For perspective, there are over 613 commandments in the Old Testament of our Bibles, the first books known as the Torah. From those 613 commandments, the Rabbinical teachings have created thousands upon thousands of interpretations, precedence and declarations about how those commandments, and laws, are to be applied. This is the heavy yoke of tradition.
Throughout the life of this blog, not only has my spirit morphed and changed, but my purpose and motivation. In the early days of exiting from Spiritual Abuse and a high-control environment, I was angry, bitter at times, and retaliatory at others. Through the years of counseling others in my ministry, I have seen the same pattern play out time and time again.
Thus, there isn’t anything wrong with dressing up for Church, but there could be everything wrong with dressing up for church! Is that really you, or a show? Are you trying to display something/someone you aren’t? Is Sunday really different than Monday? Is who we are different one day to the next?
It is the serpent all over again, whispering that what the Word (John 1:1) says, is not quite what it means. I’ve even heard certain teachings that say the word ‘believe’ means that you do, “X, Y and Z” and that the ‘grace’ of Ephesians 2 only comes AFTER you do some things.. That the crucified savior, isn’t quite enough. The gospel still needs a single missing ingredient to be effective: Your effort.
There are prosperity preachers today teaching that we are all gods with creative power. There are dogmatic preachers today teaching that unless you sow a seed (give them money) God can’t and won’t bless you. There are weak preachers today teaching that God is love and so a loving God would never judge sin. All three heresies are the result of bad hermeneutics and poor Bible Study techniques.
I recall a woman telling me about taking her son to a football game for the first time who had to leave early in a panic attack, because she had been convinced for so long that if Jesus came back for his Bride, and you were at a ball game, you would be left behind! “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power, and love and self control.”
And how eye-opening it is, not as a freedom to skip obedience, but as a reason to be obedient, when we read, “of the righteousness he had by faith, while he was still uncircumcised.” His obedience is not what merited grace, or righteousness, the grace he received is what motivated Abraham’s, and now our, obedience!
What is crazy is that people are STILL asking this question! In balance, it’s also healthy that people are asking this question. I believe at the heart of most Christians is a desire to please God – and on the other side of the coin, there are others who use […]