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Free Indeed

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Free Indeed


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 of God.
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 the meeting.

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 find them.

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 free

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 day.
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 we'd have!

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 remains.
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.

For more material on Kingdom living view
Shaun Kearney
en engape!