The Christian church in America has changed a lot over the last 247 years. We’ve gone from the fire and brimstone approach, to churches in small towns acting as the schools for the towns. With the onset of the industrial revolution, churches began to adopt the business, hierarchy system in the church. After World War II, churches moved out of cities and to where the families were, where the money was—the suburbs.

“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.” (Acts 2:44)

The early church was a tight community of believers that shared everything they had. There were no unmet needs among them because of their generosity. Signs and wonders were performed among them and their numbers grew daily. We’ve lost that pursuit of community and instead pursued greater and greater numbers of converts to the faith. How can there have been so many changes in a faith based on a God who doesn’t change?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

“‘For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.’” (Malachi 3:6)

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

God does not change. Jesus does not change. They are eternal. They exist outside of space and time. They are unchanging and God’s word, His decrees, do not change. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to end it or change it. So the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament—it’s just that we have tried to change that God. We decided that we didn’t like a God with high standards and strict codes of conduct for His people. We wanted freedom. We wanted to be like the sinners with whom Jesus ate more than we wanted to be like Jesus. So we made all kinds of allowances under the guise of grace and mercy. We changed God; God didn’t change.

“‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.’” (Leviticus 19:28)

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The same God who told His people not to cut themselves for the dead or mark their skin with tattoos is the same God who bought our bodies with the price of His Son. He’s the same God who gave us His Spirit to dwell in our bodies and He’s the same God who said we are not to be conformed to the ways of this world. But we wanted tattoos. So we make allowances and we try to change God so that more and more of what we want is allowable. Then all of a sudden the God of the New Testament looks different than the God of the Old Testament and we feel confused.

“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭3‬)

Don’t try to change God or His commands to make allowances for your desires. Don’t lower God to your level, but rely on His Spirit to raise you up to His.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

*Special Note: We would like to note that this post contains, in part, some personal convictions regarding what the Bible teaches. Jesus explicitly said that we would be identified as His followers by how we love each other (John 13:35) and in 1 Samuel 16:7, God points out that He judges the heart while people only look at the outside. This all is a heart issue and, as always, obeying God is a matter of the heart as well.