Church. For most it means stained-glass windows and ministers preaching in monotone. It means sitting for 20 minutes in uncomfortable pews listening to platitudes while dreaming of doing something else.
Too often, passing through church doors automatically trips the mind into neutral where all critical thinking stops.
Is this how it was when the Messiah taught His disciples on the shores of the Galilee 2,000 years ago? Where was the liturgy and the doxology then? Where was the neat packaging of ritual and repetition? How could the Bible be taught in such an unfettered atmosphere?
Two thousand years of syncretizing with foreign mystery religion has today’s churchgoers looking at the truth with apprehension. Keeping the Sabbath, feast days, and the other laws is anything but conventional today. Never mind that the Savior observed and taught them, and His Assemblies in Acts faithfully followed them.
Isn’t it strange how tradition blinds us to other possibilities?
This brings to mind the woman who went back to her corner church because the new spinoff group met in a motel and it “just didn’t feel like church there.”
No doubt meeting by the seashore or on the hills of Galilee would not “feel like church” to most churchgoers. And neither does hearing such words as “law” and “obedience.” But unless we can let the truth of Scripture stand on its own in open sunshine, without centuries of mind-numbing dogma to twist and swallow it up, then our faith is disingenuous.
Yahshua said that until heaven and earth pass away, not even the least letter of the alphabet nor its embellishment would be dropped from the law. Deuteronomy 7:9 says Almighty Yahweh is faithful to keep His covenant with those who keep His commandments “to a thousand generations.” Taken literally, we still have 16,000 more years to keep the law!
A popular magazine claimed that to get gentiles to become Christians, avoiding circumcision and other Jewish laws, Paul had to bring in a new doctrine: salvation outside of the Mosaic law. Obviously this magazine writer had himself been blinded by too much stained glass. Had he only turned to 1Corinthians 7:19, he would have discovered that Paul minimizes physical circumcision in favor of the law!
Imagine how different society could be if even half the churches taught obedience to the moral law. But it is not human nature to want to submit to any authority, and so the “faith alone” bandwagon is packed full.
In a stunningly graphic prophecy, Isaiah describes the nominal world of religion in 2022: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Yahweh: which say to the seers, ‘See not;’ and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” 30:9-10.
What about you? Do you see the Scriptures in the pure, white light of truth, or in light filtered through colored glass?