/Tag: phariseeism
23 August

The paradigm shift from law to love

By |2019-04-11T02:08:42-06:00August 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|72 Comments

I almost corrected her when she said "God never fails" but then I realized that since "God is love" she's actually right on. Out of the mouth of babes! This could be a book-length article, but it won't be. It's just an appetizer; something to whet your appetite before a life-long meal at God's table discovering his love for yourself. I've found the understanding of God's love to be the keystone in the arch spanning God and man, his creation. It's what makes the Bible, God's inspired history of mankind's time on Earth, make sense. Without an understanding of God's love, the Bible--yes, even the Word of God itself--becomes merely a "sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal." It is a chaotic compilation of laws, commands, [...]

23 August

Rules for prayer

By |2019-04-11T02:08:40-06:00August 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|8 Comments

These rules for prayer are the doctrines and commandments of men. They are nowhere found in the Bible, and the attitude they teach is one of constant judging, because you supposedly have to know whether someone else's prayer is being heard by God before you can acknowledge their prayer by bowing your head or closing your eyes. You can't pray for anyone NOT in the church, with some exceptions (if it's a child, or if you're praying for an unbeliever's salvation) No holding hands during prayer (is this a church-wide prohibition, or something individual congregations adhere to?) One must say "in Jesus name," not "in our Savior's name," not "in the name of our Lord," not "in your son's name," etc. If you don't say [...]

7 August

When are rules not rules?

By |2019-04-11T02:08:19-06:00August 7th, 2013|Uncategorized|141 Comments

It's hard to avoid talking in circles when discussing doctrines with members of the church, simply because words don't mean what we would expect them to mean. Thus, the conversation goes in circles, because the meaning of words keeps shifting. A case in point was a recent conversation about rules. It was denied emphatically that the church had extra-Biblical rules. I asked if church members were allowed to have Facebook accounts. There was a long pause. "There is no rule against it, but it's taught against." So how exactly does that work? Does the word "rule" mean something different to them than to me? If I, as a person of authority in my household, instruct my kids not to have a Facebook account, that's a [...]

1 August

Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men

By |2019-04-11T02:08:07-06:00August 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|6 Comments

One of the biggest problems with the sect is the extremes they've gone to in "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (in good old King James English). There have been no areas of life untouched by the rules and regulations of fallible men in the 40+ years of existence of this sect, from whether you can have a glass of wine with your dinner, to whether you can go on a family vacation, what you can do on that vacation, and who you can enjoy your recreation with. The rules (a.k.a. judgments) of the church have reached all the way into the sacred bedroom of a married couple, regulating such things as sexual positions (face to face), distance apart (6 to 12 inches), how [...]

1 August

Rules on recreation

By |2019-04-11T02:08:04-06:00August 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Continuing a series of posts on rules of the church, this list deals with recreation. When I was growing up, it was regularly taught that men's ball games (baseball, football, golf) were ridiculous wastes of time for a Christian. Never mind the fellowship and camaraderie that comes from sports. A group of us at one of my old church families played volleyball once a month and we formed some great bonds with each other during those years that continue to this day. However, like good Pharisees, sports, for the most part, are decreed sinful or otherwise inappropriate for a Christian. One fallacious line of reasoning has always been "Can you imagine <insert preacher's name here> playing basketball?" (Or wearing blue jeans...yes, I've even heard that [...]

1 August

Rules for traveling

By |2019-04-11T02:08:01-06:00August 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|26 Comments

There is no area of life that is unregulated by the church. There are rules (a.k.a. "judgments") for everything, and when a rule doesn't immediately come to mind, they are encouraged to call a Teacher for "counsel." Once the question makes it through a discussion at a May Meeting, the individual congregations fall into line with this year's latest rules. Here are some of the rules for traveling: You mustn't worship in another congregation unless you are visiting family. If you are traveling for something work related or some other reason you must go back home for worship. You can also worship in another congregation if you are courting someone. You must keep the schedule of the church in the city you are in if [...]

30 July

Rules of attire

By |2019-04-11T02:08:00-06:00July 30th, 2013|Uncategorized|170 Comments

With this post, I'll begin a series on various rules of men that have been created by this church. Some may have changed here and there over time, and some may not have been enforced equally across all congregations. But every one of these has been verified by former members. Keep in mind that the point here is not to argue the validity of the reasoning behind any of these rules, but to argue that the church composed of fallible humans should not be making rules like these at all. "They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules." Mt 15:19 (NIV) "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."  Mt 15:19 (KJV) Dresses for women required on [...]

10 July

What is legalism?

By |2019-06-17T07:15:51-06:00July 10th, 2013|Uncategorized|29 Comments

Legalism is a term that gets thrown around a lot, and it's generally referring to an approach to the Bible that is law-centric rather than grace- or love-centric. A legalistic theology (or more accurately, hermeneutic), does not necessarily preclude the idea of grace; but generally pushes love and grace to a very minor role in our approach to God, and establishes our compliance with God's laws as the primary means of approaching him. The Pharisees of Jesus' time were a legalistic sect. They measured their own closeness to God by their adherence to the Law, and judged harshly those who did not measure up to their own standards of law-keeping. Of course, the legalist would not describe himself that way. He thinks that his standard [...]