If someone walked up to you on the street during this season and asked you “What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?” What would your response be?
Mark 7:1-9 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men–the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
Far too many “church folk” are following those who have crept in unawares, or went out from us and are falsely teaching a gospel of error. I will implore you once again— everything you hear or see that is supposedly coming from God; pick up the Word of Truth/Holy Bible and search, study, seek, ask for the Holy Spirit’s discernment. If the teaching you’re exposed to is NOT confirmed in the Scriptures, take heed then run… Your soul is at stake! ♥Streim
(I originally posted this on October 17, 2013. I decided to repost because far too many Christians (?) are being deceived by sensationalism in church services and gatherings. This sensationalism is aimed at creating “feeling” experience with God rather than a “living” relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. )
Where do we draw the line between “right and wrong”;
How do we distinguish between “good and evil”?
How do we know we are following “the Truth–according to God” or “distorted man-made traditions”?
When will today’s pastors, teachers, authors stop resorting to “techniques of modern culture to share the Gospel” message and start “preaching the Gospel from God’s Word“?
What are Christians required to conform to? The “morality of our society” or the “standards of God’s Word”?
How do we know when hot IS “hot”? Or cold IS “cold”? Is it our perception?
When I studied in the Word for the doctrinal series I began (but after much prayer ‘knew’ I was not to continue), I started reading from Jeremiah the prophet. I must say, I see a spiritual parallel between the “overt disobedience” of God’s chosen people during Jeremiah’s time and the “overt lies” being taught (and much to my dismay–believed!) by many Christian churches today.
When the LORD God spoke to His people through Jeremiah, the LORD’S love was expressed in His continued patience (v12); but He did require repentance–turning away from their sin and towards Him. (vs 13-15)
Jeremiah 3: 12-15 “ Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘ I will not remain angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord. 14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
We hear so much today about perspective and moral relativism in the world. It’s quite obvious there are many of our Christian teachers, pastors, leaders, authors, etc that are grasping and using these ideas. WHY? Because as many say “How do we get people into the church today?” when they should be saying “How do we reach lost souls with the Gospel of Christ and disciple them as commanded in the Word?” You might wonder what the difference in these two questions is.
It’s the difference between the BLACK AND WHITE truths of the Word and the many shades of grey found in the perceptions of men.
BLACK AND WHITE: God’s Word
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard , which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full . This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another , and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned , we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1
Post-modern Christianity (here’s just ONE shade of gray!)
(Taken from “Roots of Church Growth Movement” at standupforthetruth.com)
In the early days of the church, Christians gathered to equip one another to do that, and the purpose of the church became about praying with one another, worshiping God, breaking bread and learning from the apostles teachings about Jesus. Our Lord instructed us through the ages to go forth and proclaim the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them and making disciples of Jesus Christ.
But these days, the leaders of the modern church in the West seem to be focused elsewhere. Countless conferences equip us not to share the Gospel but to be good leaders. For example, this year’s largest conference, Catalyst, had as its theme: Go and Make. But nowhere was the word Disciples ever attached to that message, and leaders once again gathered by the hundreds of thousands to learn about how to grow membership, meet their felt needs and get them connected in church programs. (Catalyst, by the way, is the largest in the seeker/growth movement.)
Today’s popular model is nowhere to be found in Scriptures, and in fact might be opposite of how churches are to grow.
Remember as forgiven, blood bought children of Almighty God we must know the deceitful ways in which the enemy is working in today’s world–especially in the Church! Getting people into churches is NOT what will change their eternal destiny. We are to go into all the world, wherever that may be, and preach/teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples (those who will live according the Word) in truth and love. If there is no making of disciples— there is error. Jesus teaching at the feast said this to the unbelieving.
“Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him” John 7:16-18
May you get into the Word of God daily and dig deep into the bounty of His truth! ♥ Streim