Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 60 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes, or so, we are going to be talking about sacrilege and stewardship.  This isn’t going to be quite as bad as it sounds, but it might sting a bit. 

Like you’ve probably heard about fear and faith being two sides of the same coin, similar is the relationship between sacrilege and stewardship.  Sacrilege is commonly divided into two designations; verbal, known as blasphemy, and physical, known as desecration.  Stewardship isn’t so easily broken down since as humans we tend to spend more time on defining and naming things that are negative, but the similar breakdown of verbal and physical would be benison and conservacy.  Like I said, not so easy.  If you’ve never heard either of those words before.  Then you’re in good company, neither had I before this week, and Microsoft Word wasn’t even sure they were words that existed either.  Benison is best defined as a blessing and conservacy as preservation under law.

As we continue forward, I want to remind everyone that the purpose of this podcast is never to use scripture to browbeat, nor is it intended to give you license to use scripture against others.  As we head into the meat of this episode, I want you to take a deep breath, and clear your mind.  If I bring up something that you’ve done or struggled with, it’s not to make you feel guilty.  My only goal here is to illuminate areas of potential growth and point the way forward. 

Let’s go ahead and rip off that Band-Aid.

It would be benison to embrace that the Bible says in Psalms 139:13 that God created your inward parts and knit you together in your mother’s womb.  Blasphemy would be to then claim that a fetus is “just a clump of cells,” and desecration to get an abortion.  Conservacy cries out for better solutions before abortion even becomes an option.  We need more support for women who find themselves pregnant, and greater responsibility placed on the shoulders of the other person who helped create that life.  Because it most definitely takes two to tango.

It would be benison to daily remind yourself that the Bible says in Romans 8:35 that neither affliction nor distress, persecution or famine, nakedness, danger or sword can separate you from the Love of Christ.  Blasphemy would be to then say that any of these are proof that Christ doesn’t love you, and desecration to cut or commit suicide.  Conservacy would have believers joining hand in hand with organizations that “walk people off the ledge” so to speak, even if those organizations may not believe exactly like we do in theological terms.

It would be benison to remind others that the Bible says in Psalms 139:14 that we are remarkably and wonderfully made.  Blasphemy would be to then say that we evolved by mere chance without the hand of God involved, and desecration to teach that to the young as fact instead of theory.  Conservacy shows up at school board meetings to ensure that those in charge of your children understand that we don’t expect teaching of religious concepts at secular schools, and have no problem with science and teaching our children how to think, but that fact should be taught as fact with fact-less theory being taught as theory.

It would be benison to encourage others that the bible says in Psalms 139:17 that God thinks so many precious thoughts about you that if they were counted, they would outnumber the grains of sand.  Blasphemy would be to then say that God hates sinners (in the modern definition of the word), and desecration to teach that from a pulpit or yell it in the face of the lost on the street.  Conservacy heads out with open arms loving others whether they believe or not and lets the Holy Spirit draw those in who are ready to believe.

It would be benison to take to heart that the bible says in Psalms 139:12 that even the darkness can’t hide you from God.  Blasphemy would be to then say that you can’t speak freely inside a church building like you would out in the parking lot, and desecration to teach others to be two-faced like that.  Conservacy recognizes that no one is perfect, we're all on our own path of growth with the Lord and comes alongside others to walk that path towards the Lord together.

Honestly, we could go on and on with scriptures that talk about how precious and wonderful you are, the blasphemies that have become rote amongst us as believers, and the desecrations that have become culturally commonplace.  Here’s the thing though, if you take stock of your life (past, present, and future) or at your reflection in the mirror you have a choice to make.  One, only one choice, stewardship or sacrilege.  Are you going to let blasphemies pour out of your mouth and then starve, cut, or end yourself?  Are you going to embrace benison and let the truth of God wash over you and move forward in conservacy?  I implore you to believe the truth about yourself, and when you see or think of something you don’t like, or think you can’t handle, phone a friend, choose growth and forward momentum.

As heavy as all that is, I’d like to pivot to a different aspect of the same topic with our remaining time.  Genesis 1:28-30 CSB says, “[28] God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” [29] God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be food for you, [30] for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.”

Have you ever been to the house of a smoker with “white” walls?  You never really know exactly what shade of yellow those walls really are until you move a picture frame or something else that’s right up against the wall.  For years, little by little, they’ve polluted their home and you don’t see the results all at once.  It’s a build-up over time and one day the results are suddenly noticed.

Like it or not our species was given the Earth by the Lord and it’s our duty to be good stewards of it.  I know there have been those that have gone overboard with the whole don’t use plastic straws and save the turtles thing.  But seriously, we only have this one planet and it’s ours to take care of or poison.  We owe it to our children and our children’s, children to be benison and practice conservacy in our day to day lives where our home is concerned.  We may not all agree on the extent to which humanity is impacting the planet, but if we all do our part to reduce our waste, reuse what we can, and learn to recycle properly then we can at least say that we’re being good stewards of the home that was given to us by the Lord.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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