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Simply Jesus

July 21, 2011

“I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” – Paul the Apostle

 

 

 

“There is danger in blindly trusting the teachings of a Pastor, Speaker, Author or anyone just because they have a big following, or you are told they teach scriptures in context,  they are someone you respect, they make a plausible statement, someone you trust claims they are correct or someone says they are an Authority on a topic. I am not saying to not trust your Pastor, many and hopefully most are teaching the truth and that Christ alone is our salvation through His birth, life, death and resurrection. This should be a given and I am not talking about so called teachers or pastors outside of this. I am talking about the danger in not researching someones comment or teaching even if they are part of the church, a follower of Christ and/or viewed as the most brilliant person inside the church. Even the devil gave scriptures when he tempted Jesus, so giving a reference or scripture means nothing if it is not in context. I must say that most every pastor and teacher I hear that makes a huge emphasis on teaching the Word of God in context, rarely does teach as in context as they claim, yet because of the giant emphasis he makes every sermon the people just assume he does and look to him as an Authority on Scripture. They do not even think through how he just twisted and manipulated a scripture to get the point across that he wanted to make no matter if it was truth or not.  Test everything people, people who are the church I beg you to look for yourself in the scriptures. Bring every teaching to Christ and let the Holy Spirit show you what is and what is not.

 

The problem remains that on so many topics, such as End Times, Hermeneutics, Greek, translations, meanings of words, teaching the Bible in Context, modern day Israel, Hell and eternal punishment, age of the earth, free will vs predestination, signs and wonders, prophecy, Israel’s position, if the Bible is Infallible, Inerrant or the Authority of God, or the hundreds of $10 words made up by theologians,  your understanding, translations and teaching will completely differ depending on your denomination, seminary, teacher, books you have read, etc, etc. For instance a friend of mine has taken Hermeneutics courses from four different Christian Seminaries and came out completely frustrated because he said each course completely differed and in many instances opposed what was taught at another seminary, but every teacher had equally convincing arguments and evidence for why what they were teaching was correct. Depending on your Hermeneutical background you are going to interpret the scripture a certain way. He also said that Greek and Hebrew no matter how well you know it has so many ways to argue meanings of certain important Words that someone who knows greek could easily manipulate meanings to fit their doctrines, yet still not be completely lying. Or even worse think they are teaching truth because they read a book or two or took a class or two, yet the book they read or class they took was taught by someone who was themselves miseducated.  We must must, must go to the Scriptures, we must go to God and the Holy Spirit with everything we read, are taught or hear from even the most respected teachers and pastors. We must not follow them because they make claims, have the Bible memorized, quote scriptures or passages. The devil can do this better than any of us. These men and women are only human and the problem remains that most of them have many areas of miseducation or only know one side of an argument. The beauty is that God is equally if not more apt to use a man or woman who knows the simply Gospel and knows love, having no seminary background as the man or woman that is fully read and studied in every area. This brings Him more glory, because no man, church name or school receives the glory or is looked at as the reason for the success of ones ministry.

 

 

The cry of my heart is that we would follow and worship God alone through Christ. Many many churches today subconsciously look to their pastor as the priest that must go behind the vail for them, they will not do anything unless he gives them permission. He has manipulated scriptures and taught out of context to hold onto power and authority over his disciples and fears more than anything them going out to follow Christ without him being the Authority. I have heard many scriptures and teachings that are used to defend a power hungry pastor, but yet have i heard anything in context that teaches what they are trying to prove. In fact the opposite is all over the scriptures. That we are to submit to one another, the greatest of us must become the least, Jesus alone sent Paul out, we are not to be like the world whom Lords themselves over one another, etc, etc, etc. One thing we must all remember is that you will end up somewhere between yourself and whomever you become a disciple of. If that person is a teacher or pastor you will end up between yourself and them. If that person is Jesus then your life and ministry may be more powerful than any man you have heard of or seen. So often leaders hold back their church from entering into what God has for them and they themselves will not enter in.

 

 

Many of these teachings and topics should not be our priority. As the church our main focus should be first Simply Jesus, following Christ ourselves and second to reach all people in all nations with the simply Gospel of Christ. Yet people say what about the deep things of the Lord, what about the Meat? I would say what is deeper than the truth that the all powerful God became a man, born of a human, lived and loved and then was killed by the people he loved, died, rose again then gave the people who killed him forgiveness of sins and eternal life, if they would accept it. This is as deep as theology and doctrine gets. You can talk for decades and decades on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Figuring out when Christ is coming back, end times, whether modern day Israel is still God’s people, Hermeneutics, etc, etc is not what we should be focussed on. I’m not saying that it is invalid or wrong to study these things and come to a deep, personal, dogmatic conviction one way or the other on these matters. Grow, learn and reach conclusions, this is a passion of mine, but I beg you to never lose sight of two important truths. When your dealing with a debatable matter it is very possible that when you enter into heaven you will find you had it totally wrong. Second we are first and foremost called to be fishers of men, not people who know it all and have to have the absolute answer to all spiritual questions and matters.

 

We all should always be ready to explain the hope that is in us in Christ Jesus to anyone who sees it and asks about it. The problem is that people can rarely see past all of our debates, judgements and condemnation to see and then ask about the hope that is within us. People misinterpret 1 Peter 3:15 and believe they must have an answer for everything and every matter. The Bible says that God is not a God of Confusion, this does not mean we must know everything and all mysteries of God and His Word. There are these Christian hot boxes, I have seen time and time again, where if you do not believe exactly what they believe on 90% of all things then you are “unbiblical” or even worse these pharisees will call you a “false teacher” or “wolf”. The sad matter of it all is that they usually end up being the true wolves and false teacher and because of their lack of love they have already proven they are unbiblical. They are the men who put burdens on the people making them feel lazy, that they must study harder, must read more, pray more, not listening to the right sermons, must submit more. We are told to be fishers of men, to go into the Nations and declare Christ and Christ Crucified.

 

If it takes away from you being able to love everyone and share the Gospel in love then something is wrong. If it makes you someone who judges and condemns other churches and teaching then the devil is defeating you. Knowledge can puff up in a horrible way and so far here in America we have an army of people that study these things day and night yet have not and refuse to live anything that really matters out, such as dying to ourselves, caring for the poor, following the Holy Spirit, giving up our lives and preaching the Gospel to everyone.

 

Heaven will not be divided so that the King James reading “fill in the blank” denomination gets to sit up front. This once again is my point: never lose sight of two important truths:

 

First when your dealing with a debatable matter it is very possible that when you enter into heaven you will find you had it totally wrong.

 

Second we are first and foremost called to Simply Love Jesus and in that same love be fishers of men, not people who know it all and have to have the absolute answer to all spiritual questions and matters.” – Ethan Holub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” – Paul the Apostle

 

 

“In essentials unity, in non essentials liberty and in all things Charity” – Saint Augustine of Hippo

 

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