Friend,
I hope you have gotten rest, and health as well. If you don’t want to answer my questions, that’s okay. But you were the one who began the conversation –commenting at my blog about your agreement with me about faith and works. Also, in then going over to your blog, I understood that you were inviting your blog readers to ask you questions about your new faith, and by posting myths of Catholicism, making yourself available to explain what Catholicism’s actual dogmas are.

It has surprised me that instead of straight-forwardly answering my concerns, you have asked that I read several articles and respond to your questions, one set with over 175 questions and which would take a very long time for anyone to research and answer. So really, you invited me to dialogue with you, but then switched to telling me to read things and answer you. This seems to me to be as if we would ask a Mormon to explain some of our concerns with his faith, and he would just tell us, “Go read the Book of Mormon, answer this long list of questions, and then come back for discussion.” I think we would both agree that his invitation to answer our questions was really a “bait and switch” to try to convert us, rather than an invitation to have an honest discussion so that we might all clarify, or arrive at, the Truth which Christ taught.

I have always been open to the belief that some, if not many, Catholics are “in Christ” and thus saved. However, I have figured they were so in spite of falsehoods taught by the Catholic church, and because they were not fully aware of what Catholicism actually teaches. I guess I did not realize that the Catholic church intentionally elevates its teachings above Scripture. I thought that if their teachings contradicted Scripture, it was due to a misunderstanding, not due to a deliberate invalidation of the doctrines of God and Christ as found in the 66 books of the Bible. I see that I was wrong about that.

As I’ve already said, the Word of God (Scripture / the Bible) does claim that it alone is “the Word of God” and the supreme authority over all words and authorities. It makes this declaration in hundreds of verses, a few of which I’ve already pointed out to you in my post titled “Scripture’s Authority”. It is surprising to me that anyone would say that if a certain truth (about anything, not only about spiritual things) is not stated in a particular way, then it is not truth. No, truths can be stated in various ways. Jesus, and the inspired Scriptures, do repeatedly attest to having the supreme authority concerning Truth.

Here is one in John 8:31,32: “To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” We see here that Jesus is saying that HIS teaching, not something additional, is Truth. He is also saying that believing Him about some things (which was the case with those Jews), does not equate to holding to His teaching. Jesus is saying that we must hold to, adhere to, follow, abide in, abide by, HIS teaching in order to know the Truth. And that in knowing this Truth (the only spiritual Truth) we will be His true disciples and thus true sons of God the Father (see the context which contrasts the Father-God and the father-the devil) and thus set free from sin and eternal death. (v. 34-36,51) As Jesus says in verse 51, “I tell you the truth, if a man keeps My word, he will never see death.” Jesus leaves no room for the notion that additional, added-on doctrines of men bring spiritual freedom and salvation. Neither does the rest of Scripture as it declares such things as, “The words of the Lord are flawless…” (Ps. 12:6), and, “Every word of God is flawless…” (Pr. 30:5), and, “Do not add to His words…” (v. 6), and, “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Ps. 119:89), and, “All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” (v. 160)

2 John 1:9 is another place where we are warned about any other doctrine except that which lines up with Christ’s teaching: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God.” In different words it is stated again for clarity and emphasis: “Whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” “The teaching” in the second part of the verse refers to “the teaching of Christ” mentioned in the first part of the verse. Therefore we are not to accept any other teaching (doctrine / dogma) except as that teaching upholds what Christ has already taught us. Otherwise we are to consider that teaching a wicked work. (v. 11)

When we teach the doctrine of Christ, we may explain its points, emphasizing certain ones, clarifying, etc., but we cannot change them, twist them, add to them, or subtract from them. This is what cults do, and they do so by claiming that their “prophet” is equal to, or greater than, the Scriptures. They do this so that they can get away with that wicked work. It seems apparent to me now that the Catholic church is itself their own prophet, for they are elevating their doctrines (men’s doctrines) above the teachings of Christ.

One of these set of doctrines is about elevating Mary to a position God reserves only for Himself, thus defying God’s claim to be the only Savior and God, and rebelling against His command to “acknowledge no God but Me, no Savior except Me.” (Ho. 13:4) (We give Jesus the titles of God and Savior because God’s Word states that He is God in bodily form.) Therefore, the Catholic church can say that it doesn’t promote worship to Mary, but it is not being honest. It teaches people to worship her, pray to her, preach about her, look to her for help, and even to look to her for redemption. That can be called nothing other than idolatry. Here are some of those teachings:

1. “…by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 969)

2. “…when she [Mary] is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to come to her Son…” (Vatican Council II, p. 420)

3. “…so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.” (Vatican Website: Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914)

4. “After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary…” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 972)

5. “…[Mary is] Queen over all things.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 966)

6. “In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ott, p. 213)

7. “She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, #5; “her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb.” (ibid, #14)

8. “All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin –in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world.” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)

Not only are these assertions not supported by Scripture, they are blasphemous toward God and contradictory to what Scripture teaches. (See John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Rom. 1:25 & 3:23, 1 Cor. 4:6, 1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 7:25 & 12:2, 1 John 2:1,2, Dt. 6:13-15, Isa. 42:8 & 45:20-24 & 48:11 for starters.) Therefore, if there is contradiction, should we believe and adhere to men’s dogmas, or should we believe and adhere to the doctrines of Jesus Christ and those of the inspired Scriptures?

God’s commands hold firm: “You shall have no other gods before/besides Me.” (Ex. 20:3) “Do not make any gods to be alongside Me.” (Ex. 20:23) “Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.” (Ex. 23:13) “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21) “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” (1 Cor. 10:14)

Satan has always tried to get humans to question God, His Word, His Truth, and His ways. He does this because he hates for anyone to worship and obey God. And because the devil craves worship and obedience so badly, he will take it any way he can, even masking as some kind of idol, whether that idol be money, a feeling, a statue, or a dead person. (See https://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/satan-wants-your-worship/ )

I am truly grieved to realize that you have turned from the Truth of the Lord, and that unless you turn back, will undoubtably be taking your precious children, as well, down this counterfeit path of your choosing, a path that is not the One of salvation.

I warn you because I care very much for all of you.

Love,
Rachel

P.S. This email will also be my 9/30/13 post.

Advertisements

Friends,
Jesus told a parable about a man who had two sons, asking His hearers, “‘What is your opinion? A man had two children. Approaching the first, He said, ‘Child, go today and work in the vineyard.’ Answering, he said, ‘I will, sir,’ but did not go. And approaching the second, the father said similarly. Answering, he said, ‘I will not,’ but later repenting, he went. Which of the two did the will of his father?'” (Mt. 21:28-31)

Those listening to Jesus said, “The latter.” (v. 31) Indeed the answer is obvious.

Jesus then said, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the harlots are going before you into the Kingdom of God. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and the harlots believed him. But even after seeing this, you did not repent and believe him.” (v. 31,32) In other words, though the wicked believed John the Baptist’s proclamation that Jesus was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and believed his warning that those not producing fruit in accordance with repentance and righteousness would be thrown into Hell (Mt. 3:7-10), the chief priests and elders did not believe and so remained unsaved. Or said one more way: Those viewed as the wicked of society turned from their sins and walked in Christ’s teaching and thus the Father’s will, whereas those who had vowed to uphold God’s commands were doing nothing of the sort.

What Jesus is teaching in Mt. 21:28-31 is simple: Obedience to God is what pleases God; and current / present / daily / continual obedience to God, irregardless of our words or our prior sin or righteousness, is what gives us entrance into Heaven.

Therefore, obedience (abiding under the rulership of the Spirit of Christ -Rom. 8:9) is what keeps us in Christ, His love, and His Kingdom. (John 15:1-10 // 2 Peter 3:17) As Jesus says in John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Whose teaching is to be obeyed? Jesus’ teaching. That is what is to be obeyed and what makes for being a new creation and dwelling of God. (same verse & 3:3-8) –It is obedience to Jesus’ teaching, not to the teaching of any other person or church, except as that person or church preaches doctrine that is exactly in accordance with the teaching of Christ. (2 John 1:9)

Now, what has our Father and Lord commanded of us? It is to do His will and finish His work, for Jesus began it and commissioned us to continue it. (John 4:34 & 14:12 // 1 John 2:6) What is this work? Jesus tells us that it is to go out into the fields and bring in the harvest –to quit waiting around, and to do it now, for the crop is already ripe! (John 4:35) It is to get baptized with the Holy Spirit and to go forth into all nations (Mt. 28:19 // Acts 1:8) “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:20)

But alas, as Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful [and ripe], but the workers are few.” (Mt. 9:37) He then commands, “Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest so that He may thrust forth workmen into His harvest fields.” (v. 38)

But are most “Christians” (–those who claim to love and follow and serve Christ) obeying Jesus’ words? Are they going into all nations and making disciples of Christ by teaching them about “the obedience that comes from faith”? (Rom. 1:5) Are they spending their time serving Christ in His harvest fields, supporting those who are, and praying earnestly and daily so that the Lord may thrust forth more harvesters? Or are they remaining in their church huddles and Bible studies, singing to God, gorging themselves with the Word, and incessantly talking about evangelism and the dire need of souls to be delivered from the evil realm, all the while refusing to get out into the fields and finish the work Christ commanded of us?

We know that the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30) This means we are to love Him with every fiber of our being and every ounce of our energy. But Jesus then says, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (v. 31) And let’s take note of His next statement: “There is no commandment greater than these.” (same verse) In other words, the two commandments are inseparable. They are two, but one. Jesus says the same in Mt. 22:40: “All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Rom. 13:9,10 say that all the laws “are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does not harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” And Gal. 5:14, as well, says, “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” As Jesus says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Is it love to our neighbor (and remember, our neighbor, Jesus taught, is everyone whom we know is in need –Luke 10:25-37) to withhold the Good News from them because we are too lazy, complacent, busy, or timid to take it to them? No, it is not love. Moreover, to not obey God’s command to love Him, as well as others, is to forfeit eternal life. (Mt. 19:17 // Luke 10:25,37)

The same religious leaders to whom Jesus told the parable of the two sons, He told the parable to of the wicked tenants (Mt. 21:33-46), warning, “Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” (v. 43) And what is the fruit? It is to obey God in everything, including laboring in His harvest fields and producing a crop even a hundred times more than what was sown. (Mark 4:20 // John 15:16,17)

Jesus declared that He came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10) This, therefore, is our main purpose as well, and why He keeps us on earth, training us to become more skillful ambassadors of His message of reconciliation –that peace available between God and men found in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
The counselor asked, “Why do you want to marry this person?”

“Because that is what will make me happy,” was the answer.

“So what I hear,” said the counselor, “is that you want to marry Annie so that you can be happy.”

“Yes,” the young man confirmed. “Marrying Annie will make me very happy.”

“How exactly will that make you happy?” the counselor probed.

“Well, because I like her,” the groom-to-be answered. “And I love her.”

The counselor waited quietly.

“And because I want to be with her,” the young man added.

The counselor was still waiting quietly.

“And because I want to give her things.” The young man shifted uneasily in his chair, getting visibly frustrated and confused. “And because I want to take care of her.”

“Doing these things will make you happy?” The counselor stated it as a question.

“Yes,” the young man answered.

“So by marrying Annie, you will find happiness?”

“Yes.”

The counselor nodded slowly. “Will being married to you make Annie happy?”

“I think so.”

“I see,” the counselor mused. “But you are sure it will make you happy?”

“Yes, absolutely!” The young man was emphatic.

The counselor wrote down in his notes, “Very selfish, self-centered man wants to marry a particular woman so that he will be happy.”

So, let’s see… If any one of us were Annie, and we overheard this little interview, how would we feel about it? Would anyone be excited to hear that the main goal of the person we were about to marry is that HE would find happiness? Undoubtably, if we were wise, we would have some misgivings and probably call off the wedding.

Are most people any different than this young man, though, when they go before the Lord to worship Him and to make requests of Him? Have most people not sought unity with God for their own happiness and well-being? Have they not sought to align themselves with Christ on their own terms? What is their primary goal? Is it to do for God, or for God to do for them? Is it to bring joy to God, or is it to bring joy to themselves?

It’s not a small difference. It’s huge. Yes, two people in a beautiful marriage will find happiness in being in covenant with each other. But what is the goal of each? If the primary goal of each, or even one of them, is to receive their own happiness, the marriage is doomed to crumble.

Will Christ unite Himself with a person whose primary motive for covenanting with Him is that he (the human) will receive happiness (or joy)? Maybe. For God is merciful and patient. But then again, maybe not. (John 2:23-25) Especially if He sees ahead that that person will refuse to get the focus of his desires off himself.

Maybe it’d be good if each one of us examined our own heart to see what might be revealed concerning our real motive for “loving” God.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Praying To Mary Is Okay?

September 27, 2013

Friends,
Here is the main body of an email I sent a few days ago to a friend who has recently converted to Catholicism:

Mary was blessed to be the one chosen to birth Jesus, but Scripture never tells us to adore her or to pray to her. When “a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you,'” (Luke 11:27), Jesus did not answer, “Yes, she certainly is blessed,” but instead “He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.'” (v. 28)

Are you saying you do pray to Mary? If so, how do you account for the command to do so being nowhere found in the Scriptures? Instead, Jesus commands, “This is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in Heaven…” (Mt. 6:9) and asking in His name. (John 16:23) Also, in Isa. 8:19 it is asked, “…should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” And in that verse and verse 20, such a practice is aligned with those who consult mediums and spiritists, those who whisper and mutter, those who do not speak according to the law and testimony of God, and who thus do not have (or abide in) the Light (the Truth / Jesus). They would then have to be abiding in a different spirit / a different jesus. (2 Cor. 11:4)

Dt. 18:10-12 also commands us not to imitate those who consult the dead because it is detestable to the Lord. Petitioning the dead saints, including Mary –all who died physically– would fall into this category. Moreover, how can Mary or deceased saints help us with our problems and concerns that only God Himself has the authority, ability, and power to accomplish for us? To believe that dead saints are able to hear the prayers of thousands, is to credit omniscience to each of those dead saints. That in itself would be a type of adoration, and thus worship.

I understand that this is part of the prayer while doing the Rosary: “Hail holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!” Jesus only is our life, our mercy, and our hope, and “Hail” is a greeting of praise. Therefore, I cannot view this prayer as anything other than idolatrous. How would you defend it as otherwise?

Also, how would you defend praying to Mary for mercy, etc., when 1 Tim. 2:5 tells us that there is only “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” –? And how could Mary save in any way –like praying to her on one’s deathbed or for those in Purgatory (which also is never taught in Scripture)– when God says, “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from Me there is no savior.” (Isa. 43:11) Jesus is the only Savior, for He is God in the flesh, as we know. (John 1:1,14 & 8:58 // Col. 2:9)

Also, God, in the second of the Ten Commandments, orders us to not ever make an idol or bow down to it or worship it. To pray to someone is different than making a request of someone. It is to submit a part of our heart to them in a reverential way. I would be willing to request something from another person, but I would never pray to any human. There is a difference in definition and action. But regardless, we’re not to talk to the dead at all, nor are we to pray to any god or human that lives, for this is what Daniel refused to do and so got thrown into the lions’ den. (Dan. 6:12,16)

So what is your take on the idols of Mary throughout the world? –for many Catholics do bow (in heart and/or body) to these idols as they pray to Mary. Maybe you would never do that, but by joining the Catholic church, a person is certainly saying, “I agree with the doctrines and practices of the Catholic church.” And the Catholic church does approve and promote these idols and the making of prayers in front of them.

I know you’re busy, so you can answer at your convenience. Thank you for doing so…

In Christ,
Rachel

A Witness To Who God Is

September 26, 2013

Friends,
Israeliteindeed has written three more posts this week. I especially like the one about being Christ’s witnesses. The Lord was showing me similar in His Word a few days before that and speaking to me through Isa. 43:12b: “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘that I am God.'” In the surrounding verses and passages God is speaking about being the only Savior, Deliverer, and God, and that by being these for us who belong to Him, we display His power and glory to those who are deaf, blind, arrogant, and sinful.

She also speaks about the fact that Christ’s witnesses will be hated for telling others the Truth. Who of us who walk in the Spirit and obey His command to proclaim Him and His ways to a rebellious world have not experienced that?! For sinful people do not want to hear the Truth, nor do they want to be confronted with the evil of the sin they love, nor do they want their sins exposed.

Here is the link to that post: http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/ye-shall-be-witnesses/

And here is an excerpt of it:

The King of Glory, who emptied Himself to save His enemies, has been called Beelzebub by them. What will His enemies call His lowly ambassadors who appear even more weak and silly than He? Will they praise us and fall at our feet?

They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. (Amos 5:10)

Woe to you when all men speak well of you (Lk. 6:26). But He will use the the weak things to confound the mighty, and the foolish things to confound the wise.

The disciple is not above his Master, and the servant is not above His Lord. Be prepared for hatred, slander, insult and injury. Unless a grain of wheat goes into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth fruit. And for this reason did Christ choose us, to go and bring forth to His Name lasting fruit.

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. (Matt. 10:27)

We must go, and we must speak the Word of God, whether they hear or whether they forbear.

Here is an excerpt from the most recent, also an excellent article, and the link:
http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/the-things-that-be-of-men/

As a matter of fact, Jesus jumped from His own suffering right into the likelihood that Peter would also have to suffer (and he did–he was later crucified upside down.) Jesus made it clear that we can only save ONE of two things–our eternal soul, or our life in this world. We must choose. And if we choose wrong, we cannot honestly claim we follow Jesus.

Seek first what?–the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). Not prosperity, not health, not friends, and not personal safety. And the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17). There is nothing wrong with meat and drink, but meat and drink are the things that be of men. Meat for the belly and the belly for meat, but God will destroy both (I Cor. 6:13). Carnal men seek after these things, but spiritual men seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, understanding that their way will be narrow and difficult, for they will be called upon to choose between the things of men and the things of God.

Here is the link to the first of the three posts: http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/our-troops-are-women/

And here is an excerpt from that one:

The professing American church is in such a deep sleep spiritually, she imagines keeping “In God We Trust” on our currency would be a tremendous victory for God. But God does not support lies, and we cannot be healed by patching up surface wounds with band aids when our whole head is sick and our whole heart is faint (Isa. 1:5-6).

In like manner, the church has sought to validate herself by an outcry against homosexuality and females in the military, and other surface symptoms of national decay.

But she doesn’t look deeper lest she indict herself.

If she would present her wound-covered body before the ever searching eye of the Lord in true humility and acknowledgment that she has destroyed herself by forsaking His ways, He would again have mercy on her.

I agree.  America, and certainly her churches, need to repent. But it starts with each one of us. Each one of our hearts must be washed by Christ’s blood and Spirit, and each one of us must make the effort necessary to remain in Jesus, His love, and His Word –so that we will be kept clean. (John 15:1-10)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Scripture’s Authority

September 25, 2013

Friends,
The Word of God, and no other book or doctrine or tradition, is the fully inspired teachings of the Lord God of Heaven (2 Tim. 3:16) and fully sufficient to train us in God’s ways. (v. 17) Any other words which the Holy Spirit may lead someone to speak or write will be in complete accordance with the Old and New Testaments. Any doctrines that are not found in God’s Word, or that are not in complete accordance with the teachings therein, are not part of the Truth. (Isa. 8:20)

Pr. 30:5,6 tell us that every word of God is flawless and we are not to add to His words. 1 Cor. 4:6 directs us, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Ps. ch. 119 teaches us that by meditating on God’s Word which is our Lamp and Light, we acquire understanding, wisdom, joy, and freedom from falsehoods and sin.

Heb. 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. Eph. 6:17 commands us to gird ourselves with “the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Jesus continually spoke about the Scriptures, pointing out that understanding them would lead us to Him (John 5:37-40), show us how He and His teachings were a fulfillment of what was prophesied (Mt. 5:17-20), and that by feeding on the Word of God we would receive His Spirit / Eternal Life (John 6:33-63 // 1 John 1:1-4) –that is, salvation (2 Tim. 3:15) and sanctification. (John 17:17)

James 1:18, as well, says, “He chose to give us birth through the Word of Truth”, while verse 21 says that “the Word planted in you [is that] which can save you.” 1 Peter 1:23 confirms the same while James 2:12 commands us to “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.” Jesus informs us that His very words will, on the Last Day, condemn the person who did not accept His words (John 12:48) –those words that lead to eternal life (v. 50) which the Father commanded Him to say and how. (v. 49)

The psalmist says to God in Ps. 119:113, “I love Your law”, and in verse 114, “I have put my hope in Your Word.” Never do the Scriptures encourage us to put our trust in men’s words, but only in God’s. (1 Thes. 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:19-21 are two passages which emphasize the contrast.) Jesus Himself taught this, and never did He defend Truth through men’s writings or oral traditions. Instead, He defended Truth using the Scriptures, repeatedly saying, “It is written”, meaning “in the Scriptures.” Furthermore, Jesus spoke negatively of men’s teachings, rules, and traditions and stated that these were causing people to let go of God’s commands so that they were multiplying hypocrites headed for Hell whose worship of God was worthless. (Mt. ch. 23 // Mark 7:6-13)

The Scriptures continually exalt God’s Word, never the words of mere men. In Ps. 138:2 we are informed that God has exalted His Word above all things alongside of His Name. Without using these as our sole authority, we become open to being deceived by “every wind of teaching.” (Eph. 4:14) But as we “let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly” (see Col. 3:16) we will be competent to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.” (same verse)

It is the Word of God, the Scriptures, which we are commanded to preach (2 Tim. 4:2) and to read in our meetings (1 Tim. 4:13), being careful to adhere to correct doctrine so that both teachers and listeners will be saved. (v. 16) Otherwise a “different gospel” will be taught which condemns its adherents to Hell. (1 Cor. 15:1,2 // Gal. 1:6-9 // 2 John 1:9) Correctly handling the Word of Truth, therefore, is necessary for a workman to be approved by God (2 Tim. 2:15) and for being in the Truth itself. (v. 17,18)

It is the Lord who is our Life (Dt. 30:20 // John 14:6), but this Life (meaning eternal life) must include an adherence to no other doctrine but that found in the Word of Life. (Dt. 32:47 // John 6:63 // 1 John 1:1-3)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Many people don’t care a whole lot if they are right. But they do care a lot about appearing right. In other words, many people are very concerned about others viewing their statements and doctrines as being the Truth while having little regard as to whether or not it is the Truth. If this were not the case, there would be many more people listening to those who carefully, skillfully, and by the Spirit of God, present to them the Truth, and many more people who would be searching out for themselves God’s Word on each bit of doctrine, accept what is taught there in God’s Word, walk in that, and be teaching that to others.

Instead, the world is full of people who begin making statements about God and His ways, not from having studied the Scriptures under the tutelage of the Spirit, but from having studied other men’s interpretations and doctrines. As they do this, they become involved with others who are doing the same thing, and they acquire a “groupie” mentality. Creating biases for themselves and each other, they become ever more entrenched in what the group decides is correct doctrine. Soon enough that doctrine is “The Truth”, meaning “God’s Absolute Truth”, and anyone who attempts to reveal its falsehoods becomes a target of their contempt and ridicule.

The peer pressure becomes intense so that everyone who wants to belong to the “in” group does not dare to point out any flaws in the decided-upon doctrine. After a few years the flawed doctrine becomes “fact”, “God’s Truth”, and “Correct Doctrine”, and anyone who tries to show that it is not, is pushed aside as a heretic.

But let’s say that the “heretic” is able to get through to a few “groupies” entrenched in the false doctrine so that these individuals get a glimpse of their gross error. What happens? Do the members repent of their falsehoods? No, they very likely do not, but instead try all the harder to find support, either by twisting Scripture, or by using the words of some “wise” and well-known theologian, to contradict the real Truth they were beginning to see! Why do they do this? They do it so that they can believe the lie! Why do they want to believe the lie? It is because they want to belong to the “in” group (for various and numerous reasons), and because changing their views now would mean they had been teaching error far too long!

Let’s think about it: If someone came to us and revealed to us as clear as day that we had, emphatically, for a long while, and to multitudes of people, been promoting a false doctrine, how would we handle it? We would likely, deep within our hearts, be so appalled, ashamed, and horrified for having led crowds down a false path, that a mechanism in our brain called “Denial” would sweep in to rescue us from the horror of what we’d done. And we would then suddenly feel quite fine. Not fine enough to remain quiet, but fine enough to attack the real Truth with our own “Truth” so as to justify ourselves in our choice to remain in the lie.

Consequently, do people care if their views are the Truth? No, many do not, but only care that other people believe them to be correct. And one of the most important people they are trying to convince of this, is themselves.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel