It Should Be Illegal
I came across this sign. Does that sound like you? Your church? The way you were raised? It seem to be the biggest problem with christians and churches is not sin, but Legalism, which I believe is a sin. Because Legalism separates people from God, which is really what sin is.
That's why people need a relationship with God and not religion, because legalism is a religion in itself. When we try and live our life by a set of rules, "Do' and Dont's" we really become a slave to a system and not a follower of the Savior.
Last week we used the King James version of the bible as an illustration of how people try to enforce a belief on people that is not accurated, educated, or needed. Whether it's music in the church, version of the bible, certain denominational beliefs, or our preferences.
I always found it silly that a person could be so narrow-minded about sucn things as lottery, alcohol, and tobacco, yet they can be extremly over-weight, gossip, and trouble-makers. Which really those things are bigger issues than some.
Here's what I mean, drinking alcohool is not the problem, people abusing, becoming addicted, or not using alcohol in moderation is the problem. The bible says Drunkeness is the sin, not a drink. Same thing with lottery, heck they didn't even have the lottery in the bible, as a matter of fact, I had a hard time finding anything in the bible on betting, gambling, or things of that nature. Now don't be confused, I am not promoting drinking and gambling, I'm simply using them as examples of what people and churches over the years have created "rules" over that aren't really biblical rules. They are legalism. We focus on the wrong thing. The alcohol is not bad, the person that's not using it properly is. The powerball is not bad, it's the person who spends his families money on a weekly basis and is addicted and not paying his bills. It's like someone having the flu and all we can focus on is they puked on the carpet and not that they need to go see a doctor or need a antibotic. Does that make sense?
Whether it's rules with doctrine, church, or personal preferences, rules are wrong when they aren't rules to begin with or we try and enforce them on others because we believe them to be true.
God did not put in specific rules like only sing church hymns, only use this version of the bible, only have church on these certains days, only use this name for your church, you can't drink, cuss, or chew or date women that do, or you're going to hell. I'm not saying as individuals we don't have certain personal preferences. You shouldn't smoke or buy raffle tickets if you feel it's a sin to you. As a matter of fact, you shouldn't do anything if you can do it in good consience, but at the same time, it's wrong to bind your belief on another person or say they are going to hell, especially if you have no biblical backing. I can say eating pickles is a sin but unless I have a scripture that says, No pickles, then it's just my opinion.
My oh my, how mankind and the church has taken the Word of God and molded and shaped it into our own belief systems and then many have tried to force that on the world. No wonder so many people dislike christians and the church establishment. Because of hypocrites, selfish, narrow-minded, judgemental, legalistic people.
It's up to people like you and me to change the perception of christianity and the church. It begins with me and you being educated about scripture and by praying to God. We need to be students of the Word and in daily prayer, but we need to pray for open minds and wisdom and for a willing spirit.
I'm not writing about some liberal doctrine. I'm simply saying, old fashioned, narrow-minded, legalistic, judgemental religion and doctrine has no place in the church or in God's children. We also need to understand there are things in the Bible that are black and white and clear. Love God, Love others. Only one way to God, through Jesus. Accept those who Faith is weak. Truth will set you free. We really need to start understanding God's word and stop following this "that's the way I was taught or raised" attitude. We need to stop following tradition, man, church denominations, and start following God, His Word, and His spirit.
If we do that, we won't be so narrow-minded, judgemental of others who don't agree or line-up with our belief system and we will start seeing the real enemy is Satan and not "Liberal churches", "Liberal christian", the NIV, or Drums, or Wine, or whatever it is that you spend your time focusing on. How about focusing on loving people and stop trying to prove them wrong. How about learning instead of thinking you already know everything. Legalism is killing the church and we need to put a stop to it. We are not better than a pharisee if we don't start educating ourselves on God's word. So, i'm not saying drink, play the lottery, or just let anything go in our churches or our faith. I'm saying grow and mature in your faith. Learn and study God's word, and be open to what God might be trying to teach you.