Wednesday, December 20, 2006

RELAX, REGROUP, AND REACH OUT

Beware of me. Beware of us. Jesus is the Truth. We are not. The truth will set one free. Truth has died a thousand casualties due to name brand religions or churches building their courses of faith on a hand full of passages. Thy Word is Truth, thy Word says. It is. Thy Word also warns of claiming man-made rules as truth....yet, we do anyway. Thy Word says we are to resist the captivity of men's traditions....and how God's people cry for release from such captivity.

A problem with all of this is it's tough to differentiate between Truth and Tradition if we have been programmed to believe Tradition is Truth. The reason the majority of our members do not teach their neighbors about the love of Christ is not because they are smug or heartless. They haven't a clue how to make the Bible fit their form of Truth. It's just too complicated.

Explain our stance on the three laws of interpretation when the Bible doesn't express such. How should our people teach what true worship is when their pattern is the congregation in the 50s and 60s, but not displayed in the New Testament? How shall our people
teach from the New Testament many congregations with many elderships when the Truth shows only one set of elders per city? How can our people justify no instruments in worship, yet endorse buildings and land?

The truth is our people can't. They may never say it...what's worse they don't say it. They don't say anything to collegues and neighbors because it's too hard to share this dead-end maze. Our wonderful people are tied up in knots; entangled in opinion and wishful thinking.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There's a neighborhood near us crumbling and dissentegrating in front of our eyes. We have the best news in the world. It's not the news men have made up. It's the news Jesus delivered...and there is such a difference. May we get better at saying what he said and reporting the results. Relax in the Word. Regroup your thoughts to fit his walk. Reach out.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Terry... enjoyed your blog this morning. Saw this ad for a church in one of our Christian publications (I've removed the who and where to protect the poor folks):

"SOUND GOSPEL PREACHER NEEDED- The _____________ church of Christ in __________, Wyoming has a great need for a sound Gospel preacher. _______________ has a population of 18,000 to 20,000. We are a congregation of 10 to 15 members. Please send a resume and recording of a lesson on Sin, Marriage and Divorce, Adultery, the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Please teach from the King James or New King James versions of the Bible. Oh, we have very little to offer, except 1000s of lost souls here. Great place to see if you have talent to save the lost and to teach Bible truths. You will need to provide your own support. This is a mission field. Contact _____________"

After reading it I called each of my elders and thanked them for their love and grace. I'm so glad I preach were I do.

Danna said...

The part that hit me the most is the part about being able to decipher between truth and tradition. It's really difficult sometimes! I have struggled with this very thing as I have participated in BSF. The thing I have to remind myself of, as you have in this post, is to seek what GOD has to say about it, not anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Tradition is a comfort and that's where most find themselves. I'm a firm believer in being uncomfortable. I embarass my husband many times just to be Jesus to the guy in the Whataburger drive thru line, or grocery store, bank, etc. I think the teachings begin with us and getting out of ourselves long enough to find out what uncomfortable feels like. Many times, we won't even go there with our own brothers, sisters, elders, preachers, teachers, etc. at church. Yet...what is preached is the very thing we run from. It starts with us and if we can't do it here...then we can't do it out there. After the retreat a while back, I got some feedback where ladies told me they were uncomfortable not going the "normal" things we usually do. Great!!!! I'm glad I accomplished a goal! Because the next line was..."I didn't know that God had placed those things on my heart to do"! WONDERFUL! Now take that to your friends, neighbors, coworkers, family, take it to the world! Don't keep traditional thing behind the walls but gather those around us and bring new and exciting traditions to the body of Christ!

Okay..I went off on tanget here on your blog! Sorry Terry! You caught me preaching this morning and probably had nothing to do with what you are trying to say! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Great Post! Traditions are great, but not when they are passed off as truth. I have never been so free as when I decided to believe only what scripture teaches and not what man passes off as scripture. And it is amazing how much more free you are to talk about God and His word to others when you only talk about scripture and not traditions. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." What a great verse!!

Lee Hodges said...

Excellent post Terry. So true and so sad.

cwinwc said...

Isn't it interesting how something that starts out as an innovative way to present the “Truth of the Gospel” can quickly transform into tradition, dogma, and then part of the scriptures found in everyone’s favorite book, 1st Opinions.

Case in point, here in Central Florida some time ago (in a land far, far away – someone cue the theme from Star Wars) someone came up with the idea of having a different church host a meeting of youth groups from around our area and “they” (probably not an original idea) decided to call it a monthly “Christian Youth Fellowship” or “CYF.”

A couple of years ago, our youth group attended one of these “CYF’s” at a local church. As the festivities were taking place all in attendance were informed that this would be a “traditional CYF” which meant there would be none of that sinful clapping, praising, or lifting of hands in worship.

Is there such a thing as “traditional innovation?”
Thanks for the post Terry.

Stoogelover said...

I am so fortunate as to be able to preach what you've written. The elders here have been very supportive of Jesus over tradition. Needless to say, our attendance has decreased, but the ones who are left have a far greater spirit of joy. And what we offer to those seeking is not the "church of Christ," but Jesus Christ.

Your words today were sweet to my ears ... and are truthful. As well as offensive to many.

Stoogelover said...

I meant to say, I saw that ad in the CC (mentioned by Trey, above) and just shook my head. My guess is they'll be running an ad 10 years from now saying the same thing, only their number is down to about 5 members.

john alan turner said...

Terry,
The inability to distinguish between truth and tradition seems to come from our way of reading the Bible. "Command, example and necessary inference" can be a helpful tool for application, but application is not the same as interpretation.

Because we've failed to separate "what the text means" from "how we are to apply it", we think doing something different from our tradition is the same as being unfaithful to scripture.

Thankfully, that tide is turning. Thanks for all you've done over the years to speed that process.

Jeanne said...

Wow! Terry, I love this! My study over the last several years follows right along with this. I'm amazed how we somehow in our heritage became an exclusive "members only" group who thought WE held the keys to heaven through our approach to God. I'm amazed at how condemning some of our philosophy became. I was convicted many years ago of my religious arrogance in thinking that God thought the way I did! I have discovered so much more of whom the Father is and how precious it is to be His child since I quit trying to be "right" and started focusing on being righteous. Great post!