“they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Matthew 15:6-9 NIV)
Vanity Teaching seems to be the rule rather than a demonstration of a right relationship with God. What do I mean? Fasten your spiritual seat belts and get ready for a ride designed to shake up the traditions that have nothing to do with relationship with God.
Vanity Teaching–which appears to be prevalent in certain bible colleges (and I don’t know why they call themselves a “bible” college) do more instruction to refute the bible than to teach its intent. American Baptist College comes to mind who promotes homosexuality with its choice of leadership, who affirm their stance in public forums–having the audience participate. How anyone in their right mind–not clouded or deceived by the enemy–could say that same-sex unions are not an affront to God is beyond me. But when we have titled leadership who are in those unions, is it any wonder there is confusion in the Body of Christ?
Today–traditionally known to many as Palm Sunday–does not really represent what happened in the Bible. The Word says, the people greeted Jesus as He entered the city waving palm branches–a symbol of victory in some cultures. If the people greeted the arrival of Jesus waving palm branches, why do most churches distribute the fronds as either part of the service or as they leave the service? Are we not supposed to have the Spirit of Christ living within us? If so, why aren’t the palm fronds given as people “enter” the service? Is it because we really don’t know why we do the things we do?
Next Sunday–Resurrection Sunday–is celebrated by many as Easter Sunday. The term “easter” was really an indicator of spring (with its goddess) and had no significance to the resurrection of Jesus Christ–until man made it so. What we get with “easter” celebrations are: colored eggs, bunny rabbits, and new clothes, and the parade of people who attend worship services to show off the new clothes. Really? What I’ve seen is people who are so engaged in straightening out clothes during the service they cannot focus on The Word–if indeed there is a Word from The Lord being expressed.
Resurrection Sunday is a time of celebration, but not with colored eggs, baskets of candy, or new clothes. In spite of the debate over when He was crucified and when He rose, we know that He did rise from the grave and now sits at the right hand of the Father. We know this–if we believe what The Bible says and have a relationship with God.
Many churches today have become clubhouses rather than places of worship. People gather to socialize, entertain, and eat in the church, disrupting attempts to teach The Word for the sake of honoring others for various reasons (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). Is God pleased with our using the places we say are houses of worship for everything but worship? I doubt it.
Here’s a thought. Why don’t we spend time studying The Word and allowing Holy Spirit to teach us how we should conduct ourselves in the houses of worship. Why don’t we change the traditions that negate the truth of God’s Word. Why don’t we seek God before we do anything that would deter the rest of the world from seeing Him in us. Why don’t we have Bible Colleges that teach the Bible rather than man’s philosophies. Why don’t we? We need to understand why we do what we do and if we discover that what we do has nothing to do with The Word or honoring God, why do we continue to do it?
If we understand the purpose of His appearance in the person of Jesus, His crucifixion, and resurrection, and have accepted Him as Truth, repented of our sins and live to please God, we have the victory!