Many people are very gullible and will believe almost anything without verifying the source or accuracy. I constantly get emails claiming many things yet I quickly learn that it may be a hoax or outright lie. We need to be very careful when we put trust in anything other than God’s word. Man is always fallible and can lead us astray. The bible warns us of this.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
This leads me to a subject of talking about things that are not sources of authority.
Old Testament: As mentioned in the last blog, people are constantly referring to practices or doctrines in the Old Testament as reasons for doing it today. Examples include tithing, the 10 Commandments, instrumental music, polygamy, etc. We must remember that it was removed on the Christ when He died for us.
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
The Preacher/Bishop/Cardinal/Pope: Preachers have a tremendous responsibility when teaching others. Many religions place a special emphasis on the evangelist to the point that they’ve invented special offices or positions that are not dictated by scripture. When this is done, God’s word is supplemented without His authority. All men sin and can lead a group astray. Terms like pastor or reverend are misused by everyone due to the abuses of certain religions and media. God is the source of authority not man.
Creeds of the church: Some churches legislate their own bylaws, creeds or synods/councils. We have no authority to make up the laws. We cannot accept creeds of man and be pleasing to God.
Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
The End Justifies the Means: Also known as Consequentialism, it refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. From a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence. Many people justfy their actions by saying it’s a good work or they look at the results of doing it a certain way.
Look how the mega-churches reel people in with big bands, entertainment, sporting events, motivational speakers, etc. They justify their actions by stating it’s a good work because all these people get to hear God’s word and worship Him. David tried to move the ark of the covenant in a way that was different than God’s way and the “end would justify the means.” However, we find that his alternate method led to a death and results not accomplshed. (see 2 Samuel 6:1-11 and 1 Chronicles 26: 16-20)
Many more things are used by people to justify their actions; however, we need to remember that anything other than the Testement of Christ is not a proper source of authority in our actions as a church or as an individual. Of course, not all details are given, and we will start to examine the method in which we can look at our actions to determine if they are pleasing to God in future blogs.