There are misnomers scattered throughout all religions, but today I’d like to look into these, particularly one, in the religion of christianity.
I had spent most all my first forty something years within the confines of this creature call ‘church’; not to be confused with Gods’ true Church. This thing called ‘church’ that has been built by the generations of flesh man, and more or less based on the carnal mind that confused man could put together. This industry called ‘church’ is a far cry from that which God put together with His Christ as the center, and built on the revelations that were given to man seeking God who had no agenda of their own.
Not long after Jesus established His Church in the heart of those seeking Him did the pretenders and flesh-man want a piece of the action. Rules and regulations were soon instituted by the desire of the flesh to be like God; thus religion was born. Religions are all founded on a set of procedures that seem right, look right, but have little, if no foundation in Scripture; man sticking his carnal hand into Spiritual matters. The two don’t mix.
Let’s take a moment to look at one of these misnomers. The soul; the soul is mentioned many times in the Bible, but to my knowledge the soul has never been spoken of as being eternal, the part of us that goes to Heaven. The Spirit is eternal, as when Jesus said His last words; “Father into Your hands I commit my Spirit.” Our soul is developed by our temperament, character, demeanor, and the surrounding environment; and when willingly married to the Spirit, the twain becomes one flesh, thus called the husband and wife. In the case of Jesus, this is exactly what happen, but in the man of the flesh-not so much.
When the competitive nature of man, and his desire to be right, and his strong aspirations to be on top, and his objective is to not be left out, then the denominations of this thing called ‘church’ was born. By the continued rehearsal of repetitious inaccuracies of our fore-fathers, and the traditions of man following man, many matters concerning the things of God were distorted. Some were believed by one group, others by another group; thus many divisions occurred and the denominations were invented to settle matters within a smaller group. The men with the biggest stick and the loudest charisma won the lion’s share; but it don’t make it right.
Many things taught by the carnal traditions of flesh man have led many into believing a misnomer. But the ‘Good news’ is; there is always a second chance to get it right. Not by listening to me, but by an intimate knowledge and relationship with God.
What a wonderful time to be alive at this time and space on earth. The troubles and turmoil’s of this earth has not the strength nor the length of arm to reach within those that put their trust in the God that is truly in command; Almighty. Scripture says that this world is enmity to God; therefore it is also enmity to us that seek His face.
The world was truly set hostile to God when the fruit was eaten and the intimate relationship between us and our Creator was broken. Not broken that it cannot be repaired, but broken to where we now have to deliberately turn our face towards God in trust by turning our face away from this world. The circumstances of our planet may look dismal, but when we understand that when a sparrow may fall God knows all about it, therefore all the situations of our life, good and troublesome, are also within His care and reach. So why then do we devote so much energy and time into worry, fear and dismay? Why do we claim and sing for an hour on Sunday that Jesus is our redeemer and then let these circumstances that bring us down seeking some kind of redemption.
Having a relationship with the Lord is totally different than that which we are being taught in these man-made theaters called ‘church’. Apostle Paul said he labors to enter into His Rest; meaning that nothing else really matters, just His arms where we actually find Rest. Religion has placated itself so blatantly and for long now that it is beginning to be revealed in the hearts of many that it essentially hinders our relationship with the one that their words speak of but their actions don’t represent, God.
How could one find time and energy to set at a pulpit giving flowers to each other, praising the deeds of carnal man, reading off some list of selfish wants and requests, and sending around a collection plate and still call it a ‘worship service’. Worship is done in the closet, so to speak, and certainly not done to be seen. Either we trust and love God or we trust and love ourselves, not both, for the consequences will end as loving one and hating the other or clinging to one and despising the other.
Many are now recognizing that our answers are in God and our relationship with Him, and not in these religious structures made pretty by the hand of flesh man. Jesus told us that His Kingdom is in our heart.
Remember: Consider Jesus, He’s already considered you.
In previous blogs, (the ones before this one),I’ve spoken about the morality of man and it’s escalating decline that has sent many off to an unstable and defeated life of want. The word Gospel in its self simply means “Good News’, The Good News as God has given it to us. Have you ever noticed that Jesus seldom, if ever, addressed the morality of man, and then it was to represent the Love of God and His eagerness to show them an easier and better Way of in a relationship with Him? Only with the exception of the religious leaders such as the priest and the Temple captains did He express any hostilities.
I have heard many T.V. and radio preachers proclaim that their system and program only preaches the Gospel, and that being straight from the Bible, but yet some of these, including the Gospel hours, still commercialize their program with advertisements of their own wares or that of their sponsors. What has become important to us? Is it our ability to capture a crowd? Is it a desire to be known? Is it our talent to sing or encapsulate a multitude of would be followers and take their money?
When we sell ourselves, our fleshly desires to selfishly see that we can make a difference, we then abandon the very fact that God changes people’s lives by having a relationship with them. These sermons of ‘Sally be good’ and ‘Johnny be right’ are more about ones lack of ability to understand that God is truly on the Throne and people can’t help but have their life changed by being intimate with Him. But when so many can’t understand a few of the mysteries of God, they turn to what they do know, hating sin. When we seek the face of Jesus, searching for those beautiful eyes of His, we are then no longer capable of doing wrong, much less thinking wrong, and are then translated into an area called the Kingdom of God; thus sin has no more grip on our lives; at least as long as we are in that position. It is then evident that trying to legislate or desecrate sin is not a standpoint that needs to be taken, it takes care of itself with His Love.
Preaching social behaviors and political issues in these man-made pulpits have no place in the category called “The Gospel” and could be replaced with the teaching of the Love of God. Love is what changes peoples’ lives.
Therefore there is a snake in the grass, call it a serpent or a viper, hidden as it was when Jesus called out the religious leaders because of their façade of righteousness, by their inexcusable excuse of what the Good News is.
What’s happening to mankind? We’re falling apart at the seams. It’s sad to see what has happened to the honor, integrity, and morals of man in the past four or five decades. The very fabric of our souls has deteriorated to such a point that what was Truth even back in the 60’s seldom ever exist among the mentality of today.
I’ve said it many times that I believe in evolution, and those that are above the age of forty can easily see it, or they too are blinded by this world. Man did not come from monkeys, but appears to be evolving into them. The spiraling descent of morality is accelerating with each passing year that it may not be possible, in the next few years or decades, to even recognize what our fabric is made of. What used to be hidden or forbidden not so long ago is now proclaimed with pride from the house top or any street where two or more are gathered with the arrogance that we’re moving in the right direction.
When God said: “If my people that are called by My name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I shall hear from Heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” He didn’t say this because we’re doing it right, but just the opposite. Notice that this statement from God was directed toward those that are called by His name. What part of humble, pray, seek, and turn are we missing? Why is the power and authority of such a statement from God, being pushed to the side, and shown so much disrespect while the worldly attitudes of those with a loud voice prevail ways as the truth, which it is not? Has His people been hypnotized into a slumber by all the bells and whistles this world claims to provide?
The world is going to win many of these battles, with its’ endorsements of the carnal and fleshly mind of man, but make no bones about it, God will awaken His people, those that humble themselves, pray, and seek His face, and willing to turn and change from their ways, and prevail with great power and authority. In the end God never loses.
I just reread the book: ’Unmasking a church in Denial’ and again can see where many may want to read, or reread it again for the first time.
God is truly Almighty!
Let’s take a few moments and look at the big business of religion. I could only guess how many billions of dollars are made annually by the selling of religion, or how much religious merchandise is bought and sold in the name of making money. Think about all the music, jewelry, art-work, videos, TV & radio programming, and the many trinkets and knickknacks marketed to any potential customer, and let’s not forget how many salaries are made promoting the Gospel with their tangible products. IT’S BIG BUSINESS.
The Apostle Paul tore down the trading of the goddess Diana and the silversmiths that made her images. (Acts 19:24) The first of the Ten Commandments is to have no graven images, but it’s pretty well known that that’s out the door. This, and much more is accepted in our society because of tradition, but truth is, it’s not acceptable to God. Just because the preaching of the Gospel has been a vocation to so many, and for so long, doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s plain and simply not from the Scripture as a way of making a living. Just the thought of getting paid to spread the Good News of our Savior, or making money off His existence, turns my stomach the wrong way. I always figured living for our Lord would cost us our thoughts, time, energy, mentality, opinions, our money and in fact our very life, and to make money off the Power and intimacy of Jesus would be far from what He ask us to do. (BUT IT’S STILL ACCEPTED AS ACCEPTABLE, IT’S A MONEY MAKING BUSINESS.) Could you even imagine the Apostle Paul passing around a collection plate with these crocodile tears in his eyes? He did take up contributions for a couple of impoverished cities, but those offerings were sent directly for their survival needs.
The profits made by these big so-called ‘churches’ is far beyond what the average Joe off the street can comprehend, and to build even yet a bigger outlandish building for their self-indulged egos is absurd.
If carnal minded man is allowed to continue with his fleshly self-promoting ideas and structures this ‘thing that many call church’ will continue to fall, it has to. There is no bottom to the pit that sensual man can invent in his imagination, and the devices used to lure folks into their web, that are yet to come; this is scary.
We were told in scripture to feed the sheep, not feed off of them.
There is a vast difference between loving our Lord God and loving this thing called ‘church’, between living with certain ethics and allowing the Lord to live thru us, between doing what’s right and not knowing how to do it any differently. When we try to train ourselves with great principles, beliefs, and integrities they are no more than coming from our carnal strengths, but when Jesus lives within the very heart of man no one person can resist but to show that Personality. Our minds, the throng of every imagination, tries to figure out what is right concerning the things of God, but Scripture says it is ended with destruction. Our Bible also says that man has a form of godliness, but denies the power therein. TRUTH is created from within, we cannot create it our self, and Truth certainly doesn’t need supports to be maintained, Truth stands on Its own platform; the heart of the ‘asking’, ‘knocking’, and ‘seeking’ heart of the transformed man. There is no need to reinvent it. God and His Son is alive and well, and God certainly doesn’t need our support to be Who He is. We can’t help but proclaim His Grace.
We need Him, we need God, we need the transformation of His LOVE within before the true evidence of His Being can displace this rhetoric that’s being preached from these man-made pulpits. Gods’ Altar is an Altar of stone, (stone representing the earthliness of man), and when converted can do no more than spring forth with Living Water as when Moses was told to “speak to the stone”, to quench the thirst with flowing water, (water representing TRUTH), of the Israelites in the desert of their travel. We too are as thirsty, living in the same desert, and we too can receive that Water of Truth, but not with this imitation, these synthetic repetitions that are formed in the mind of man and spouted from these carnal-made institutions that are called ‘church’. Gods’ Church is alive and well, but not nearly as big as these manufactured entities that stand on most every street corner and called themselves the house of God.
If this religious stuff was goin to work it seems there would some evidence of it by now. But God is still changing lives.
Have you ever noticed that successful people, those that prospered inwardly, those that found life rewarding, are usually a breed that fought through the troubling times.
All of us enjoy life when everything seems to be going the way we conjured it up, but as short lived as that is, we all seem to find time to whine and belly-ache when those precious times have run their course. Success is not measured by the money one makes, nor is it gauged by our status in the hierarchy of our peers, not even the education of schooling plays a part in, or whether a job has given the status we desired, but it is determined by our strength to overcome in spite of our adversaries.
Those things that we call troubles are actually blessings that are disguised as misfortunes, difficulties that are shadows to hide that which lies underneath; growth. Our fleshly eyes can see no more than the worries, sufferings, and the predicaments of this carnal life, but hidden underneath, for those that see through the internal eyes, not only see a route of escape, but also see another hill to climb before our course has been achieved.
“All things work together for good to those that Love the Lord…” This scripture was not place in the Bible as an accident, but to show those that have eyes to see that the circumstances of this world are not what they seem. Even this world, which is enmity to God, proclaims that every dark cloud has a silk lining; then how is it so difficult for many to look past the woes of what this life seems to throw at us and begin searching for that which God has hidden in that mirage of tribulations. To look at situations, trials, and adversities the way the world views them, the way most of us were trains to do, is a far cry from the TRUTH which God has set before each. Many a catastrophe has been rearranged by God to bring a blessing to those that search Him, to those that can, by faith, look past the situation, and wait to see that which God has prepared for us.
How many times, maybe years later, can we look back at a tragedy and see His redemption power run its’ course to the point of changing our lives for the better? How many times has one had turmoil with depression only to come out the other side with a far greater understanding of true success?
This worldly life can be harsh, but God is constantly working behind the scenes preparing, molding, and building His Son within each of us to walk in the Kingdom that is now at hand. To those that are called up into this Life that was gifted by Jesus, struggles are but a hiccup in Life, a blessing disguised to further His plan.
It’s funny to watch religion, and religious people, and how they construe God, the word of God, and their own form of godliness to fit their own needs, how they twist, turn, invent, and recycle their particular flavors of righteousness to fit into a certain box and then call it “the Word of God”. How God got divided into all these self-proclaimed denominations is beyond the reach of this country backwoods boy.
When certain things or phrases are spoken and elevated as the Word of God, and done sometimes for centuries, and even sometimes with a fleshly authority, many of them are taken to come straight from God’s Word. ‘God helps them that help themselves’, where did that come from? Answer: straight from the carnal mind that was exchanged at the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It certainly ain’t scripture. If it weren’t for God intervening with the helpless, I’d hate to think where I’d be, we can’t earn His help, any more than we can earn His trust. Psalm says God will spare the poor and needy. If you’d like we can look at a few more of these man-made quotes that are pure nonsense.
‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’, although this may be one of those saying that ring true to some extent, it’s not in the Bible. Proverbs says that he that spares the rod hates his son, which might be close to the saying, but still twisted into another direction. ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’; who could create such a saying unless it was some high and mighty do-gooder? Not a lick of resemblance to our loving God does this one smack of Truth.
As an adulterer one focuses their attention in the wrong direction, such as what God calls a harlot when we love another in His stead. Money is not the root of all evil, nor does the Bible say it is, but the love of it is; we then become a whore. I really can’t say how much God will put on any one person, and I really don’t know how much each can bear, but I do know that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.
Many such sayings are accredited to scripture, and many, if not most, are believed to be so, but as man tries to reinvent God with his uneducated fleshly ways, it is not only man that suffers.
If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck-what is it? It might be a coot, and a coot is not a duck. Religion may have a form of godliness, and it may even seem right, but man’s forms and righteous are not to be based on his carnal flesh. It’s all in our relationship with HIM that matters, not with this thing called ‘church’.
The way I see it is; back when man disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and ate the fruit of knowledge of ‘good and evil’, and decided he was perfectly able to conduct himself with this new-found knowledge, and decided he no longer needed a relationship with God, but could now trade it for this new found information and be like our Creator– then things went to hell. It was then, eating the fruit, that man received a dose of the falsehoods, imaginations, and fantasies that this world says it offers, it was a lie. The worldliness of the world is designed to feed itself with self, to look out for ‘ole number one’, but that doesn’t work either.
It wasn’t long after man traded his relationship with God, in the Garden, to gain his own independence, that rituals, superstitions, formulas, doctrines, and what we call religion to begin to take its hold on us. Yes, that is exactly what man did. After selling our relationship with the Father we then chose to follow our own devices, and then we had to invent our ways of reaching God. All this led to man building an empire, essentially to himself, and calling it a temple, a church, a shrine to show off our worthiness and intellect, and then think that that was pleasing to God, but what He wanted was His relationship back with us. We can have a relationship with God, or we can have one with the church, but when man tries to serve two masters he will love one and despise the other, or he will cling to one ignoring the other. That’s the way we’re built.
Having a relationship with a church is not remotely the same as having a relationship with God. But that is not what we’re taught. It was the same two thousand years ago as it is today. Man inventing silly rules, formulas, doctrines, and rituals and rites, seeming to show off his knowledge of God thinking it is on cue, but, it didn’t work back then and it won’t work now. Jesus turned over their money changers tables, disrupted their club house, and yelled that they were turning their so-called ‘place-of-God’ into a den of thieves. Many of this mind frame, this carnal fleshly attitude have stolen the Truth of what God wanted for His children.
We are all His children, not just those that ‘they’ say are.
As I walk around this life and talk with people, and the subject is regularly about the things of God, it takes little effort to understand that most folks like their little routine of playing ‘church’. What’s been going on these past several centuries, and is not going to change anytime soon, nor is the meaningless rituals that continue to be procreated in these produce factories called ‘church’. The entrenched customs that’s being taught as a legacy of these ‘things’ are so rooted within this man-made system that the familiarity of their play-acting is unshakable, except by the hand of God.
When so many have taught that our Father God is in the form of a man, with His white beard, long robe, a crooked cane in His hand, and stands waiting on any evil-doer to do wrong once more before He pounces on them with His wrath, is a far-cry from Who our Heavenly Father is, but few are here to teach otherwise. God is first Love, followed closely with His Grace and Mercy, but if these great attributes of our Lord were imparted by these things called ‘church’ then what would they do to keep their parishioners in fear and coming back each week for their weekly dose of restraints. God gave us Jesus, which in return, gave us back the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which was diluted and polluted by the scribes and pharisees,(the religious leaders), to show us again, for the first time, that our God is truly an awesome God. The Sanhedrin, like our educated and paid for religious leaders today, placed more meaning on their rules and regulations than they did the Beauty, the Holiness, and the unconditional Love that our Lord truly is. We missed that boat then, and we’re missing it now.
“God is Spirit, and must be worshipped in Spirit.” These fleshly man-made antics that go on in these club houses called ‘church’ rarely resemble any true form of worship. Jesus said that the scribes and pharisees wanted their select seating, outward fasting, long robes, and their public prayers to be seen by many as a deep dedicated service to God, but though as clean as the outer vessel was, the inside was full of dead mans’ bone,
It’s now, again, time for a change. It’s time to put away our toys of playing ‘church’ and return again to The Lord of Host, The God of Creation, our true and living God of Love. Jesus spoke in His last words to forgive us, for they know not what we do, and God did. It’s already done. We’re already forgiven