Denominations and divisions among Christians Uncategorized by admin - January 12, 20140 There certainly is a lot of confusion between Christians dealing with the study of our Father’s Word, which are the best resources to use, which Church to attend, or even if just a King James Version is all that’s required. Just as many people as there are in the world, each could probably have their own opinion on these questions. In my opinion, fads answer these questions for many. “Well, what do you mean by fads?”, one might ask. It’s natural for people to want to belong to something, making a statement about their identity: in other words, they use a ‘fashion’ or ‘fad’ to link the importance of self. During most cases, they will change who they really are in order to conform to the ‘fad’ or peer pressure of that group. Each person may have a different reason for changing, but the effect, all in all, is the same. They try to become someone or something else. God made each one us for a special reason, to fulfill His Plan. Trying to become something you’re not, is very dangerous, and most of the time, will lead you off of His intended path. When you finally discover that His Truth is your goal, then ‘fads’ become part of the immature stages of adolescence. As Paul would teach in 1 Cor 13, that when he was a child, he spoke as a child, thought as a child, but when he became a man, he put away childish things, so also, in becoming a mature Christian, we must put away the ‘fads’ of this world. Now that I’ve beat this to death, here’s the point. To be caught up in the ‘fad’ of asking which Church someone attends before they will converse in The Word with you (this is the condition), is in the category Paul was talking about, ‘childish things’. Don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone where they attend Church, but when their purpose of asking is for the reason of putting you into their little category of ‘fads’, so they can label every thing out your mouth afterwards, might this mean they are deceived? Maybe Churches should issue buttons for everyone to wear, like campaign election buttons and what not. Then maybe Christians from different denominations can get down to the meat in God’s Word, instead of playing popularity games. Where is this type of ‘fad’ reasoning coming from? Babel, i.e., confusion, and that state is due to the lack of proper study in The Word, and one’s own personal insincerity. Remember, to follow a fad is to willfully try to change into something you’re not. Which Church to attend, which Bible to study, and how you study, have become ‘fads’ with many. My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t go to her particular brand of Church, then I was doomed to ‘hell’. I would normally say that God’s Church is the Body of Christ (see I Cor.10). A good question in that situation might be: if Chinese people living in China studying God’s Word don’t have your particular religious denomination available, or not any except God’s Word only, yet they have taken all the steps in becoming a Christian, believing on Christ as you did, does that mean they’re doomed? Would this also mean that if some person of any non-English speaking nation who couldn’t read a King James Version, could never be a Christian, since some say that the King James is the only Word of God? God forbid. That’s why the true Body of Christ is not tied to denominations, or a particular building which puts up a sign on their lawn teaching The Word. This ‘fadism’ has become a problem with which Bible is chosen for study. Have you ever heard, “the King James is the only Bible! It’s God’s Word, and there’s no errors in It! It’s Perfect! God wouldn’t allow errors in His Word! You don’t need anything else!” Might that attitude be an excuse for laziness in our Father’s Word? “Ah, just give me a button to wear and then maybe I won’t have to study at all!” (I’m joking) But seriously, many of these people also don’t realize that their teacher in most cases, if having attended seminar, is familiar with several other study resources and Bible versions. That teacher may be misleading the congregation by not making that Church aware of the original manuscripts and study resources, but when all is said, who is truly responsible for studying God’s Word? Each one of us, individually. No one can do your studying for you. So throw those buttons away, and get into our Father’s Word. Don’t allow the things of this world to build divisions among you. Let’s see what Paul had to say about religious ‘fads’ (doctrines of man). Turn with me to I Cor.3: 1 Cor 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. Paul is talking to the congregation at Corinth that they’re thinking with their ‘flesh mind’ instead of the ‘spiritual mind’. Since flesh can’t fathom the deep mysteries of the spirit, he was forced to talk to their ‘flesh mind’. He had rather come there to further their ‘spiritual’ understanding in the ways of Christ. 1 Cor 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. This particular Church wasn’t ready for the Word ‘full strength’, because they were still on ‘milk’, if Paul had taught them ‘meat’, they might have become more confused. (This is a message to God’s teachers today. We have to go easy for some because they’re still on the milk bottle, but even as infants eventually wean, the ‘meat’ should be forthcoming. Don’t worry, you’ll know if you’ve gone too fast and far teaching The Word to ‘spiritual infants’; the Holy Spirit will let you know.) Do you think this Church at Corinth was ready for the ‘mystery’ of their previous spiritual existence in the first earth age? 1 Cor 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Paul is telling them that since they are thinking with the ‘flesh’, all the bad emotions associated with the flesh caused them to be as the world, and not as the Body of Christ. You tell me friend, once you have worked to establish a bridge with our Father in the Spirit, and then decide to go the way of flesh, seeking out your own selfish desires, do you sense true understanding of yourself and your purpose in the world dropping with that bridge also? 1 Cor 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Yeah, now we’re gettin’ to It! What’s this? Some in the congregation were creating divisions! “I’m of Paul! He’s the one I follow!”, says one, and, “Well, I’m of brother Apollos, he represents the True Word to me!”, says another. Looks like they forgot to study God’s Word, huh? Let me see, did Paul or Apollos die on the cross for our sins? Can you understand how our ‘flesh’ can take over our thinking? This type of thinking can only happen to you if YOU allow it. I can’t help it, I think Paul has just given us a great example of ‘buttons’ (i.e.,’fads’ in the Church). 1 Cor 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? Notice the words ‘by whom‘ in this verse? Christ gives knowledge of the Holy Spirit to each one that comes to Him and fulfills the requirement of Christian; no man can claim that Spirit and Knowledge as sole owner. The word ‘ministers‘ is diakonos in the Greek, meaning ‘an attendant, someone who runs on errands‘ (Strong’s no. 1249). Boy, that really puts Paul’s and Apollos’ position in perspective compared to Christ, doesn’t it? Compared to God, we’re as ‘filthy rags‘ (Isaiah 64:6). 1 Cor 3: 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. You can plant ‘seeds’ of God’s Truth, another disciple can do the first watering to help the seeds germinate, but without God providing that ‘latter rain’ from the Holy Spirit, it will not grow.(Go to Jeremiah 3; Zech.10; Joel 2; James 5:7 for a ‘spiritual explanation of this ‘former’ and ‘latter rain’. Don’t use your ‘flesh mind’ while reading those verses, try to think in the ‘spiritual’, look beyond the physical and you’ll understand.) We are nothing without Him. You can try to force your way into heaven by believing on the ‘wheel of birth’, but it won’t work, no one can do their own salvation. Don’t let the ‘systems’ of this world come between you and our Father. You don’t need traditions to understand The Word. Christ doesn’t do buttons…can’t pin one on Him. Our Father is Who we need. Worship Him instead. Peace be with you in Christ Jesus, Dave Ramey.