Romans 14, The Illuminati, Christian Freedom, Spiritual Warfare, and Other Divisive (But Important)
Over on Instagram, I dared to share a photo of a young man, a basketball star named Stephen Curry, making a hand gesture, known by some to be a Satanic gesture, after making a three point shot. Below is the photo in question.
Now, as you can see the photo itself does not make any claims as to the man's intent in making such gestures, it is simply pointing out that he's doing it and obviously thinks it's ok. In fact, the additional commentary on the photo at Instagram specifically stated that it cannot be known if Curry is making the sign of Satan intentionally or in ignorance. However, the commentary (which wasn't all my own commentary, but partially mine and partially the person's who I copied the photo from) concluded that they suspect there is more to the gesture than simply "three pointer" because, for one, the gesture is made even when a three point shot had not been made and, second, the sign is made by Curry's own brother (or cousin, I'm not sure which) when no three pointer has been made.
After reading this article, there can be no doubt that he is intentionally making certain signs. But that raises a lot of confusion over his deliberate sign-making. The above sign is, in no way whatsoever, something associated with Christ, but is instead frequently associated with Satan. Unless, of course, the above sign is not the one Curry's speaking about in the article. We can see from the following collage that the three finger sign is not the only signage Curry makes on the court. He has a variety of signs and only one could be considered something that might be honoring to God.
Which sign is the one he uses to honor God? The article is inconclusive because it does not specify. But if all of these hand signs are included in the deliberate signage he's speaking about in the article, then one can only conclude that the Jesus he speaks of, who enables him to do all things through that Jesus (Curry's favorite Bible verse) is not actually the Jesus of the Bible, but "another" Jesus masquerading as the Jesus of the Bible. It's so twisted and I know many will call me twisted for presenting the evidence in such a way. But how can a man of the true Christ deliberately make Satanic symbols but say he's making them for Christ? There are only two conclusions to be made. 1. He's completely ignorant of what he's doing and has been influenced to make these signs by those who are not ignorant or 2. He deliberately knows what he's doing and he's trying to influence all his adoring fans, many of whom are Christians, so that they will also begin to ignorantly make signs that honor Satan. (Satan is pleased with either scenario.)
But back to the situation with the Instagram post. The post has caused a lot of disdain from those seeking to defend Curry. I find it interesting that of all the posts I've made that could elicit disdainful discussion, this is one of the ones that have received the most. Oh how we love and idolize our athletes and woe to any who might say anything against them; especially when that athlete is alleged to be a born-again Christian. See what happens when we idolize men? We become completely unable to be objective about anything it is that they do and immediately go into defense mode, even before we've considered what it is we're defending and nearly always long before we take the matter to God in prayer.
To be clear, I'm confused about Stephen Curry. Yes, he appears to walk and talk like a true born-again Christian. And that is what makes it so confusing. It's hard to imagine that someone who spends so much time talking about Jesus Christ could be so ignorant about these sort of things. But then, I do realize that Christianity has become a fad to some. Christianity is used to make a person seem spiritual and more likable, and it's used as a way to look like a nice, loving person. But, quite frequently, if we go beyond the smiles and the loving exterior, we will find a person who has no real idea of sound doctrine, obedience, personal sacrifice, or spiritual warfare.
Now, there are a number of Biblical (and other) issues that have been brought up in the discussion of this Instagram post; Romans 14, the Illuminati, Christians avoiding the appearance of evil, Spiritual Warfare and Christians' blindness to it, accusing the brethren, the weakness of mentors/pastors/leaders in the faith on issues like this. Whew! It's a long list of things to cover and I'm not sure I'll be able to cover it all in one post. If I can, I'll certainly do so, but it may take me a few posts to get through it all. We'll see where the Lord leads.
I'd like to start with discussing Romans 14 because I was advised by one well-meaning person to study this chapter of Romans in the discussion that ensued over my "criticism" of Steph Curry.
I have read Romans 14 many times in the past, but thanks to the prodding of said well-meaning gentleman, I was pleased to read it again and study the chapter verse by verse, studying all the corresponding reference verses. And after studying it a little more thoroughly, I'm even more confident of what it was that I had suspected the chapter to be about in the first place. And my suspicions about Romans 14 also included my concern that the chapter has been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented. After my study, I am more confident that this is the case.
Romans 14 has "allowed" more Christians the "freedom" to engage in sin than, from what I can tell, just about any other passage in the Bible. What is the apostle Paul talking about in Romans 14? If you have studied scripture at all, you know that there was a lot of confusion then, as today, over certain commands given in the Mosaic law system. We know that in the Old Covenant there were certain meats that were considered unclean to eat and we know that there were various feast days that the Jews celebrated. The New Covenant, on the other hand, was "not according to the covenant" that God made with "their fathers". (Hebrews 8:9) The New Covenant was made in the spirit of the old law, but not to the letter of it. (2 Corinthians 3:6) So it is clearly stated in scripture that God had made many of the ceremonial laws obsolete. Or, for a more Biblical terminology, the old law had been completely fulfilled. I could write a whole other article talking about what God meant when He said the law was fulfilled, but I'll save that for another time.
In the New Covenant there are no longer appointed priests conducting worship for the people, but now we are all made priests, once we have become a born-again saint, and we no longer need or use of the priestly ceremonies. However, given that many of the first century believers came from Judaism, it was hard for them to to go from an Old Covenant mindset to a New Covenant one. (A task still proving to be difficult for Christians and Jesus believing Jews today.) We know that the Romans didn't start off as Jews but there were Judaizers coming into the mix trying to confuse them and tell them that they must do certain things in order to be made righteous. Paul had to clear up this issue (more than once) and assure the people that many of the old customs were now obsolete; they'd been fulfilled when Christ died on the cross and the Temple had been rent in two.
But even though these ceremonial laws were made obsolete, God understands that there are many things about the old system that could be continued if a person's conscience makes it difficult for them to stop it (the feast days) or to do it (eat "unclean" meat). God does not want us to violate our consciences.
In Romans 14, God, speaking through the apostle Paul, is talking about godly things that He instituted and that He made obsolete. He is talking only about eating meats and keeping the feasts. The weaker Christian thought that they should abstain from eating "unclean" meats and that they should keep the feasts, where the stronger Christian knew that the feasts were rendered fulfilled in Christ and that no longer is there a distinction between clean and unclean meats. However, God makes it clear that He is not going to be offended if His people (in this case, born again saints of the New Covenant) continued to keep the feasts and abstain from eating certain meats. The lesson to be learned here; God chooses what is acceptable to God and what is not. Men do not.
Since it is very clear that Romans 14 is talking about specific things concerning the Old Covenant ceremonial law, the only way I can ascertain that we are able to safely elaborate on the things mentioned therein is to do it in a similar manner; in a comparison of Old Covenant practices, particularly the ceremonial practices versus New Covenant freedoms. We cannot extend the meaning of this passage to things created by man in the first place For example, we cannot determine whether or not we have freedom, as Christians, to listen to certain kinds of music using the freedom expressed in Romans 14. There are no laws, new or old, relating to music; therefore, to get an idea of which music is allowed and
which is not, other parts of God's Word will have to be consulted. To use Romans 14 to read freedom into areas that do not pertain specifically to the comparison and contrast between the Old and New Covenants is to miss the meaning and context of the passage and it invites a level of "freedom" into our Christian walk that is not freedom at all, but rather a stepping stone for going back into the bondage of sin.
Ok, so now we're clear on the context of Romans 14. But I was told to study that passage, not so much because of the holy days and meats, but because of the commentary therein about judging your brothers. And my response to that is this: I have no way of knowing if Stephen Curry is my brother. For all I know, he could be one that professes that he knows God, but in works he denies Him. (Titus 1:16) Sure, Curry talks like a Christian, and on TV he seems to walk like one, but I can't know for sure how he really lives his life away from the cameras and interview panels. I also can't know his heart. All I know is that he's a basketball player who speaks as though he's a Christian, but yet, he's known for making a lot of strange hand gestures, that he admits to doing purposely. And well, there is nothing at all in the Bible about signaling to God to show Him honor. We're to pray, read His Word, to lift up our voices, to share the Gospel, and to live our lives in obedience and thankfulness, but there is nowhere where God asks us to make a sign of our thankfulness or praise. In fact, God tells us that it is a wicked nation that seeks after a sign. We are to do away with idols and graven images. That last bit may not seem to apply here, but idols come in many forms. You see, I believe one of the main reasons why God tells us to do away with with signs is because they are purely outward vanity. Anyone can put on, for example, a cross. And many who never so much as give God a single thought in a day often do. Anyone can talk about how much they love Jesus and can make signs on a basketball court to try to prove it. But do these things prove that we are Christians? No. They only prove that we want people to believe that we are. So when someone asks me to stop judging my brother in Christ, I have to say, is Curry really my brother in Christ? And is me pointing out very serious concerns with his hand signals really a judgment of him? All I'm saying is he's making what's well known, by anyone who studies it, to be Satanic hand signals and, if he's truly a Christian, he should probably refrain from such practices. Why would he want to ruin his witness and cause other Christians to question his sincerity over hand gestures?
Next, I'll work on getting you minimally acquainted with the Illuminati; who they are, where they came from, what they control, and how you can recognize them and their work. I hope that by exposing the reader to that topic, that they'll understand why something that seems as innocent as a mere hand gesture to the unsuspecting viewer, actually has a very sinister and far-reaching purpose. The second installment of this series can be found here.
Do you know, if you were to die today, whether or not you'll go to be with Christ after you die? Are you 100% and completely assured of your salvation? If not, please take the time to read this salvation message today. There is nothing more important than giving your life to Christ and securing your place in eternity. I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to a personal relationship with Christ today, and I pray that you follow where the Holy Spirit leads you.