Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Way Which Seems Right II

Pro 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death"... This is the second post in a series that is looking at the meaning and interpretation of the above verse from Proverbs. It is found in two places in the Proverbs. The first is Proverbs 14:12 and the second one is Proverbs 16:25. This makes it an important concept since it was repeated. I would suggest that you take the time to read the first post if you haven't had the chance, and then read this one. In summary however, I posited that the way that seems right unto a man is any form of religion including evangelical doctrine and dogma. The death that results from the way which seems right is spiritual. While I am not suggesting in any way that it disqualifies one from eternal salvation, it practically brings death into the persons life. In other words, it works to kill the spiritual life that comes with the assurance of believing the gospel.

Over the last few years, I have found that so many of the doctrines that evangelical Christianity teaches are in error. I am challenging us to rethink some of our positions, and allow life to be the driving force of our day to day walk. It will only come to pass as we allow the Holy Spirit to correct some of the many errors we have been taught, teach and believe. In fact, church doctrine is so far off the mark that I wonder if it does much more harm than good? I rather think it does. It puts people into bondage when it should set them free. If the root is good, the branches are good, but if the root has error then the branches cannot help but be erroneous. Here is a list of the errors and problems that I have written about in this blog over time. These have all been proven to a point that goes way beyond the preponderance of evidence. They are hard to accept because they fly in the face of conventional doctrine. They challenge and sometime contradict what we have been taught and accept as fact.

List of errors that separates church teaching from the teaching of the first century apostles that wrote the New Testament:
  1. Viewing the entire scripture as the word of God; The first century followers of Christ limited the definition to the gospel and Jesus the gospel made flesh. This gave it a redemptive focus rather than a legal constitutional focus.
  2. Viewing the scripture as a legal constitutional document; Jesus and his followers taught a solely redemptive focus to the scripture.
  3. Misinterpreting Romans 10:17; The New Testament teaches that faith comes by hearing the gospel, and not necessarily the scripture as a whole. Faith only comes by hearing the gospel so the scripture is only the word of God as it defines and describes God's redemptive work in the world through Jesus Christ.
  4. Not recognizing the transition that takes place within the pages of the scripture, especially the New Testament; The New Testament is a book about a transition. It is a transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant and it does not come abruptly... not even in the New Testament writings.  It begins with a story about the Jews, under the Old Covenant. It moves from John the Baptist (Last Old Testament Jewish Prophet) to Jesus (New Covenant Prophet, Priest and Messiah) to the cross event, to Pentecost and a strictly Jewish Church, to the story of Cornelius and the inclusion of the Gentiles into the church without the necessity of circumcision, to the New Creation that Paul wrote to made up of Jews and Gentiles who believe the gospel.
  5. Not recognizing the audience relevance of the New Testament writing; The gospels are almost exclusively about and to the Jews prior to the cross event. This makes the messages of John the Baptist, and Jesus specifically and primarily to Old Covenant Jews facing the advent of the covenant transition. We make a grave mistake when we extrapolate those messages as if they were written to us on the other side of the cross event. This is especially true if we are Gentiles. There is an obvious Jew/Gentile distinction within the pages of the New Testament.
  6. Not recognizing the specific intended audience of the epistle of James and Hebrews; Both Hebrews and James was written to the believing Jews. James early on to an exclusively Jewish Jerusalem church and Hebrews, just prior to the destruction of the temple, again to Jews who were about to renounce Christ to stop persecution. The book of James is turned into a reason for emphasizing the legal constitutional aspect of scripture by church teachers, which is far from the truth. Hebrews on the other hand is a manual that acts as the rosetta stone for understanding the New Covenant.
This is not an exhaustive list but because this post is beginning to run long, it will need a follow-up post. but you can begin to see just how far off the mark Christian doctrine is and why God would be awakening people to a new and better understanding of the scripture. One that will put the proper focus on Christ and begin to reduce the worship and fear that it gives to men, especially those in leadership. This is why I am bold enough to suggest that the current church state of affairs is probably more damaging than beneficial. All of this is backed up nicely by a careful reading of scripture.


5 comments:

  1. May I add, the teaching on "elders"? Why is it that both Peter and Paul, at about the same time. wrote to the Gentile churches to appoint elders? My thoughts are that due to the impending destruction in Jerusalem and the dispersement of Jewish believers. that would would submit to the Gentile elders, and thus keep the churches "gentile". Your thoughts, brother?

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    1. Can you elaborate just a little more? I want to be sure that I understand before answering. Thanks!

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    2. Sure, I think the Gentile churches were "elder free" while Jerusalem had elders. The persecution in Jerusalem and the scattering of the church would send those believers into the Gentile churches, possibly causing them to lose their Gentile expression of Christ without the "chain of command" that elders seem to bring. In order to ensure we today could experience a free flowing experience of Christ without an elder lording it over us, I think that Paul and Peter got together and decided to prepare the Gentile churches.

      Make sense?
      Roger

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    3. That makes a lot of sense Radixx... so then, elders were for the occasion and not meant to be a fixture... interesting.

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    4. An interesting look at this is "Revolutionary Bible Study" by Gene Edwards. I will dig that out of my books and try to send you the references. He does not like to do notations, but prefers to see the entire New Testament in a "story" form. Yet after considering what he has written, going back and reading the New Testament in chronological order, his comments do make sense and answer a lot of questions "outside of the 'theological box'. Give me some time and perhaps I can scan those sections for you.

      On "elders were for the occassion", I have to agree as, when you and I look back at our experience, we can actually see where they have been a great hinderance (resulting in "organizational chart", not in a free experience of Christ, both individually and corporately), but the pride that this position creates in a person, is something that hinders spiritual growth. If a brother or sister cannot access/experience Christ in fullness without one above them or in charge... what is the purpose? Personally, I find nothing wrong with an "elder", IF they are broken, and seek the believers deep experience of Christ daily. YET, withing organized Christianity, we do not find this going on.
      The chain of command thing is straight out of Babylon and Rome, not from the heart nor teachings of our Lord. IMHO

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