Thursday, March 26, 2015
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8 KJV).
Beware of the “five W’s of denominationalism!”
Beloved, be careful, Satan’s “ministers of righteousness” are lurking (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). They aim to pollute your mind and cause you to forget that you are “complete [lacking nothing] in Christ” (Colossians 2:10)! Religion’s five-step plan will take a Christian’s mind off of God’s provisions for them given in Christ Jesus, and it will keep lost people’s minds focused on themselves and their efforts to make themselves accepted before God:
- Win ‘em! — They convert “unchurched” people to their denomination. Very rarely is a clear Gospel presentation given. Usually the person is still lost, still going to hell, although who appears to be going to heaven because he or she is now a “churched” individual.
- Wet ‘em! — They water baptize them, putting their names on the church membership roll. There are ever so many people in the world basing their eternal salvation on a water ceremony. One day, they will learn what a failure that “salvation” is!
- Work ‘em! — They give them various rules and regulations to follow for God’s acceptance: “x” number of daily prayers, a very thorough confession of sins, holy book reading, obligatory holy days or feast days, generous almsgiving and other “donations.” Even the clergy have difficulty remembering and obeying all those ecclesiastical laws!
- Whip ‘em! — They punish people who do not perform as the denomination demands: excommunication, shunning, threats about how God will curse them, how they are disobeying God or blaspheming His name or Spirit, et cetera.
- Watch ‘em! — They watch to see if their members straighten up or if they need more church discipline. They may send scouts to spy on suspicious members. If someone is caught “out of line,” it is time for another strike with the “whip!”
Oh, what a “weak and beggarly” system religion is (Galatians 4:9)! Oh, but what a strong and rich system grace is! We are accepted before God by simple faith in Jesus Christ! Friends, may we not let religion rob us of such clarity and simplicity! 🙂