Some of the most basic concepts of Christianity and Biblical knowledge are often skewed by organizations that take over your thinking, individuality and personal responsibility. For instance, I existed for 15-years in an echo-chamber. I was forbidden from following other pastors and learning from them, even pastors in our organization. I was to ‘learn my shepherd’s voice’ and no one else’s.
Too often prayer is me complaining. Sometimes, prayer is me wishing for something else. Sometimes, prayer is me wishing God would change so and so. Sometimes it is me wishing God would change me. Sometimes it is me wishing God would do something for someone else. Sometimes…
I’ve known people, with no religious connection at all, who said their ‘calling’ in life was to do X, or Y, or Z. Feeding the homeless? To be a counselor? To write? To be a lawyer? Your calling is YOUR desire. Your desire is what you were made to be!
The truth is – we are emotional creatures – God made us that way. We respond to life with emotion. It is emotions that help steer us. Fear, angler, Joy, and Love. We know certain music can stir our emotions. It’s known that when women watch a good Romance, you better have a box of tissues nearby – they become overcome with emotion.
That Grace IS, as notated in the Amplified Bible version quoted above, God’s unbelievable, and unmerited, unearned drawing, that isn’t warranted by any outward holiness, works or sacrament we perform, or pompous self-righteousness (that as best is as filthy rags to God) that we can do.
The Jewelry thing (the abstinence doctrine) is a very implicit argument that requires the believers to ignore the entirety of the Bible, and even the words of Jesus, the culture of the people in question and the documented and archeological history of the audience to which this was written, and re-interprets the explicit meanings and statements therein to fit their implicit narrative.
That would make God very contradictory and, as Christians, we do not believe He contradicts himself. So – we realize our understanding must be wrong. So what did Jesus really mean? It may honestly require another study to fully dissect this passage completely, but the very basic sense, knowing Jesus was a Jew and the entirety of His audience were Jews, was that Jews who converted to Christianity would be hated by those who rejected Christ.
There are, however, some organizations who have white-labeled Worship and mass-produced it, created the methodology and then sold it as the recipe, like Grandma’s Sweet Apple Pie. Get one ingredient wrong or out of order and the pie is ruined. But worship isn’t like that and every worshipper should be free to worship in the Beauty of Holiness.
This is why the word ‘Cult’ stretches far outside the realm of religion. Many organizations and individuals outside of any religion can be cult leaders and many have existed in the past and present. The most extreme current example is the government of North Korea and it’s leader Kim Jong-Un.