Sound Like Any Group You Know?

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as
doctrines the commandments of men. “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.  Mark 7:7-9 NKJV

How many groups of people, who claim to be “religious” or have an affiliation with God, forget about God’s Word in order to control people with their own traditions?

When people have established rules that forbid men and women to marry in order to serve God, how do they justify what they say? Surely, it cannot be The Word of God since Peter was married and we know this because Jesus healed his mother-in-law.

When people have established rules that forbid women to minister The Gospel as an ordained pastor, teacher, preacher, evangelist, etc. how do they justify what they say? Who are they that they should question God’s call on a person’s life? Did they not understand that Paul wrote explaining that with God–“there is neither male or female, Jew or Greek, free or bond” since He is not concerned about a person’s gender or race. That is man discriminating, not God. Perhaps, it is because they took another passage of scripture written by Paul and tried to make a doctrine of it, not knowing that when Paul said, “women should be silent in the church,”

Perhaps, it is because they took another passage of scripture written by Paul and tried to make a doctrine of it, not knowing that when Paul said, “women should be silent in the church,” he was referring to their constant interruptions when asking questions of the men who worshipped in separate areas. A study of customs at that time would go a long way in dissolving some of the mistaken doctrines men have adopted as commandments from God. 

And speaking of commandments, when Jesus was speaking in this passage of scripture, He mentioned “commandment” singular–not plural. And why is that? The greatest commandment is for us to “love” and if we know how to love, we will not commit sin against man or God.

And then there is a group that forbids family members from associating with other family who are not members of their group. Really? Where did God say we should ignore family in favor of a group of people who obviously do not understand God’s plan for man? And this same group–over the past decades–has changed its doctrine so many times that many people don’t even know what their teaching was from the beginning. I know this group well. At one point in their religious establishment, they disavowed the divinity of Jesus, but now they call themselves, Christians.

Before I start rambling, let me get to the point I was going to make. If anyone is teaching any doctrine other that what is in God’s Word–accurately interpreted–it is the doctrine of men and not of God. God doesn’t care how we dress in a building as long as it is respectful and does not distract from the worship service. Modest apparel covers all necessary parts and does not expose oneself in a seducing manner.

If we simply obey The Word and allow Holy Spirit to guide in all we do, we would never stray from The Word in order to make man-made rules take precedence of God’s Word.

The Foundation!

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:10,11 NIV)

Paul admonishes those who are attempting to “teach doctrine” other than what they learned. He reminds them (the Corinthians) that everything he taught was based upon his relationship with Jesus Christ and who He is. He goes on to tell them in (subsequent verses) that if they attempt teach any other doctrine, their works will be tried with fire.

Now, for clarity’s sake, I must explain that in the subsequent verses, he mentions the building materials that will be tried and possibly burned up with fire. Paul uses the building materials–gold, silver, etc. in a figurative analogy. He does not mean that churches cannot use gold or silver in the buildings, as some have taught.

What is more important–the church (Body of Christ) or the building? I think this is where some err. The body of believers is the “Church of Jesus Christ” and the buildings are simply places where people go to worship, ideally. So, Paul is really concerned about the condition of the believers and the foundational truths they are taught and believe. When we change the foundational truths of God’s Word, then we subject our works to being judged by the fire. EVERY TIME WE CHANGE GOD’S WORD TO PACIFY FLESH, WE ERR AND ARE CREATING AN UNSTABLE FOUNDATION.

When a firm, stable foundation has not been laid for a physical building, it will not withstand, the moves of the earth as it settles and sometimes, the foundations crack, lean, or fall apart, causing the entire building to crumble. When a firm foundation has not been been laid regarding the truth of God’s Word, people lean, fall apart and crumble every time a crisis comes their way–their foundational knowledge is flawed and will not withstand the wiles of the enemy when the attack comes.

We should all aspire to be like Paul–as a wise builder–teaching and proclaiming only the truth of God’s Word so when He comes, we will be found blameless and not guilty of promoting false doctrine trying to make ourselves to be something we are not. God knows the truth of all and He knows when the foundation is His or ours. If we think we can fool Him, we only delude ourselves. Make sure the foundation laid regarding God’s truth–is His Truth!