GWR01
Introduction

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GWR02
Religious Paradigms


02PDF

GWR03
Religious Attributes

03PDF

GWR04
Religion Divides

04PDF

GWR05
Denominational Empires

05PDF

GWR06
It is Finished

06PDF

GWR07
Clergy vs Laity


07PDF

RELIGION DIVIDES

AUTHOR'S VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE

Author's Brief Testimony

GWR 04
click below for

Religion: A Dividing Force
A House Divided Can Not Stand


Do you find the Bible hard to understand? It takes a long time to study and understand the Scriptures. Are the words on these pages history or fable? Can it be proved to be the "word of God" and relevant to life in the 21st Century? Does it define the realities of truth or not?

Those who possess the "Spirit of Truth" will hear and understand; those without it will not. It is only after we have studied the Bible carefully with the intent to  understand that we begin to glimpse its prophetic accuracy and its consistency. It has been called many things, such as the "Makers users manual,"  "A love letter from God," "A book that prophetically foretells future things."  Academics and theologians dig into the study of Scripture from a variety of motives and at times leave with a lot of knowledge but little understanding.

The apostle Paul was highly educated and religiously situated and highly placed in the Hebrew faith until he was called to be a witness for the risen Messiah. Paul proclaimed that scholarship, philosophy and theology are a pathway that does not inevitably lead to knowing God. Human knowlege is not Spiritual knowledge. Truth and wisdom is a Spiritually derived gift. Spiritual life is outside of religion. For it is only God himself who through the revelation of the Holy Spirit to impart to human beings the necessary understanding and revelation of the Mysteries of God.
(Read 1Corinthians Ch.1&2)

What Subtle Spiritual Forces Work to Separate us from Gospel Truth?

There are two active spiritual forces competing for our souls.
The first is the influence of the Kingdom of God, of which Yeshua (Jesus) is Lord and ruler. The other is the influence of the kingdom of darkness which pervades in the fallen world . Its ruler is Lucifer or Satan. Satan among his many titles is called 'the deceiver' of the brethren;' 'the prince of the powers of the air;' 'the lord of this world;' and 'the enemy of our souls'.
The sovereign Lord, creator of the heaven and the earth, Jesus, is a gathering and mending power. He gathers together, restores the broken-hearted, delivers the captive, brings liberty and hope. He saves. He heals. He delivers.

Satan, conversely, is a dividing force and a devouring force. His strategy is to divide and conquer. His methodology is deceiving and destroying. Satan continues in this cause as long as man has been on earth. Strife and division are the fruits of his ministry and ultimately Death and Hell. Among the people of God, Satan purposes to divide us and hinder peaceful relationships with one another. The devil beguiles and encourages self will and vanity. This was the sin that brought him into condemnation. Every human soul remains separated from God until the time when we call upon God to rescue us from our own chosen destruction. The un-redeemed person habitually serves self in vanity and ultimately whether we will cease to follow the self directed life which keeps us from knowing God.

For many, in a time of God's choosing, our life reaches a place where we may begin to experience God. These God-ordained times are of special significance (Gr. kairos) in God's timetable. At such times God's hand reaches forth in grace and begins draw us out of darkness and strengthen men and women to raise them up and to give them a testimony and a voice that bears witness to God's work of redemption. Until such times we seem to remain in a kind of inertia both as individuals and as institutions. The fruit of God's work often seems to be enhanced by tests and trials.

There are times of spiritual revival that occur when men or women of God are empowered by the Spirit. At these times there is a break through in the malaise of tradition. Men and women receive something from heaven. The fire of God begins to consume their spirits. They break forth proclaiming that God truly rewards those that seek him. In the face of such revival a sleeping church awakens to refresh the world in hope. Religious belief systems are probably born in a time when spiritual power was in evidence, widely experienced first hand. Then, eventually in the course of time people become complacent and God's presence in a real sense departs.

A person growing up in a religious tradition has been told that there is a God but they personally have Not experienced Him. They may have been told that God answers prayers, but they've never experience answered prayer. They are told that God once spoke to people but he doesn't speak anymore. But, God is a God of the living not of the dead. God is a right now being. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Religious traditions tend to turn the reality of God's "now-ness" into God's "then-ness." Religion for all intents and purposes becomes a kind of "oral tradition,” and no more.

So we also see the situation where one group's understanding of the practice of Christianity comes in conflict with others and the house divides further. And thus we have come to a place where hundreds of denominations or sects contend for there own view of the truth. Professing Christians are for the most part, divided from others in the body. My experience with traditional denominations is that few enjoy the "now-ness" of God; and even fewer who see themselves as the true and valued “disciples” for whom Jesus prayed for in John 17 when he commissioned us all to be as He is in the world.

Fellowship is bonding power of unity.
Agreement is the power of faith.

Fellowship is the bonding power of unity among any community. Agreement is the power of faith. Everyone has an area of interest or interests. It is natural to seek those who share your interest, whether it be an interest in playing cards, playing golf, collecting stamps, fishing, or drinking beer at a honky tank. We seek people who like what we like. We are stretched when we are around someone who shares nothing in common with our interests. We all crave fellowship, belonging and acceptance.

We see that religion of any sort divides humanity. How unfortunate that there is such pervasive division among Christians. Division weakens and hinders the purposes of God to partake in his Kingdom. Jesus prayer for believers is recorded in chapter seventeen of John's Gospel asks for unity among all that the Father has given him. This prayer is prayed for all his disciples, and disciples in coming generations who also will know him as Redeemer and Deliverer. This prayer is the specific will of God and the road map of ministry for those who believe and follow him in generations to come. Even the Jew and Gentile were eventually to be one, perfectly one in Himself.

Oneness (unity) in Jesus Christ means to have the same fellowship with the Father as Jesus knew and experienced. In addition, Jesus also prayed that we should partake of the same glory which had been given to him. Later in the prayer, the Lord expresses that it is his will for us to share in His commission and ministry upon the earth. He Jesus, foresees in his prayer that he be replicated in each disciple to continue his own life and ministry. This charge to serve (minister) that Christ received from the Father was turned over to the disciples. Every petition in Jesus' prayer were expressed with the assurance that the Father would answer and bring it to pass. Everything Jesus prayed was in the Father's will. After the resurrection and the launching of the 'church age' we see these principles restated and amplified by the writing of the apostles in the epistle writings (the epistles of John, Peter, Paul, and Lukes account of the Acts of the apostles.)

Most religious tradition contradicts the intentions spoken by Jesus in his high priestly prayer. Today most of us are instructed by our human religious mentors in matters of faith and living our lives. We have as much or as little of the truth of the Gospel as is understood by our mentors or expositors of our tradition. The apostle Paul exhorts us not to be ignorant about Spiritual matters but you are brought forth into this idolatry by our leaders - - (1 Corinthians 12:1 paraphrase) .

We have been mentored not to practice the dynamic life of disciples in practice of the Christian faith. Thus we can not avail ourselves of the spiritual life or have faith to move into these dimensions though they are established as spiritual promises in the Word. Any and every believer is an inheritor of all of God's promises.

NEXT CHAPTER

E Book 1:
The Gospel Without Religion

E Book 2:

A Disciples Handbook

E Book 3:

Mysteries in the Bible Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles
Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles

Resources: Understanding Home Fellowships

Frank Viola Interviews a typical church-goer

(Discussion of Open Church)

Frank Viola
"Who's Your Covering"

"Rethinking the Wineskin"

Sid Roth
Guest, George Barna
"Moving beyond the established church"

Barna's Book: "Revolution"
Interview 2/20/2006 http://www.sidroth.org

Sid Roth Guest:
Tim and Katie Mather
Subject: Open Church
http://www.sidroth.org/radio.htm

Guest: Jim Rutz
Author of Book: "Megashift, "
"Experiencing the fullness of God
outside of Institutional Religion"
Subject: Open Church

http://www.sidroth.org/radio.htm