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If there is one book that we should read repeatedly it is most certainly
the first Epistle that Paul wrote, the Epistle to the Galatians.
It is an initiation into the Christian Gospel. It tells us of the
wonder of the Grace of God and the freedom He purchased for us at
Calvary from sin and guilt and all forms of religious bondage.
Freedom is an awesome thing yet very few of God's people have it
to enjoy, although it is the privilege of every blood bought child
Our precious freedom must be guarded because religious people are
always trying to take it from us and make us conform to some unscriptural
model.' Religious leaders just can't help themselves. We came into
the world grasping and we will go through it gasping, wondering
if we are measuring up to the standard of our organization's expectations.
Our freedom never came cheaply. It cost our blessed Saviour His
very life to provide it for us. It is undoubtedly the most precious
of all His gifts. To be free from condemnation and to be able to
worship Him in spirit and in truth is what He seeks for us to rejoice
in, and Himself to receive.
He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. So why is it that institutionalized
religion is forever trying to take it from us by imposing man made
rules and restrictions?
They want us to live by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Rules and more rules. This is what the Pharisees were imposing upon
people when Jesus came.
For example we are told when to meet; where to meet; how often to
meet; how we are to meet; what we can do when we meet; and what
we cannot do. We can't ask questions during the service but must
sit there in stony silence listening to a monologue, which from
week to week may cover an enormous range of things. We are forbidden
to practice our Christianity collectively outside the authorized
meeting place without special dispensation from our authorities.
They maintain strict control over all corporate expressions of your
faith. You must stand when they tell you, and you must all face
in same 'direction, which is always towards those that are running
Why do we so easily surrender this precious freedom Christ purchased
for us at so great a price?
There are many reasons, as we shall see.
It's much easier to do what you're told than to have to make a decision
for yourself. But if the freedom of choice is taken from us how
will we ever learn? The Master Himself avoided answering questions
time and again but would respond to them with a question of His
own sending them away to find the answer for themselves. That's
the way we come to know His ways. It's by the Holy Spirit of truth.
True teachers never give you the answers but tell you how you may
The religion of Pentecostal/charismatic/revivalist leaders is stifling
to the extreme.
Then some of us are just plain lazy, or so full of fear that we
are happy to hand over our lives and our minds to someone else,
then when things don't work out you will always have somebody to
blame for your predicament. One of the great basic urges in human
nature is to find a scapegoat.
A scapegoat is someone whom you can blame for all your faults and
walk away from. It's a person bearing blame that's not due to him.
Look at the huge following the shepherding movement had that Juan
Carlos Ortiz brought from Argentina to America. Quickly preachers
from around the world jumped onto this legalistic manipulative mind
controlling doctrine like flies. You see strong personalities just
love programs that are going to help them grow their church New
By the thousands people surrendered their lives to this mind bending
doctrine run by half a dozen men. Women were to be seen and not
heard; and so a great resource was effectively muzzled. As time
went by we were to see that they all feet of clay like all who try
to take control of God's people. Then we have the "self-righteous"
like the Pharisee who was so glad he wasn't like other men.
They like to score their "brownie points" by letting others
know how they read 3 chapters of the bible every morning before
they go to work, and of course they pray for at least an hour a
We feel condemned as we read or hear about Rhees Howell and praying
Hide and wonder if we are ever going to make it. Somehow we feel
that we must be doing something to become worthy of eternal life.
And so we become easy victims of institutionalized religion that
capitalizes on guilt and condemnation in the hearts of their people.
This way they can make them compliant to their expansionary projects.
It's the tower of Babylon all over again.
They capture the hearts and minds of the ignorant to build themselves
a name in the earth. Individuals do it as well as religious movements.
They use the "Altar call" to convict the saints of their
unworthiness, and when they get them out to the front they patch
them up with a prayer until the next time. The way Pentecostals
and the like judge the effectiveness of their evangelists is by
how "Big" the altar is. I am not saying that their motives
are bad any more than I would say that Peter's motive to build three
tabernacles on the mount of transfiguration was, but it wasn't what
God wanted and so He told Peter to hush up and listen to Jesus.
And so we "go to church" (that's the place where we all
face the same way and listen to our weekly monologue). It just doesn't
feel like Sunday if we haven't heard 45-minute sermon. Presenting
yourself to hear the weekly sermon is an absolute must. Most Pentecostal/charismatic/evangelicals
are under such bondage to this habit that they feel sure that they
have committed a cardinal by not attending. To fulfill as best we
can the requirements of the temple orators we must get committed
to their programs, pay our 10% dues, thus proving to them and our
consciences that we are maintaining our good standing with God.
Tithing the circumcision of the pocket.
Of the many references to tithing in the bible, all are referring
to the Mosaic Covenant except two. For a modern church doctrine
with no New Testament textual support these two scriptures and the
inference drawn thereby is a very fine thread that supports this
teaching above a sea of error.
This thread will break at the first testing as can be shown.
One can’t help but wonder why the early church didn’t
pick up on it. Perhaps they were a little more conscientious on
it when it came to interpretation.
Consider the following problems.
Abram gave a tithe of the spoils of war. This was not his normal
source of income as he was not a pirate. This probably was the only
time he tithed and perhaps like Peter at Christ's transfiguration,
when Abram unexpectedly encountered a revelation of the Messiah
some acknowledgement of deity was instinctive. Peter wanted to build
a tabernacle: Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe. However, if Abraham
was to set precedents for the establishment of church practice and
ceremony (other than tithing alone), what an interesting Saturday
As we entered the church with our wife and concubine we'd pause
to pay our tithe to the priest and receive in return wine and bread.
Upon finding a seat we'd settle down to watch a beautiful animal
sacrifice before the announcements. The message would probably be
on salvation by fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah, followed by an earnest
entreaty to anyone out there who has never been circumcised to come
to the front! (Yes, I see that hand.) .This church service would,
of course, have the same endorsement of scripture as tithing, because
Abraham before the Mosaic Law practised all of these components!
We'd meet on the Saturday of course, because the Sabbath was instituted
even prior to Abraham.
(Gen 2:3). So therefore, the dilemma
Observe part of the law and you are obliged to keep all the law;
recognise part of the Abrahamic Covenant and you must recognise
the entire covenant.
So you see freedom is something that can be lost very easily.
Through your ignorance it can be taken from you by the actions of
persons who have a personal agenda of their own to spend your money.
Stand fast in the liberty where Christ has made you free and don’t
become entangled in the yoke of religious bondage. Freedom from
the Law; freedom to worship God in spirit and truth when and where
you choose. Freedom from the interference of control freaks who
are more interested in what you can do for them and their programs
rather than how they can best serve the Lord by becoming servants
of His people.