Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The False Church System Deception

This video has some good messages, but while I have made the decision to post it, I wish the youtuber had avoided a "Latin" name and use of the Chi Rho for their avatar on youtube. We can hope they just have more studies to do.

One thing he points out is the churches use of STAGES. I wrote a post long ago on this blog, how the use of "altars" in churches was wrong, but if you think about it, having a STAGE is wrong as well, because it turns "church" into a performance, with elevated men or clergy at the front getting all the attention. He refers to the "show" being common to everything from the Catholic church to the small baptist church and he is correct.

One time I told my husband, "What is the use of attending these lecture halls, once a week, where we sit and listen to some guy wrest scripture for an hour or more and teach things more and more I don't agree with? I thought about that more, "Why are churches run like lecture halls and theater shows where a passive audience just sits there eating it up?"Some could claim to me, "Well the Quakers did things quite a bit different"... However there, false teachings entered in and transcendentalism but outside of that one exception I can't think of one church that calls itself Christian that "deviates" from the formula discussed in this video.

He questions, this "platform" and says no one questions it. I liked the phrase "the conman's tactic of social compliance."  He is right about the question, "Where do you go to church?"being a nonsense question because those who are saved ARE the church. His bit of information about William Tyndale translating ekklesia as "congregation"is telling. I always hated that phrase too, that "the church is a hospital for sinners". It has been used to shame me many times for not attending church. He shows us that in scripture, the gospel and epistle writers refer to the church as those sanctified in Jesus Christ.

I said to my husband in the conversation mentioned above, "Why isn't church more interactive?" So I found it interesting when this youtuber, quotes 1 Cor. 14:26 as the biblical way to do church.

How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Do any of you know of a church run that way? I sure don't. If anyone speaks out in church besides the pastor, they are often removed. He makes a good point that the church system has departed from these verses. The house churches in the book of Acts are mentioned as well, where believers gathered. He compares the order of the Protestant church services to the Roman Catholic Mass, I saw too many "ceremonies" even at baptist churches. He is correct about the clergy/laity divide which I have referred to on this blog and is referred to by Jesus Christ as the error of the Nicolaitans.

I am glad later in the video, he does bring up that some may wonder how is this feasible, understanding that many of us know no people in real life who have voiced the same concerns.

Watch this video and tell me what you think....


Anonymous said...

Before I believed on Jesus Christ I went to a stone temple pilots concert. That light show is reminiscent of that lol.......James

Bible Believer said...

I went to concerts too and yes, the light shows are exactly what they use. It's a stage show and entertainment. Watching "church" on a stage with "altars" was all steered wrong anyhow.

Debra said...

I think believers are looking for true shepherds in the wrong places. The Lord provides.

Jeremiah 3:14-15King James Version (KJV)

14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

Debra said...

There is a difference between reading God's word and applying it. It's very rare when you hear a preacher teach on Godliness and Holiness. It's more about how many insta-carts of happiness one can achieve. They offer a Jesus that is not our Jesus of the Bible. They use His name in public but it is not Jesus who suffered and died for our sins. I think of those scalpers selling tickets and those tickets are not even authentic. Come watch the show and you too can be filled with riches and happiness to gorge on. The audience leans forward at the edge of their seat hoping to find treasure in whatever morsel comes out of the mouth of wolves. Rather our treasure is in Jesus alone, very simple.

Titus 2:11-15
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Solomon Rodriguez said...

The home fellowship I attend is according to the book of ACTS, all are encouraged to excercise their gifts

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...


The last church I attended had started the lights show. And they had rock music for the congregation to "jump to". It was like the higher one jumped, the more blessings. It reminded me of the time before I gave my life to Christ when we went to clubs and reacted to each song that the DJ played by jumping and screaming.

I knew I was being taken back from whence I had come... I left. And now I truly know that the WORD of God is for our life, preservation, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding (Psalm 19, 119). All our duty is as believers to fear God and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Much as I know that my knowledge of the WORD of God came from this particular church that is now turned out, my understanding came from the fact that I chose to live by the WORD of God for life (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4). And I found out that the WORD of God has been tried, tested (Psalm 12:6) and found to be true (John 17:17).

All these preachers try to do is to set us up for their sermons and they pick snippets of scripture from here and there and build up their own false doctrine and act like they have been living by it for their prosperity. And we support this mess by giving and tithing endlessly while our neighbors are in need.

No more!

Anonymous said...

Clergy/leadership verses the laity: is the staple of the church system.

When we don't applaud, shout out, give the leaders a pat on the back, compliment them incessantly with words of praise, or seek them out for advice and so called "words of wisdom" in spiritual and life issues; they become angry and distraught and frankly, become very hateful and vengeful towards you.

When the believer reads and understands the Holy Scriptures for oneself, allowing God, the Holy Spirit, to instruct and minister to our souls, Jesus becomes the First Teacher, the Head, the Cornerstone, the Author and Finisher of our faith in Him alone for salvation.

This makes men and women who desire to lord it (rule, control, manipulate) over you become your worst enemies because they desire the seat which is only reserved for our LORD Jesus, the Christ.

I came out of the apostate holiness and godliness church movement and believe me, there is absolutely nothing holy and godly about these people; their sins are legion all the while pointing out the sins of everyone else in their congregation. I am in awe of the double mindedness and the double standards lived out amongst these people. It is no surprise Jesus called out these individuals/groups as "You brood of vipers."

And the vipers amongst God's people are still alive and well within the church system. Ephesians 6.

Debra said...

Yes we experienced the same church one up manship among church's. When confronting the music pastor with the Las Vegas thumping music he said we have to play like that or the people won't come. The conversation led to a large mortgage they had to pay and the focus was not on the people like it should be. I'm thinking you don't care whether you lead these sheep on a path of destruction because of salaries and a large mortgage? If the sheep open their mouths for garbage then that is what they will get to feed on. They are willing participants. God's word says teachers will have a greater judgement placed on them for being teachers. (James 3:1) So if the sheep decide not to partake of heresy, deception and staged productions there would be no audience to thrill or gain money from. What we see is a great falling away or falling into a pit of lies. Imposters are deceivers and the deceived no longer test all things. The watchmen have fallen asleep and no longer sound their trumpets. What we hear are false representations of those trumpets to further deceive believers. I am thankful for this blog that does none of the above.

William Sculley said...

Welcome to the Protestant world: described by historical Christians as "four bare walls, a concert and a lecture". The reason there is no life to be found in it is because they have divorced themselves from the Leitourgia (common work and worship) of the Church.

We must remember that repetition is not vain in itself. Prayer becomes vain when a person does not mean what he says, whether he is praying the words of the King in the Psalms, or praying his own words like the Pharisee in the temple.

If a man can truly mean the phrase "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner", then he has truly found the source of life, for he has placed himself in the right place in relation to Christ.

The purpose of the service is not education, but worship. In the early Church, the homily or sermon was only 10-15 minutes long, while the community prayer and service of the Eucharist (evcharistos in the Greek) were the focus of the second half of the service, while the first half focused on the Psalms and writings of the Prophets, and then later the writings of the Apostles. Spiritual education is not the purpose of the service. Spiritual education is something done apart from the service between a person and their spiritual mentor.

Off-topic: I have been discharged from the hospital and might be going into remission. My doctor finally got the pharmacy straightened out regarding my Remicade prescription so I should be starting back on the biologic within the next week. I'm feeling much better now than I have in more than three years.

Christsfreeservnt said...

I ditto most of what Debra said. Thanks, Debra, for sharing those insightful words of wisdom. Sue

Anonymous said...

Church is a deception. Protestantism is just a less powerful deception than Catholicism. -Dai

Solomon Rodriguez said...

William Sculley,

Praise Jehovah for your healing. yes the early Church did things much different than today's Churches.

William Sculley said...

"Church is a deception. Protestantism is just a less powerful deception than Catholicism. -Dai"

Church is something that Christ and the Apostles established. We can see the appointment of elders being an important function of the Apostles in Acts, and rules for the appointment of bishops and elders and deacons appear in Scripture as well. Structure is not fundamentally sinful, because if it was, then God was commanding sin in the Old Testament.

Part of the reason we buck structure is the same reason I bucked the authority of my parents when I was a teenager: pride. It takes humility to submit oneself to the authority of others, and it takes humility to allow oneself to be truly in the command of God. Pride says that we can perfectly interpret Scripture apart from the Body of Christ. It took pride to take what was the work of the WHOLE church and place that authority into the single person of the Pope in 1054 AD. It took pride to take that same authority and place it into the individual in the fifteenth century. What was the job of the whole Church was placed into the individual. It is not our job to interpret Scripture privately, because Scripture wasn't given by private interpretation. The Apostles and prophets didn't write Scripture from a position of being detached from the Body of God's People, but from within that Body. The Prophets were a part of the Qahal Israel (The Church of Israel). The Apostles were part of the Ekklessia ek Christos (Church of Christ). They were writing as part of the organism that God placed on earth. We cannot just divorce ourselves from that body.

"Praise Jehovah for your healing. yes the early Church did things much different than today's Churches."

I thank all the people on this forum who have been praying for me. I may not hold the same theology, but I am not like some who believe discourse is unprofitable. Discourse with those who hold different beliefs is the only way by which we can truly evangelize. I believe the people here, for the most part, to be sincere in their faith and desire to find Christ. And while I cannot say for certain that someone is saved apart from the Apostolic teachings handed down since the beginning, I do believe it is possible because I will not say where God does not work. It isn't my job to tell God He can't save someone or listen to their prayers. In heaven, we will all worship with the same Faith as the Church I am in, but on earth, it is our job to work toward unity in that Faith, and to pray for the health and well-being of all people. Love our neighbor, for in doing so, we love God. For that reason, I am glad for the prayers of those with whom I debate and discuss. I actually enjoy the discussions. And if anyone here is in the Gainesville Florida area, I'm glad to meet up for a coffee and interesting discussion, so long as we both respect each other.

One thing I can say is that even though the people here are Iconoclasts, I've never been called an idolater by Bible Believer, though that might be because I was very specific in how I personally use Icons. That is very refreshing to me because BB is literally the only iconoclast who has NOT called me that.

Bible Believer said...

I think people are looking for true shepherds too in the wrong place.I more then know the difficulties of being out there on your own, being a "scattered sheep", it is not easy.I tried to go back to the church system with the last IFB even, but it was too far gone.Thanks for that verse. Debra.

Yes "another jesus" is being taught. The cold antichrist of the religious right. The "god" of mammon and the "best life" now and wicked politicians like Trump.

Matthew 6:21
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Solomon I am glad you have a home fellowship, I hope more can find true ones.

Wow they had people jumping to music in your church, The Lord is My Shepherd, yeah its almost like a work-out. I have visited churches like rock concerts, it is too much. This is stage show entertainment to lure people and their money in. Yes they pick and choose scriptures.Someone new to the Christian faith can sometimes start reading themselves and find out what does not match with one of these wolves,but sadly most followers remain stunted under them.

Yes clergy and leadership vs the laity and Jesus preached directly AGAINST THIS. I have noticed the degree of narcissistic personalities seems very high among the clery.There's few introverts, so even the sort of personalities one is more likely to get in the church system is toxic. The best "SalesMen" and "Moneymakers" are the ones who get hired. They do want attention, my first IFB pastor seemed like sincere man even on shy side but oh the second one, he was the I'll pretend to listen to you type who wanted so much attention for himself. How much of this costs grace and comfort among Christians where the well-being of one man is held above all others and their needs and leading by the Lord are silenced? Yes scripture teaches us to avoid those who wish to lord over us and the whole church system is designed a whole other way. When you are sitting in those pews,so much of the Holy Spirit is squelched, as most churches are set up too for you to be a PASSIVE recipient of their preaching.

I am glad you came out of the holiness movement, well it seems they desire the appearance of godliness which probably led to a ton of hypocrisy.I too have tired of those pointing out my endless "sins" like that spiritual abuser, who was out to "fix me"while ignoring endless sins of her own. Alot ofthe clergy get stuck in this we must appear "holy"fish bowl syndrome that for them sets up a lot of worse spiritual falls beyond being the leader of false religion. If someone comes at me now telling me how holy they are and deficient I am, I know to run now. They are vipers and they do horrendous damage to people.

Bible Believer said...

Yes they want the loud music, to sell the church.The theatre show has to be entertaining I guess though most church music is only pale and weak imitations of popular music.Someone once told me even IFB piano hymns were once set to drinking music in pubs. I am not a legalist about music like some church of christ people but yeah that gave me a weird thought. The rock it out churches though are playing hard music, for excitement and to sell themselves to the young. I see churches here having fund raising all the time and it's always for the buildings. One nice Lutheran church, I like a lot of the people there, and have gone there for charity before, is doing a giant million something campaign for new buildings, etc....seems like there is a lot of poor, out there.I guess they do help the poor at least in their case,but some told me about difficulties raising funds and I said a lot of people are broke now. A lot of church people are under a lot of pressure to "give"and while this church does a better job of some helping of the poor, I have seen that elsewhere too. The poor are leaving church as I have written because they can't afford it.If you can't pay the rent are you going to want to give to the pastor's million dollar fundraising for building projects? This is one place the churches have gone wrong.

Yes most just passively take in what they are taught. No one questions the system. With the Lutherans and other liturgicals they are part of a giant system, most have indoctrinated not to question, I felt this as a Catholic, it was bigger then you and very few want to take on the job,and remember when I was Catholic they focused on teaching me church teachings not scripture. I had to read that for myself.

People in evangelicalchurches there is some nod to bible reading but obviously they aren't interested in reading what scripture says, and there is this idea of letting others [clergy] do the reading and thinking for you. they are willing participants and I believe a giant dose of just spiritual laziness. Ive met many too who know things are wrong but who don't want to rock the boat or "be alone"like I am, and there is some cowardice there,and status seeking and people pleasing running that show. Thanks regarding the blog.

William, sure a concert and a lecture, you are right,but adding rituals doesn't make things "better". I was Catholic a long time and remember being told there was so much "richness"to the liturgy, stained glass and more,but what did it all mean? It was the things of this world meant to entice. There's a reason the lord it over clergy wear their special outfits and work in churches decked out in gold and fancy furnishings and art.

There are people uttering sincere prayers even in false churches, but they need their eyes opened to see the system they are encased in. With the Lutherans always asking me to join their church, because they are nice people and "like me"and I have conceded Luther was right about a few things, though I believe he did not go far enough, the pivotal point is around sacraments and the fact I do not believe in them. We do not need to add to Jesus Christ's work on the cross. They know I am ex-IFB the ones I am more friendly with. Remember I got saved reading a CATHOLIC bible, so I am glad you have the scripture to read even some that is not the best or proper translation but sadly the whole service is based on false sacraments and the altars scripture warns against. [and I wrote about in the altars article I liked to here]

Spiritual education is important too of course while worship is another important factor.

I am glad you are going into remission,praise God for that. I hope you can get your needed medicine.

Bible Believer said...

I agree Dai, church is a deception, Protestant is just less a powerful deception. This system is so big, and overweening, that trying to get people to see outside of it is difficult.I struggled MYSELF with the hold it all had on me in going back to the second IFB. I am not here to put people down just trying to get them to see what has happened and what scripture warns of. Even the Baptists and IFB follow spiritual formulas as the other churches, they got the raised stand and giant seats for the clergy too in front. They do a "communion" though with Chic-lets and grapejuice. It is ritualized far less and no one points to the "bread" being the actual body of Christ or a watered down version like the Lutherans but it is still done as a "ritual". Communion even in IFB used to bug me, until I figured out how and why.

Bible Believer said...

I don't think structure is necessarily bad William but remember these were elders and bishops worshipping in people's houses, they weren't seeking special offices, there was no Pope or Patriarchs appointed. The false church steered into something else entirely.

I do believe while some authority is important in life,as men and women of God we are no longer under "tutors" and governors", there is a reason I chose the book of Galatians to name this blog and particulary Galatians 4.

Galatians 4King James Version (KJV)

4 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

[not posting the entire chapter for length but verse 31 says we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free]

If anything I think blind obedience to false authority is this world's biggest problem, especially in the days where oppression via the powerful has grown so immense.

I agree humility has it's place but remember our first obedience is to come to God and His Word. I struggle being out there on my own as many scattered sheep do but this is the point things come down to for me, those claiming appointed authority are not follow God's Word which is right there for the reading.The thing that woke me up and got me out of Roman Catholicism was having the UU past, and seeing the Pope and others preach the sameness of all religions and things against the first commandment.These were not leaders worthy of following.

The false teachers will gaslight us and tell us we cannot understand the plain reading of scripture.

This is a devious way they can make you not trust your own mind and to place trust in them instead of scripture.

The only "individual"who should be leading the whole work of the church is Jesus Christ or that said the Holy Spirit on this earth. It is not to be the role of any one man.

Rexamine these things, the system has stayed in power telling you that you cannot understand scripture on your own. I was Catholic and once was told this.

I am not afraid to talk to anyone. LOL. My old IFBs used to rebuke me for hanging out with pagans and atheists but they forgot my former life. I hope you can think about somethings I am telling you. I do think there are sincere people who seek God out there. I have written in churches there are even some saved people will need one day led out. I was in an IFB for years while being saved. I talk to the local Lutherans about my beliefs. With people I do try to take them as individuals first. I think they find me interesting though challenging LOL. I am glad you enjoy the discussions here. :) All the best for your health too and prayers.

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

I believe that we can only be shepherded by the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18) who is also the Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).

And we can only do this if we submit ourselves to keep God's commandments (James 4:7). His precepts are for our life, preservation, wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Psalm 19 & 119). And it is by which we are sanctified (John 17:17).

This is truth that can NEVER!!! be taught from the pulpit. It is only taught to those who literally take God's WORD as their source of life (Deuteronomy 8:3, Job 23:12, Matthew 4:4).

That is the ONLY way we can prove our love for Jesus! (John 14:15-31).

William Sculley said...

RE: Bible Believer

While you say you don't see structure as a problem, you have problems with literally anything that has structure. Where there is structure, there will ALWAYS be parts of that structure that fit your definition of "special position".

The Scripture describes the Church as a body, specifically using the human body as an allegory for the Church, with Christ as the Head, and each of us the parts of the Body. Well, would you say that there are key parts of the human body? Would you say that there is a certain hierarchy and order of authority between the cells of the human body? If your answer is yes, then congratulations, you have the biology knowledge of the average high school course.

The human body has a hierarchy. The Head, specifically the brain, sends signals to the various parts of the body to make it do things. So if Christ is the Brain of the Church, it's not too big of a leap to imagine that there are persons in the body that act as the nerves, those through which the brain communicates to the Body.

Yes, the early Church did meet "from house to house", but they did not meet without leadership across large groups. Timothy, for instance, was not simply the pastor of a small house church, but literally of every house church which met in the metropolis of Ephesus. Clement, named in the letter to Phillipi, was not just a house church leader, but the Bishop over all the Christians in the city of Rome, and probably the outlying districts for a while, since the Church was quite young there in his time.

When we try to apply the situation we have today to the times back then, we run into one major difficulty: there were thousands upon thousands of Christians, and only a handful of partial copies of any Scripture. It was literally impossible for Christians to practice what we can do today, and without the work of those many years of Christians in the intervening time, we wouldn't be where we are today, because the Canon of Scripture wasn't settled in the time of the Apostles. The Apostles used, based on what we can see by directly comparing the texts, the Greek Septuagint. Most western Christians today use the 5th century AD textual canon formed by the Jews called the Masoretes. There is also the canon of Josephus and Pliny, both of which include the book of Baruch and also a larger version of Esther which actually mentions God, unlike the Masoretic version, which only hints at God, with no direct mention.

But without a 100% certain canon in the time of the Apostles, we are left with the following question: by what authority do you say that the books within your Bible are truly the books in Scripture. Protestants, which for the sake of consistent discussion, includes any Christian which holds to a combination of any of the Five Solas, do not have any solid foundation to answer that question. They can make some historical arguments, even going so far as to reference the works of Jerome and his formation of the Latin Vulgate, which closely resembles the Masoretic Old Testament in the books it uses. However, this requires them to say that a Roman Catholic Saint has the authority to declare what books are Scripture, since Scripture does not self-identify as Scripture (meaning that there is no Table of Contents that came prepackaged with Scripture). For the Protestant, there is nothing with that authority. For those who do not hold that Scripture is part of a greater whole, there is no authority upon which to base the Canon.

William Sculley said...

This is not a problem for structured liturgical Churches, because Tradition (defined as the entirety of all that the Apostles taught, including both Scripture and the proper interpretation of Scripture) is fully preserved by the Spirit in the vessel into which Christ and the Apostles deposited it: the Church.

A great example of the Structure of the Church being a semi-centralized universal structure is the Council of Jerusalem portrayed in Acts, when the Apostles and other leaders of the Church from across the empire gathered together in Jerusalem to discuss whether Gentiles needed to be circumcised or follow the food laws. In this, dozens of leaders from all corners of the Church gathered together. If the Church was not centralized, then the declaration of this gathering would have no effect or authority, but it is obvious that the authority was there.

Since Scripture does not say that authority left the Church, we must have some reason for the Church to Apostatize, and we must show how that could happen if Christ is the Head of the Church, for where the Body goes, there also goes the Head. Paul even says that a man seeking the Bishopric is seeking something which is worth attaining. It is obvious from that statement that the seeking of the position of Bishop is not evil. Seeking authority is not evil. Misusing authority is evil, but authority is simply a tool. And we must remember that, at least in Orthodox Churches, the Bishop actually has LESS freedom than the laypeople, for a lay person can teach doctrines which are not true without being held accountable, but a Bishop can only teach that which the Church has always taught from the very beginning.

A person should not be left to his own devices to interpret Scripture. What kind of God would just say "you figure it out on your own. I may give little hints, but I won't really guide you completely". For the Orthodox, the whole Truth has been preserved. We don't need to go be intellectual geniuses to find it. Even a person who is genuinely mentally retarded can become a true Theologian. It doesn't take brains. It takes humility and submission.

Anonymous said...

True authority does not have to "share" with people exactly "who" they are within the church complex. This is not true humility, but in fact, the pride of life of those who love their authoritarian positions as well as loving their "lord it over positions." Jesus, Himself, specifically said, "It shall not be so amongst you."

The greatest servants within the structured church as most of us have witnessed, are NOT the leadership. Many of us have come out of such abusive church systems disguised as the "true church" who boasts of worshiping a jesus of their own understanding. Church life, in these apostate churches, revolves around the leadership, their pastors, their families, and their lives....we are to bow down and pay them good salaries, worship their wisdom/teaching/leading, bring them meals when they are sick or "strapped for cash" or in mourning, worship their successes/their accomplishments/listen to their boasting and bragging, and be their cheerleaders in every area of this life, confide in them with our issues/problems of living; only to have the pastor conveniently bring up from his staged pulpit what was supposed to be held in confidence and prayer.....we are to continuously keep feeding them our hard earned income for them to build new church buildings, gymnasiums, coffee bars, libraries, new screens/sound systems/instruments/, etc., all the while most within the congregations do not have a high standard of living....as opposed to the wealthy pastor and his leadership network (churches love to place wealthy people on their boards so the pastor has a steady supply of mammon and "yes" men at his disposal.........

all the while the lower laity are neglected, abandoned and abused by their pseudo loving leadership. If the Apostle Paul boasted in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, why is it that our human authority who claims to know and love Jesus, never ever mentions His Name or practice the humility Jesus exemplified in our Holy Scriptures? Why is it that every single time I meet an "industrialized church leader," they casually bring up in conversation, their church title so as to prove how "spiritual" they are.....and I usually leave the conversation, sick to my stomach for I believe they know not the Jesus of our Bibles.

And when I share health concerns, or other issues, is it the lower laity dogs that speak up and say with compassion, empathy, and sometimes tears in their eyes, "Oh, I will pray for you in the Name of Jesus Christ." And these are the "dones and unchurched followers and believers of Jesus Christ," that actually care and love the brethren. What a sad, sad state the churches of authority are in these last days.

Anonymous said...

And also, we have literally, God, the Holy Spirit, living inside of us to guide and teach us truth, always, always, always, pointing to the teachings and the Way of Jesus Christ.

If we became stranded on a desert island with a Bible, could we still not learn the Word of God, apart from the leadership network?

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

Psalms 19, 23 and 119. In summary, the precepts of God are for life, preservation, wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, departing from evil is understanding (Job 28:28).

Jesus promised the Spirit of Truth that would guide us into ALL truth (John 16:13). And truth is the WORD of God (John 17:17), for it has been tried and tested (Psalm 12:6).

The church leaders can't teach you this because they have to follow church rules and regulations including the terms and conditions that apply for the respective denomination.

But once you take the WORD of God literally as your daily sustenance (Deuteronomy 8:3, Job 23:12, Matthew 4:4), you will understand why Jesus said he who the son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:32 & 36 ). Remember, he is the Good Shepherd.

William Sculley said...

I don't see that in my church's parishes. The reason I came to Orthodoxy is because Father Stavros, the elder at my first parish, took me in like his own child. Not every church has the same dynamics, but thus far, the experience of love and compassion has extended beyond what I ever expected. In the parishes I've been part of, I have seen the elders of the Church take money out of their own pockets, out of their own need, to help the poor and needy. The elder at the church near to me goes out of his way to come visit me and even stayed for several hours while I was in the Critical Care Unit.

I have been in churches before where the clergy couldn't care less, but it isn't a necessity of structure.

But divorced from the connection to the Apostles in the Church, it would be difficult to guarantee that we would come to the whole Truth, because the promise of the Spirit to lead into all Truth was made to the Church as a whole, not to individuals. The reason is that we cannot guarantee that the spirit guiding us is the Holy Spirit. Divorced from the Apostolic Faith in the Church, how would you test the interpretation given by a spirit to see that it is from the Spirit of God? The demons can use the Scriptures, too, and they've lived long enough to be much more able to defend their interpretations than you or I are. God doesn't guarantee that they won't attempt to plant heresy in our hearts. In fact, God pretty much guaranteed that they WOULD make such attempts.

That is the purpose of the Church, and it is the purpose for which God preserved His Church. God does not want us floundering about in the dark with no way to test the spirits. Scripture is a great tool, but like any tool, it can be used for evil purposes. The Church, on the other hand, is a Body which is Headed by Christ. It is as reliable as its Head.

William Sculley said...

Re "The Lord is My Shepherd"

You say take the Scripture literally. So let's see you take the following statement of Christ literally:

"Unless you eat my Body and drink My blood, you have no life in you"

We Orthodox Christians do take that statement literally, though we do not believe it to be a physical literal, since it is quite obvious that it isn't. Actually, it's an official Canon of the Orthodox Church that if the parts of the Eucharist were to transform into physical flesh and blood, nobody will receive Communion and the entire parish community will refrain from receiving Communion for at least three months, replacing the Eucharist service with the canon of repentance and a period of fasting during that time to pray for forgiveness of sin. It is believed that such a physical transformation is a sign that the Church has been unfaithful in some aspect and therefore must repent of whatever sin prompted such an action from either God, or else some demonic influence.

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

Well, one can start with reading and with a purpose to understand the WORD of God. For example, God gives the Israelites commandments (Exodus 20), but the reason for the commandments is explained in Deuteronomy 12. How did I get this? By reading the WORD of God (lamp unto my feet, light unto my path - Psalm 119) and trusting the Spirit of Truth! No one can understand and know this from the pulpit.

Psalm 4 encourages us not to sin and to commune with our own heart and be still upon our beds. You can't do this if you are waiting on the church leader.

So if your soul longs for God, he will answer and satisfy (Psalm 42, John 4).

My entire hope is in God, my savior and nothing else. For He is the Rock (Deuteronomy 32:3)! - upon which he builds us (his church - Matthew 16:18).

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

Mr Sculley,

To understand John 6:54 you have quoted above, one must relate this with the rest of the WORD of God. Whenever something may not make sense or sound logical, it is best to meditate upon it in light of the WHOLE bible. One cannot interpret scripture in bits and pieces.

So here is what I understand about John 6:54 - we are to literally take Jesus' WORDS, his example his deeds as our sustenance. How do we do it? The answer is in the portions of scripture I had already quoted before. And for the benefit of others, I will reiterate:

Deuteronomy 8:3 "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger... that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

Job 23:12 "...I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."

Matthew 4:4 "...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God".

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."

All the above are important in understanding John 6:54 "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

So it ceases to be about a cannibalistic situation or a ritual for that matter. It is a choice by which those who need to be saved cannot operate in mind, body, spirit and soul without the WORD of God. He has the WORD of LIFE! There is no alternative. (John 6:68).

Next time you say the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11) remember that in the times of Samuel's beginnings this "daily bread" was precious (1 Samuel 3:1). But now we can ask and our God will provide.

Just so you know it is a curse to put trust in mortal man (Jeremiah 17:5). The canon law is a man made law that is added onto the WORD of God yet God warns us explicitly NOT to add or remove from his law (Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:19).

Hint: Scripture interprets scripture.

William Sculley said...

That last sentence you made, LIMS, is a tradition of men. Scripture never claimed to be self-interpreting.

However, Orthodoxy is fine with logical inconsistencies. It isn't logical to believe that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man, because it somehow means that Jesus is 200%. Simply saying that it isn't cannibalism is all we need. We believe the Eucharist to be the Body and Blood of Christ.

Here's a problem you have: you have no Scripture from using Scripture alone. You can't establish a canon without Tradition.

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." (Mark 7:13)

William Sculley said...

I can play the Scripture without context game, too.

Hold fast to the TRADITIONS which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle
II Thessalonians 2:15

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the TRADITION which he received of us.
II Thessalonians 3:6

Tradition is commanded by the Apostles. Funny.

Well, that would be because tradition is inescapable. Every person in the world has a tradition which he uses above the Scripture.

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

Unfortunately,I am not playing scripture. I read to understand. And the underlying fact regarding our faith in Christ is to be obedient to HIS teachings and commandments and NOT the teachings of men.

The traditions that Paul was talking about in 2 Thessalonians 2 and 3 are defined in 1 Thessalonians. And this includes cease worshipping idols, abounding in love for one another, behave in a holy, just, and unblameable manner, pleasing God by keeping his commandments,and abstaining from fornication.

You will not find Paul preaching to the Thessalonians on the Eucharist as a tradition to be kept.

The Eucharist is derived from a treatise, the Didache, and Ignatius of Antioch is the one who came up with Eucharist being "the flesh of our savior Jesus Christ". And this is the tradition the Orthodox and Catholic churches are following. The two churches use scripture to justify their rituals.

That is why in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Paul encourages the believers to prove all things.