Friday, January 6, 2023

Thou Shalt Not Overspiritualize


That's a "caution" word I remember being tossed around in the church a lot: "Don't overspiritualize things". It usually meant, "You don't have to take that part so literally," and it usually had to do with some kind of supposedly rigid and outdated command the Father gave like only eating certain things or keeping Saturday as a holy day.

The more I seek to take the Father at His word, and find that His commands aren't actually rigid and outdated, the more I realize that the more we try to make the Bible abstract and figurative, the more we overspiritualize it. 

When I was a little girl, I had a gold bracelet with charms hanging off it in the shape of Charlton Heston's 10 Commandment stones. Each one had a commandment written on it. The fourth charm said, "Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy." If you ask most Sunday Christians, "What is the Sabbath day commandment?" That's what they'll say: "Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy."

But, if you ask most Sunday Christians, "What does the Sabbath command mean?" They'll have all kinds of overspiritualized answers:

"The Sabbath is all the time. Jesus is my rest."

"Jesus changed the Sabbath by resurrecting on a Sunday."

"This is the church's tradition. It trumps God's word."

"Besides, that's just for the Jews."

None of that is true and none of it can be found in the Bible. Try and find it. I dare you. I triple dog dare you with a hundred million dollars to back me up. 

Here's what can be found in the Bible, on multiple occasions even, but I'll quote it from the Big 10 just so we're all in agreement that this matters:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates." Exodus 20:8-11

In Leviticus 23:3, the Father gives a little more clarification on the point of keeping the Sabbath:

"Six days shall work be done but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings."

Rest. Do no work. Don't require others to serve you, either directly or indirectly. Read the word. Fellowship. Practice holiness.

These are simple, easy, straightforward, and literal commands. 

Anything that would change these words to make them "more modern", "more applicable", "more Christian", would be overspiritualization. Do you see? It's not the literal and exact keeping of the simple commands that are overspiritualizing things---it's the making them out to be figurative, outdated, and Jew-centric. (You do know that "the Jews" are just one tiny part of Israel, right? But that's another post…)

Don't be guilty of adding or taking away from the Father's instructions. Do you truly believe He is unchanging? If you do, then don't overspiritualize things. Just take Him at His word. Yeshua said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. No need to make things bigger than they are. Just do the things in the simple way He clearly laid out, word for word.

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