ATTRIBUTES OF RELIGION
Consider How Christianity Becomes "Religion"
takes a long time to understand the
Bible. Not many who call themselves Christian believers desire
to spend time studying it. Churches in the early twenty first century
are seriously ungrounded in the precepts,
truths and promises of the word of God. What have you discovered about
this Bible? What have you been told? Is it history half truths or fable?
Could the Bible possibly be the Word of God and
relevant to life in the 21st Century?
Opening the Word of God, God's Holy Book
One of the most profound changes that I experienced after being Spiritually
reborn was a new love of the Bible and a desire to probe its depths.
My eyes that had been blind to its power and potential were opened.
I began to discover its consistency and veracity. The apostle Paul tells
us that spiritual (Biblical) matters are absurdities to the person without
the Spirit. The 'natural man' may follow any wind of doctrine
or demonically conceived teaching that parades as truth. It is only
after we have taken the first steps that bring us to redemption that
we have any desire to understand this mysterious book and can begin
to glimpse its consistency and focus. The Bible has been called many
things, such as the "Makers users manual," and "A love
letter from God." Amazingly, it also describes prophetically things
that were spoken hundred of years in advance that have already transpired
as well as events that are yet to occur at a future time. It is a fact
that theologians and academicians can dig into the study of Scripture
but leave with a lot of facts and too little understanding, what we
know as precepts.
apostle Paul was an academically brilliant rabbi. He was well situated
in his Jewish religion. Yet, after his encounter with the living presence
and power of Yeshua (Jesus), he stated that scholarship, philosophy
and theology alone can't lead one to know God. Neither are theology
or human knowledge a sure pathway to knowing God. Truth and wisdom is
a Spiritually derived gift. Individuals are edified by the Holy Spirit
either by self study or shared teachings and testimonies. Spiritual
life is outside of religion. For it is only God himself who through
the revelation of the Holy Spirit imparts to his children the necessary
understanding of the Mysteries of God. (Read
1Corinthians Chapters 1 & 2)
are many sects and denominations who refer to their beliefs and practices
as "religion." Other groups, notably the evangelicals, like
to say that the version of Christianity they practice is not
religion. But you will see as I explain in the course of
these writings, that many attributes of church-house Christian tradition
relegates them entirely as religion. Christianity
and church life are filled with religious 'trappings.' In the pages
that follow I will describe some practices that are more of human aurthorship
and tradition are ingrained in what many will call the normal Christian
ATTRIBUTES INDEED HINDER THE MANIFESTING OF GOD'S KINGDOM
and division in the body of Christ result from denominational boundaries.
and division result from the designation of clergy and the subordinate
is not seen as the first order of importance. (1 Corinthians 14)
form of priesthood remains in most churches .
headship, hierarchy of authority controls followers and imposes
rituals or orders of service prohibit God interacting with
services become performance or even entertainment.
(the laity) are under-valued and serve mostly to support the mission
of the institution.
members of congregations are the "sheep" to be exploited.
institutional church is focused primarily on maintenance, continuance
becomes imbued with worldly aims, values and methodology.
of institutional Christianity often at variance with scripture.
believers are not discipled to mature and assume leadership.
religious practices lack a demonstration of the power of the Holy
is the Jewish Messiah, Most of the disciples were Jewish; Yet, Christianity's
Judaic roots are discarded.
Much of mainstream Christianity practices "replacement theology."
This is the belief that the church has replaced Israel; unfulfilled
prophecies naming Israel apply not to Israel but to the church.
PERILS, PITFALLS, PROBLEMS OF RELIGION
& RELIGIOUS ATTRIBUTES
An important caveat:
There is a remnant
of Spiritual life in many traditional churches today. They use the Bible
more or less in their services. Individuals within
these institutions have remained
faithful to sustain the God fearing values that laid the moral and social
foundations of our nation. There has been a noble and historic inheritance
of Christian Churches in America and in other countries. The nation
of the U.S. of A., was founded upon faith in the providencial hand of
the Living God, the Father of all creation and morality. Unfortunately
today, there is a disturbing trend in America to follow a downward course
of moral apostasy, casting off the morality of its traditional moral
values. Meanwhile a disturbing number of institutional churches are
departing from Biblical roots, allowing worldliness to enter.
There remains a remnant
who continue in practicing the faith of our fathers, regardless of any
religious shortcomings. It is not our place to condemn the faithful
and morally upright people who faithfully attend such churches and find
community and fulfillment there. There are salt of the earth believers
who remain virtuous and upstanding pillars of American culture. God
is able to find His way into the churches that worship in more formalized
ways. There is fruitfulness to the extent that the Word is taught and
valued and true worship of God is encouraged.
The principal premise in this study is
that there is more. Through study of the Bible, there
is always more to be known and more to be experienced.
These experiences are entirely Scriptural based and consistent with
the apostolic teachings in the Bible. The more freedom and liberty is
given to the Holy Spirit, the more spiritual life and growth will be
"experienced" when those believers gather together.
Discipleship should serve to activate the 'gift of God' within individuals
so that they may bear evidence of The Kingdom of God and do the work
of the Kingdom and the King comes.
Christian religion meetings do not perfectly address the great commission,
that focuses upon discipleship or freedom in worshipping the Lord. Negative
attributes of the Religious paradigm
described in these writings are the elements which impact faith in negative
ways and in fact can actually keep individuals from ever experiencing
the full life of the Kingdom of God which follows the God's Gift of
order to escape the restraining power of religious paradigms, it is
time to rethink religious traditions. We will examine these in chapter
topics in the list above.
does religion become a dividing force? - - Denominational empires.
Jesus' Final Exclamation: "It is finished" What was brought
to a finish?
Clergy-Laity doctrine- How Biblical is this traditional form?
What does Jeremiah's stale cisterns parable speak to us?
What behaviors of the Pharisees are seen in religious practices
emulation, church house behaviors we learn and practice.
learn and follow ritual and acceptable mannerisms.
is easy to focus on externals
frames church programs; performing to entertain, showmanship infuse
cults build upon a single leader's gifts.
True Vines and others . . If Christ is the true vine, what are the
pattern of Jesus Christ's ministry and Jesus' life is a template.
and religious Terms: often heard phrases that have become spiritually
The Gospel Without Religion
E Book 2:
E Book 3:
in the Bible Index
to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles
Understanding Home Fellowships
Frank Viola Interviews a typical church-goer
(Discussion of Open Church)