The Church And What It Has Become

I recently heard a partial quote about Christianity, but I didn’t catch the source. What’s more, I didn’t write it down—just the part I remembered of it because I thought it was pretty truthful, as far as it goes.

Christianity started in Israel and became a religion.

It went to Greece and became a philosophy.

Then it passed on to Rome where it became an institution.

From there it went to Europe where it became a culture.

Eventually it traveled to America where it became an enterprise.

Obviously it’s a statement about Christianity in America and in the West in general.

Since I live in the US, I don’t know the particular struggles the Church goes through in places like Asia and Africa. Has Christianity avoided some of the shifts and changes that have corrupted the Church here? I don’t know.

I do know that I wince when I think about Christianity as an enterprise. My mind goes to “snake-oil” preachers and TV evangelists who cared more for making a buck than for the people they were fleecing of their hard-earned money.

I think of the Christian trinkets a certain group of writers and editors and agents used to mock at the yearly International Christian Retail Show. I mean, someone figured out that they could stamp a Bible verse on a tee shirt or a mug or a plaque, and people would pay good money for them. They could make Testamints and Bible-verse bookmarks and Bible covers and pens or pencils with verses stamped on them. “Jesus junk” the critics called it, but the store owners called it “how to get out of the red.”

But the truth is, when I look around me, I see some of those same items in my home. There’s that plaque on the wall and that mug in the cupboard. I’ve bought those pencils to give out to my students. I have some of those bookmarks in my Bible. I am one of the consumers.

Beyond the trinkets themselves, I cringe at the way we have put the gospel up for sale—Christian music, Christian self-help books, Christian fiction, all sold in the Christian bookstore.

And here I am—writing what would likely be considered Christian fiction, trying, even, to make a living from it.

Should I?

Shouldn’t we be giving the gospel away for free?

Of course Scripture also teaches that the worker is worthy of his hire. And I have to say, I like seeing scripture when I look at the particular mug with it inscribed. I like the plaque and the bookmarks. I’m glad I gave the pencils as prizes.

I think there has to be a line. We live in a capitalist society. We aren’t necessarily called to life as if we lived under a different system.

Except, Christians DO live under a different system. We aren’t to be governed by greed. As consumers or as entrepreneurs.

I conclude then that money should never be an obstacle preventing someone from hearing the gospel. Money should not be the driving force behind our “ministries.” Christian schools, for example, once were an outreach of particular churches. They charged tuition to defray some of the cost but mostly staff viewed themselves as missionaries, doing the work of the LORD.

But now, Christian schools strive to compete with public schools by paying their teachers a comparable wage and offering lavish benefits. Tuition, as a result, continues to creep higher, and some schools are pricing themselves out of existence, because their middle income communities can no longer afford to send their children to such an expensive school.

Christian bookstores aren’t doing so well either. But most bookstores are in the same boat, so it’s not possible to say if Christians are doing better or worse than the norm.

The point is, or maybe the question—when did “ministry” turn into “business”? When did coffee shops go into churches? When did we decide to get rich from preaching the gospel, or quoting Scripture?

I don’t think there’s an answer for the culture. America is consumed by consuming. I don’t know if other parts of the West are too, but I don’t see it changing here any time soon. But we can make a difference in our hearts which is where all attitudes reside.

Colossians says that greed amounts to idolatry.

We Americans . . . we Christians, need to check our hearts and see if there is a love of stuff that resides right there as an idol along with our love of God. That’s the way the people of Israel lived for years. Their prophets were constantly admonishing them to destroy their idols and worship God alone. At some point, they thought they were. They built all kinds of altars on high places, never mind that God said they weren’t to do so.

Are the consumerist trappings of Christianity our high places? Are we trafficking in the stuff of Christianity without any true worship? I can only answer that question for myself, but I’m pretty sure, if the Church is to survive here in the US, we all who profess the name of Christ need to go before God and ask Him to do the work of burning the dross away from our faith.

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Published in: on October 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm  Comments (26)  
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26 Comments

  1. Watch it! You are on to something! Some may say you’ve gone to meddlin’. Perhaps (strongly so) we need to take a hard look at what the “church” really is and was meant to be … by its Founder. It’s all there in Scripture, and not hidden, either. Our loyalty should be to our namesake, Christ (if we call ourselves “Christian”), not to the culture we live in, or what has become the culture of “Christianity” in our culture.
    Keep meddlin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, some of these things I’ve never really thought about. You’re right, it’s a complicated issue. Of course we want to see more people have access to things like items with Bible verses and other small ways to spread the Gospel, but we do have to check our hearts and the motives of others. Ultimately I think that’s what matters, listening to God’s voice so that our priorities are always in line with His. Very thought provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right on, Priscilla. There’s no “one size fits all” rule we can apply because what matters is our hearts!

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never understood why Christian bookstores were so much more expensive than others. Our local one closed which was really disappointing. It actually had somewhat reasonable prices. I understand people need to make money, but at the same time I don’t like the commercialization of Christianity. I supposed God uses it all for good though…He can still use it to reach people. Good thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, huntshappy. About bookstore prices, one of the issues is the smaller print runs of books as opposed to those in the general market.

      But the commercializing of Christianity is a different issue. Yes, God can use it all for good. Thanks for reminding me of that. Paul said in Philippians that some people were preaching with wrong motives. His conclusion? “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice.”

      So I think there is a place for us to rejoice when God’s word is passed along to others, whether in pretense or in truth. Whether people do so as a mission or as a way to make money.

      But I need to examine my own heart and decide what this means for me—and what I can do to help my local church in this area.

      Becky

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  4. I deeply agree with you. Sadly, I think part of why Christian endevours became Christian enterprises was that we asked “how do I become successful?” and turned to the world to find out. This gave us a fundamentally wrong answer to what success is, and therefore gave us a distorted path to it.

    Look at a lot of church growth books. Most of them are about numerical growth, not about growing people in Christ.

    Thanks for the post. Blessings on the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a great point! We ought to be more concerned about the spiritual maturity of Christ’s bride than we are about bringing in lots of people.

      Becky

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  5. This is a real challenge for me and I appreciate your thoughts. On one hand am I Pastor and an author working on his second Christian living book, but on the other hand I don’t want to perpetuate the Christian “enterprise” model in America. Not sure I have a good solution but I appreciate your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, Chris. It’s not easy to know the right way to go. May God give you direction as you seek His leading!

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice article!

    “The point is, or maybe the question—when did “ministry” turn into “business”? When did coffee shops go into churches? When did we decide to get rich from preaching the gospel, or quoting Scripture?”

    Well… I think it started a while ago. Back in Biblical times.

    12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

    13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

    Matthew 21:12-13 (KJV)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, this refers to business inside the temple. It may not apply in the same way to, for example, selling Christian literature.

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      • True, but I think your point is well made. The attitude in both cases is more along the line of “using” God for our financial gain. And the gospel is actually free and easily accessible.

        Becky

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  7. Many consider “Christianity started in Israel and became a religion” and often forget that they look more at Christendom than on Christianity, because the first (Christendom) with its false human teachings, the church doctrines (like the trinity) have gained and brought most people into that false world of idolatry and pagan rites of their trinitarian churches, which in most instances adapted their church services to the pagan rites of the region where they are based. As such for example where I live you may find lots of Germanic and Keltic roots and pagan rites in the Roman Catholic Churches as well as in several Protestant Churches which also did not want to go back to the roots of Christianity where the disciples of Jesus (Jeshua) worshipped the God of Jesus and never came to worship Jesus as their god.

    As you rightly indicate “Money should not be the driving force behind our “ministries.”, but most of the churches in Christendom go for the worldly richness and are trying to get money from their members, for whom money has become their god too.

    It is good you end with ” if the Church is to survive here in the US, we all who profess the name of Christ need to go before God and ask Him to do the work of burning the dross away from our faith.” for which I also do pray, because I can only notice that the majority of those in the U.S.A. who call themselves Christian worship Jesus as their god and do not follow Jesus his teachings of agapè love, but all love their own self, not willing to participate in the help for others (like sick-care or Obamacare) or do not want others to come in the States like their own forefathers did. (Many non indigenous people even think they are the original people from the U.S.A. and own that country)

    The present inhabbitant of the U.S.A. have gone far away from the hopes of the first immigrants from Europe – the Pelgrims) and gone far away from the word of God, the Bible. they may love going to mega churches to sing and swing, but their heart is not close to that Precious Word of God. Many of them miss also the love of Christ in their heart.

    There is lots of work to be done in the capitalist U.S.A. where the money or economy has become the prior godhead.

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    • Marcus, I’ve written about the trinity more than once, depending on the Bible, not the wisdom of men, so instead of repeating myself, I think it’s probably better to pass along this link and ask you to read this post. After all, knowing who Jesus is, really is the determining factor that indicates who is and who isn’t a Christian.

      https://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/so-who-is-jesus/

      Becky

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      • Years I have spend looking for the Biblical truth. I am convinced that what Jehovah God says “ My only begotten beloved son” “the sent one from God”, and what Jesus says about his heavenly Father, who is greater than him, are the things to believe. Therefore I believe Jesus is the way to God and that he is the son of God and not a god the son like so many humans say.

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        • Marcus, believing that God is a triune being does not negate the things you’ve said. But you’re idea that somehow Jesus is divorced from the Father does not account for the things Jesus said such as “I and the Father are one,” (John 10:30) or :He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” (John 14:9). Why would Jesus refer to Himself as I AM, the name God gave to Moses as His own? Why would He be referred to in the New Testament as having the same names, the same qualities as the Father? You are in error because the transcendent God has more to Him than what we can explain. But that should not stop us from believing what the Bible tells us.

          Becky

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          • Being one is being one in mind. The Bible telling us we have to be one with Christ like he is one with God, does not make us to be Jesus, nor makes us in being God, like it does not make Jesus into being the God of gods.

            When you reply to a question or say I am you shall not be saying you are God (I hope). Also notice that Jesus did not say “I am that I Am” Or “I am Who is” or “I am the Being”.

            You also seem to forget Jesus did not have the same qualities as God. First of all God is an eternal omniscient omnipotent Spirit no man can see and live. Jesus was born and seen by many and had to learn everything. Jesus was tempted more than once though God cannot be tempted. Jesus does not know a lot of things and said he could not do anything without God. You also seem to forget Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father and told Him he wanted to do His will and not his own. In case Jesus is God he always would have done his own will and would have lied on many occasions, also telling those around him hi is no spirit, though God is Spirit.

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          • Marcus, you’re adding to Scripture. The Bible doesn’t say Jesus is the exact representation of God’s mind.

            And context is everything. The unity that Jesus was talking about with us is focused on something altogether different than His attributes and His work.

            Also, you’re wrong to say that the Bible doesn’t attribute God’s attributes to Jesus. Not only does it point out the attributes that are “non-communicative” but it also identifies God’s work and Jesus’s work as the same. For example the Bible says that both the Father and Jesus are Creator
            Savior
            Shepherd
            King
            I Am ( a term indicating He is self-existent)

            Clearly Jesus referred to Himself by God’s name, I AM. That’s why the Pharisees wanted to stone Him: “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him,” (John 8:58-59a).

            Then in another instance, this: “30 I and the Father are one. ‘ 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” ‘ (John 10:31-33).

            To conclude that God is not triune requires a person to ignore such clear statements.

            Becky

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          • You write “Clearly Jesus referred to Himself by God’s name, I AM. “ but God said “I Am Who I Am” “I am the Being” what Jesus never said. millions of people say “I am” so you think they say they are God. Probably you then consider when somebody says “my god” (like Thomas said, that the other person is the God?! It is not because people consider someone to claim to be God or take somebody as their god, that that person is really the God. Angels, Moses, Pharaoh, Baal, Apollo, Zeus are called god in the Bible, and today we still have many idols who are called and often also praised as god, but remember that they should not be taken as being the God above gods, the Host of hosts.

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          • The expression of Jesus in the original language says that Jesus was (provided/made) before Abraham, witch refers to Jesus promised in the Garden of Eden, long before Abraham was born.

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          • You talk about ignoring statements but seem to ignore sayings witch are much more straight to the point and saying clearly that Jesus is the son of God, the son of man, the son of Abraham, the son of David, the sent one from God, the authorised one from God, the lower thang angels one, the one made higher than angels, the one lower than God who agrees that God is higher than him and that he can not do anything without God, the one who was tempted though God cannot be tempted, the one who did not know when he would return though God knows everything, the one who did not know who would be seated next to him though God is omniscient and does not tell lies, the one who assured he isn’t spirit though God clearly says He is Spirit. Everywhere in the New Testament you can find either contradictions in case Jesus is God or truthful sayings when Jesus is really the sent one from God and the authorised one from God, like Scriptures tells us.

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      • Dear Rebecca, you say you have “written on the Trinity more than once, depending on the Bible, not the wisdom of men,” though looking at your site and at the writing you refer at it is clear you got caught in the false teachings of man and even do not come to see that you make God and Jesus into liars, because God is an eternal omniscient omnipresent Spirit no man can see, though Jesus was, after he was born (God has no birth), seen by many who did not fall death, even some where taken out of the dead. Jesus, who was also tempted more than once (though God tells us He can not be tempted) could not be evrywhere and did not know a lot of things, for example that his friend had died, who would be seated next to him in the Kingdom of God, when he would return, though that last bit concerning himself and of great importance for mankind. So you would claim him being God he not willing to let us know such an important thing and him also misleading us on many occasions, even claiming in one part He is Spirit and at the other place pressing he is no spirit.

        You also make God also a very cruel being, not having taken measures straight ahead in the Garden of Eden and than after having people suffered for so many years, after faking his temptation and death, claiming the world is saved but still letting suffer so many people.

        Please come to see and believe that Jesus is the way to God, the son of God and the son of man, the sent one from God and not God himself.

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        • Christadelphians, I’m sorrow you’ve been caught up in some sort of false teaching. You have not refuted anything I’ve said using the Bible because it is the Bible that says Jesus and the Father are the same.

          God is not cruel. I have no idea what you’re referring to when you said he faked anything.

          I’ll just say, this is not the site for you to preach a false gospel. You can tell me from the Bible why you think I’m wrong, but so far you haven’t. Because the Bible supports the fact that Jesus and the Father are one,

          Read John John 10:30, John 14:9, John 8:58, John 1:1, Rev. 1:8. And on and on. There are too many for me to list all here. But based on Scripture, it is clear that Jesus has the same attributes God the Father has just as the Holy Spirit has. Here’s a summary:

          The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each called God in Scripture. In addition, divine attributes are attributed to all three of them. Only God is all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, everywhere present, and unchanging. Yet the Scripture says these attributes belong to each member of the Trinity. This is another proof that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one God. All three of them possess attributes that only God can possess. Therefore the three of them must be the one God

          ( https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_328.cfm )

          God’s divine work is also something that the Son, the Father, and the Spirit share:

          Each member of the Trinity has divine works attributed to him. The Bible says that the creation of the universe was accomplished by the work of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In addition, each member of the Trinity created humanity. Scripture says that each member of the Trinity is a lawgiver. The Bible says that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit raise the dead. Each Person of the Trinity brought Jesus Christ back from the dead. Each member of the Trinity commissions the ministry. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit accomplish the setting apart of God’s people. The writing of Scripture involved the Trinity. Each member of the Trinity indwells believers. Finally, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all contribute to the security of the believer.

          Again this is not man’s thinking but stated in Scripture – https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_329.cfm

          Becky

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          • You say “I have no idea what you’re referring to when you said he faked anything.” In the Bible is clearly written that God can not be tempted and that He is an eternal Spirit (Who cannot be seen by man). Jesus was seen by man and had a birth (which God not have) was tempted many times (though God says He cannot be tempted) was bullied many times and was even brought to death by man, though God says man can do Him nothing and that He has no beginning (no birth) and no end (no death). What also would God have to look for in hell, because Jesus was three days in hell (sheol=the grave).

            When Jesus is God He could have brought salvation straight ahead in the Garden of Eden instead of waiting such a long time to do as if he was born, tempted, died and was resurrected. In case Jesus is God we human beings have no proof that man can stand up out of the dead, and as such your teachings kill the hope we can have in the resurrection of Christ.
            Now when we would be so called saved by that charade or acting of God (Him playing a man of flesh and blood, though He says He has no such things and is a Spirit, whilst Jesus as God again would tell a lie when he says he has blood, flesh and bones and that he is no spirit).

            John 1:1 “In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word.” (Emphatic Diaglott – interlineary side) tells us about the promise given in the Garden of Eden where God spoke (gave His Word) and now the apostle looking at the creation of the new world with the 2° Adam, Jesus who he considers the Kristos, the promised and anointed sent one from God having come alive or having come into the flesh.

            1. Christ was not literally the Word. He was the word “made flesh”. (#Jo 1:14). The Greek word “logos” translated “Word” expresses the divine intention, mind, or purpose.1 Young defines “logos” as “a word, speech, matter, reason.”2 In the a.v. “logos” is translated by more than 20 different English words and is used for utterances of men (e.g., #Jo 17:20) as well as those of God (#Jo 5:38).

            2. “In the beginning was the Word  …  all things were made by him.”3 “logos” does not in itself denote personality. It is personified by the masculine gender in the a.v., The Diaglott avoids confusion by translating the pronouns in the neuter-“through it every thing was done.”4 An Old Testament parallel to the personification of logos is the personification of wisdom: “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” (#Pr 8:22, 23). In this passage, wisdom is personified as a woman. (#Pr 8:1, 2).

            3. “All things were made by him”-John is apparently alluding to the creation recorded in Genesis. God spoke, and it was done (e.g. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (#Ge 1:3). Notice another allusion- #Jo 1:7,8). But this creation was not accompanied by Christ, but by the “logos” of God. This is indicated by several passages:

            a. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (#Ps 33:6,9). See also #Ps 107:20; 147:15,18,19; Isa 55:11).

            b. ”  …  by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water  …  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (#2Pe 3:5, 7).

            c. See also (#Heb 11:3) cf. (#Jer 10:12, 13).5

            Concerning (#Jo 10:30) “I and my Father are one.”

            1. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one’ but the Jews misunderstood him, thinking he was claiming to be equal with God. (#Jo 10:33). Trinitarians make the same mistake. The oneness referred to, is not a declaration by Christ that he is ”Very God,” but rather unity of purpose. Consider the evidence:
            a. Jesus subsequently prayed for his disciples, “that they may be one, as we are.” (#Jo 17:11,21). These words require that the unity referred to, be also extended to the disciples. Obviously the unity is not that of the powers of the Godhead but unity resulting from sanctification through the word of God. (#Jo 17:14,17,18).
            b. See also (#Jo 17:22,23): “  …  that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one  …  ” Likewise, these words require a relationship between the disciples and Christ which exists between the Son and his Father — a unity, or perfection with the divine purpose.
            2. Elsewhere in John’s gospel, Jesus clearly affirms that he is not co-equal with the Father: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” (#Jo 5:19); “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (#Jo 5:30); “My Father is greater than I.” (#Jo 14:28).

            For John 14:9 you also seem to forget Jesus employed the language of “God manifestation” characteristic of the Old Testament. Accredited representatives exercising divine power and authority bore the divine name. (See #Ex 23:20,21) .-”I send an Angel . . . my name is in him.”) Jesus was the supreme manifestation – ”God was manifest in the flesh.” (#1Ti 3:16). Although not “Very God” he was justified in saying “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” since the Father had delegated this authoritv and power to him. (See #Jo. 5:19,22,23,30).

            Clearly you also seem not to understand the way of Hebrew and West European speaking or the idioms being used in Hebrew, Yiddish and other European languages. This concerning John 8:58 “Before Abraham was, I am.” Notice also that Jesus did not say “I was the “I Am that I Am” or “I Am the One Who Is the Being””

            1. Christ’s reference to Abraham is to affirm his (Christ’s) pre-eminence, not pre-existence. The Jews had claimed that Abraham was their father (#Joh 8:39) and so Christ establishes his pre-eminence in the divine purpose by stating that before Abraham was, “I am.” He did not say “before Abraham was, I was” as it is frequently misread. But the Jews, like modern-day trinitarians, misunderstood Jesus. He was not claiming to be literally older in years than Abraham. This is indicated by his prior remark: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (#Joh 8:56). Abraham, to whom the gospel was preached (#Ga 3:8), “saw” the day of Christ through the eye of faith. Christ was “foreordained before the foundation of the world, but manifest in these last times.” (#1Pe 1:20). He was foreordained in the divine purpose, but not formed. Similarly in the divine purpose he was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (#Re 13:8) but literally he was not slain until his crucifixion in the time of Pilate.

            2. There is no proof that Christ alludes to the divine name (imperfectly rendered by the A.V., “I am that I am”). Jesus simply uses the present tense of the verb “to be.” Even if this verse were intended to be read as an allusion to the divine name, this is not proof that Christ was claiming to be “Very God.” The divine name declared “I will be what I will be.” (#Ex 3:14) (R.S.V. mg.). The name was a prophetic declaration of the divine purpose. Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh” (#1Ti 3:16), “the word” (Greek: logos) “made flesh.” (#Joh 1:14). As such, he was the expression of the divine character, “full of grace and truth” (#Joh 1:14) (cf. #Ex 33:19). and became the “firstborn among many brethren.” (#Ro 8:29). Christ was the result of the word made flesh, not the originator of the dvine plan. As he himself said, “I proceeded forth and came from God neither came I of myself, but he sent me.” (#Joh 8:42).

            As you say you can go on finding verses but not which agree with what you are thinking but which make it clear that there is only One true God and which are contradicting the false teaching of the Trinity.

            “ I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.” (Isa 42:8 ASV)

            “ That they may know that {1 } thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth. {1) Or thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art etc } (Ps 83:18 ASV)

            “2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Jehovah: 3 and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as {1 } God Almighty; but {2 } by my name Jehovah I was not {3 } known to them. {1) Heb El Shaddai 2) Or as to 3) Or made known } (Ex 6:2-3 ASV)

            “ And I will sanctify my great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, saith the Lord Jehovah, when I shall be sanctified in you before {1 } their eyes. {1) Or according to another reading your } (Eze 36:23 ASV)

            “ And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.” (Eze 38:23 ASV)

            “ And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, {1 } Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. {2 } {1) Many ancient authorities read Our Father, who art in heaven; See Mt 6:9. 2) Many ancient authorities add Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. See Mt 6:10 } (Lu 11:2 ASV)

            “ But Jehovah is {1 } the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth trembleth, and the nations are not able to abide his indignation. {1) Or God in truth } (Jer 10:10 ASV)

            The verse you seem to not know or to neglect concerning the one person so many could see and who told he was going to his Father, the only One God you should know in case Jesus would be God then those people would have seen God, but God can not be seen by man:

            “ No man hath seen God at any time; {1 } the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. {1) Many very ancient authorities read God only begotten } (Joh 1:18 ASV)

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          • Christadelphians, thank you for putting Scripture to your beliefs. Sadly, you haven’t dealt with anything in those links I gave you in which the Bible clearly states that the Father, Son, and Spirit have the same attributes and are involved in the same work.

            You misunderstand a few verse and explain away others, such as Jesus saying He is I AM. If you look a the original language, you’ll see that this word is different from the regular “be” verb. And the Jews did not misunderstand. They understood only too well.

            The problem you have is in limiting God. Yes, the Son came in the flesh. He is God incarnate, Immanuel. Can’t God do the impossible? Scripture says He can. So the mystery of Jesus’s God/Man existence is something that is no problem to God, though we can’t understand it completely or resolve things like Jesus praying to the Father. But the clear understanding of “I and the Father are one,” is that Jesus and the Father are one. You have to do mental gymnastics to change what the Bible is saying clearly.

            I really am so sorry that you are involved in this false doctrine. You seem like you genuinely care. But your statements about Jesus are in error. Just because you don’t understand why God didn’t send His Son right away is no evidence whatsoever about anything. It simply means God’s ways are not your ways—something the Bible also says.

            The first three gospels all record Jesus using Scripture to clarify His identity. This from Matthew 22:

            Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They *said to Him, “The son of David.” 43 He *said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying,
            44 ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
            “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
            UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”’?
            45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”

            I don’t know who you think Jesus is, but clearly Scripture says He is Lord. Philippians says every knee will bow to Him, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Unless you think that there is some Lord other than God, this can only mean that Jesus is God.

            Becky

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  8. […] Guilty of IdolatryThe Church And What It Has Become […]

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