Two Errors to Avoid

 

COPYRIGHT ©2019 - James M. Frye

 

All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.

 

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Many Christians in our day have been misled into one of two extremes.

Error #1

On the one hand, many go to churches which teach them all sorts of commandments of men which have no basis in scripture.

Col 2:20-23

20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Please notice the phrase "the commandments of men”. There are only two sources of teaching in our day, either God or man. Any teaching which forbids things which the word of God does not actually forbid is a commandment of men.

The Bible defines sin as the transgression of God's law/word.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

So in order for something to be considered sinful, someone must prove from scripture that God actually says it is sinful. Sure, these teachers/preachers can make it sound like the Bible forbids these things (2 Corinthians 4:2), but in fact it does not. They generally lump anything they don't like under the broad category of "worldliness". That way anything which they declare to be "worldly" is automatically condemned as sinful and they are freed from actually having to prove that it is sinful from scripture.

People who believe these doctrines and commandments of men spend their lives in bondage for they mistakenly believe that most everything is sinful except for "going to church", giving money, praying, reading the Bible, sleeping, eating, and working. Everything else is "worldly" so they can do little else without feeling guilty about it. The first passage above tells us not to be subject to such ordinances.

Since these people believe these teachings are true, they unfortunately try to share them with others imposing this same bondage upon them as well. There is little true joy in their lives but there is much judging and looking down on others who are not as "spiritual" as they are.

Error #2

There is another group of people who go to churches which teach them the exact opposite extreme which is equally wrong. These teachers/preachers teach people that very little if anything is actually sinful. They talk about how the liberty/freedom a believer has in Christ has set them free from any such rules and laws.

2 Peter 2:1-2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you who privily shall bring in damnable heresies .... And many shall follow their pernicious ways ....

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

These teachers promise people liberty and grace, but their grace is an unbiblical, false grace which turns the grace of God into a license to sin (Jude 1:4). Whereas Biblical grace is the freedom and deliverance FROM sin, their grace is a freedom TO sin (Romans 6:1, 15) which actually puts them in bondage to it. Their followers appear to be filled with great joy and love for God, but whenever you try to show them the truth of God's word on various matters they simply reject it and do or believe whatever they want. They speak of their great love for God, but scripture says that true love for God is manifested by keeping His commandments (1 John 5:3), something they seem to have little interest in.

These people hold to the doctrines and teachings of men on many subjects. What the Bible actually teaches on these subjects is the exact opposite of what they believe, but they just can't see it. Since one of the main keys for being able to discern the truthfulness of a doctrine is our willingness to submit to God concerning it (John 7:17; Romans 6:17), they just can't/won't see it. This leaves them in the sad state of being ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).

As it often is, truth regarding these matters is squarely in the middle, for the devil often perverts truth on both sides. We should rejecting these two extremes, staying away from the commandments and doctrines of men, all the while fully and joyfully surrendering ourselves to the doctrines and commandments of God's word with all of our heart.