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.”
Clearly, the theme is to superimpose the man-made commandments and principles of the Oneness Pentecostal Church/Holiness movement over Scripture, blatantly admitting this isn’t something God dealt with personally. Knowing that Scripture is the more sure word of prophecy, I tend to believe if God meant for this to be an issue, He would have been wise enough to deal with it.
What I actually want to stop talking about, so I’m going to talk about it, is the efforts to use Jezebel as the foundation for the house of cards within the Holiness movement as the anti-makeup and jewelry monument (idol). A statue erected and constantly glorified across pulpits to disparage and to dissuade the usage of such things.
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.