ‘henceforth you will see son separated from father, and husband from wife, and daughter from mother, and brother from brother, and daughter-in-law from mother-in-law, and a man’s foes will be they of his own house.’
For in every house, when there begins to be a difference betwixt believer and unbeliever, there is necessarily a contest: the unbelievers, on the one hand, fighting against the faith; and the believers on the other, confuting the old error and the vices of sins in them.
Chapter XXX: Shalom to the Sons of Shalom
“In like manner, also, during the last period of His teaching, He wages war against the Sophrim and Prushim (scribes and pharisees), charging them with evil deeds and unsound doctrine, and with hiding the key of knowledge that they had handed down to them from Moshe, by which the gate of the heavenly malkuth (kingdom) might be opened. But when our Master sent us forth to preach, He commanded us that into whatsoever city or house we should enter, we should say, ‘Shalom be to this house.’ ‘And if,’ said He, ‘a son of shalom be there, your shalom will come upon him; but if there be not, your shalom will return to you.’ Also that, going out from that house or city, we should shake off upon them the very dust that adhered to our feet. ‘But it will be more tolerable for the land of Sedom and Amorah in the Day of Judgment than for that city or house.’
This indeed He commanded to be done at length, if first the word of truth be preached in the city or house, whereby they who receive the faith of the truth may become sons of shalom and sons of YHWH; and those who will not receive it may be convicted as enemies of shalom and of YHWH.
Chapter XXXI Shalom and War
“Thus, therefore, we, observing the commands of our Master, first offer shalom to our hearers, that the way of salvation may be known without any tumult. But if any one does not receive the words of shalom, nor acquiesce in the truth, we know how to direct against him the war of the word, and to rebuke him sharply by confuting his ignorance and charging home upon him his sins. Therefore of necessity we offer shalom, that if anyone is a son of shalom, our shalom may come upon him; but from him who makes himself an enemy of shalom, our shalom will return to ourselves. We do not therefore, as you say, propose shalom by agreement with the immoral, for indeed we should straightway have given you the right hand; but only in order that, through our discussing quietly and patiently, it might be more easily ascertained by the hearers which one is the true speech. But if you differ and disagree with yourself, how will you stand? He must of necessity fall, he who is divided in himself; ‘for every malkuth divided against itself will not stand.’ If you have anything to say to this, say on.”
Chapter XXXII: Shimon’s Challenge
Then said Shimon: “I am astonished at your folly. For you so propound the words of your Master, as if it were held to be certain concerning Him that He is a navi; (prophet) while I can very easily prove that He often contradicted Himself. In short, I will refute you from those words that you have yourself brought forward. For you say, that He said that every malkuth or every city divided in itself will not stand; and elsewhere you say that He said that He would send a sword, that He might separate those who are in one house, so that son will be divided from father, daughter from mother, brother from brother; so that if there be five in one house, three will be divided against two, and two against three. If, then, everything that is divided falls, he who makes divisions furnishes causes of falling; and if He is such, assuredly He is immoral. Answer this if you can.”
Chapter XXXIII: Authority
Then Kefa: “Do not rashly take exception, O Shimon, against the things that you do not understand. In the first place, I will answer your assertion that I set forth the words of my Master, and from them resolve matters about which there is still doubt. Our Master, when He sent us shlichim (apostles) to preach, enjoined us to teach all tribes the things that were committed to us. We cannot therefore speak those things as they were spoken by Him. For our commission is not to speak, but to teach those things, and from them to show how every one of them rests upon truth. Nor, again, are we permitted to speak anything of our own. For we are sent; and of necessity he who is sent delivers the message as he has been ordered, and sets forth the will of the sender. For if I should speak anything different from what He who sent me enjoined me, I should be a false sholiach (apostle), not saying what I am commanded to say, but what seems good to myself. Whoever does this, evidently wishes to show himself to be better than he is than the one by whom he is sent, and without doubt is a traitor. If, on the contrary, he keeps by the things that he is commanded, and brings forward most clear assertions of them, it will appear that he is accomplishing the work of a sholiach; and it is by striving to fulfill this that I displease you. Blame me not, therefore, because I bring forward the words of Him who sent me. But if there is aught in them that is not fairly spoken, you have liberty to confute me; but this can in no wise be done, for He is a navi, and cannot be contrary to Himself. But if you do not think that He is a navi,let this be first inquired into.”
Chapter XXXIV: Order of Proof
Then said Shimon: “I have no need to learn this from you, but how these things agree with one another. For if He will be shown to be inconsistent, He will be proved at the same time not to be a navi.” Then says Kefa: “But if I first show Him to be a navi, it will follow that what seems to be inconsistency is not such. For no one can be proved to be a navi merely by consistency, because it is possible for many to attain this; but if consistency does not make a navi, much more inconsistency does not. Because, therefore, there are many things that to some seem inconsistent, which yet have consistency in them on a more profound investigation; as also other things that seem to have consistency, but which, being more carefully discussed, are found to be inconsistent; for this reason I do not think there is any better way to judge of these things than to ascertain in the first instance whether He be a navi who has spoken those things that appear to be inconsistent. For it is evident that, if He be found a navi, those things that seem to be contradictory must have consistency, but are misunderstood. Concerning these things, therefore, proofs will be properly demanded. For we shlichim (apostles) are sent to expound the sayings and affirm the judgments of Him who has sent us; but we are not commissioned to say anything of our own, but to unfold the truth, as I have said, of His words.”
Chapter XXXV: How Error Cannot Stand with Truth
Then Shimon said: “Instruct us, therefore, how it can be consistent that He who causes divisions, which divisions cause those who are divided to fall, can either seem to be good, or to have come for the salvation of men.” Then Kefa said: “I will tell you how our Master said that every malkuth and every house divided against itself cannot stand; and whereas He Himself did this, see how it makes for salvation. By the word of truth He certainly divides the malkuth of the world, which is founded in error, and every home in it, that error may fall, and truth may reign. But if it should be in any house, that error, being introduced by any one, divides the truth;then, where error has gained a footing, it is certain that truth cannot stand.” Then Shimon said: “But it is uncertain whether your Master divides error or truth.” Then Kefa: “That belongs to another question; but if you are agreed that everything that is divided falls, it remains that I will show, if only you will hear in shalom, that our Y’shua has divided and dispelled error by teaching truth.”