This is probably not going to be what you think, for I am in the Protestant faith and one that seems to get attention for the larger side of it. I will not be addressing Catholic or other faiths, just Christianity. There seems very few just plain Christians these days as the loudest and most advertised divisions are the Christian Right, and what I call the Christian Left. Just as with truth, there are three sides, your side, their side, and the truth... which is usually somewhere in the middle. I know I have been caught up by the Christian Right side but then caught myself as it is a dangerous side to be on. Neither are Christianity for both pick and chose for what they adhere to. I will be using the KJ Version and occasionally paste from the scripts. I am not a fan of the new Bibles for they lose their meaning or are substituted. Intentionally or by accident, it does not matter.
This all sounds good at first site but is a repeat of exactly what Jesus once took on. In a perfect world it would be better than sliced bread, but we all know that the comparison of just that old saying is so true. Sliced bread was once nutrition and then someone decided to improve it with their own ingredients. People were tired of bugs eating the sliced bread so someone came up with adding chemicals that would be poison to bugs so the bugs wouldn't eat it. Someone else later added preservatives (fancy word for chemicals) to it to make it stay fresh longer. More recently someone started the whole grains lie that spread like wildfire and the lie is still believed and taught even to today. Before whole grain deception someone thought of enriching the bread. Now days many are saying to avoid the bread altogether, that it is bad for you, and so they are right when talking about all these "improvements" man has made to bread. Religion is like bread, it can nourish the body just as real bread can, or it can poison the soul just as bread can. If you think that is a stretch, consider this: Bread is mentioned 479 times in the Bible. I will give a few excerpts.
John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
Jeremiah 37 21Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread out of the bakers' street, until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
Now this is but a few so as I pointed out, bread is considered important. There are good and bad things to say about bread and ways to prepare it. This is one thing I have had a problem with. If one is old enough to remember back 40 to 50 years ago, how much then was told to use by Organized Religion to be an interpretation of what God meant or meant to say? Now I am bad about saying something but meaning something else. Saying things that don't quite come out right. Then again, I didn't create the universe and all that is in in or keeps it aligned either. To me, God then knows pretty much what He meant to say and really didn't need someone to interpret what another human thought or thinks God meant.
Just a few years ago much of the Bible, especially Revelation, Ezekiel, and Daniel told of events and things that will come. Back in the sixties for instance people couldn't change their gender, this particular thing was told to be a helicopter in Revelations 9:9. Now people can have their gender changed and we know from the DOD that they are working on and probably already have small robots that was spoken about in Revelations 9:9. Also, that genetic mutations are, do, and are continuing to be created in a lab, some admitted and some not. Some funded by governments and some they turn a blind eye to in hopes that they can use this new technology. "And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle." I am sure that those reading this that have read or heard any of the Bible can think of more. This leaves me to wonder just how many were deceived, either by intention or by accident from the scholars both then as well as now and on a variety of subjects.
All it takes is one person to be deceived and teach the others the deception. At one time in history this was just as massive a problem and then it weakened some as people began to learn the Word of God. Now, with technology at the level it is, we have once again returned to the age where one deception can rule the masses. I am not saying that everybody in organized religion is bad, but many have been deceived from what God and Jesus actually said and meant when they had the Bible written. As just one example, and please take note on the last words of Matthew 29.
Matthew 7 28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
We see where Jesus warned of the ones who intentionally changed His doctrine and God's words in Luke 20:46.
45Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, 46Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; 47Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
Many times scribes are mentioned in the Bible, 93 actually. For teachers though, now we call them by a different name like preacher, pastor, and other names, they are mentioned 119 times while Rabbi is mentioned 52 times. If one is going to teach then one must remember what befalls them should they teach false doctrine.
We also see in Luke 9: 22 "Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
With Organized Religion we see that corruption was easily accomplished back then, and is now. This is one problem I have with just jumping on the band wagon. While it is far more popular to climb aboard with what the ones that have enough money to make their views heard above the rest, it leads straight down to Hell and before that destruction. I think we are seeing that the past not only can, but does repeat itself as it was in 2 Peter:
1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Many times this is repeated, not only the Bible but all of history shows how a corrupt person or a person that has corrupt information, either knowingly or unknowingly, purposely or accidental, is responsible to remain duly diligent. A fire starts with a spark. Many seem to focus on one verse in a certain part, or perhaps one theme, and skips the rest. Even the smartest and those who know more than most on the Word, only knows it's meaning from their perspective. Like the child that wants desert before dinner. Yet we can be deceived - a preacher, teacher, individual, or a nation. It is not so much if we know the word, for even Satan knows the word. It is if the word is in us.
I heard a preacher (Billy Graham) one time commented on a bumper sticker that read, "God said it. I believe it. That Settles It." Now that sounds good and I even fell for that one until I heard Dr Graham talk on that... it always stuck with me. The first and last sentence are really the truth with the middle completely irrelevant, unless of course you are Satan masquerading as light, then suddenly it all makes sense. This below is pretty much the same thing, this division of Christians. It would be different maybe if the words were just being spoken and written down, but they have been here for a long time and will be here until the end of time as we know it. So that folks is how the Satan works. A little or who knows, maybe a lot of truth, mixed with a lie or lies. Had not I been listening to that I would not have seen it, heard it, understood it.
More recently I heard Dr Jeremiah talk on The New World Order, something that even atheists and agnostics know about, yet many have no idea that they are listening to the Bible foretell what is happening. Christians have known about this from the very beginning of their studies. The next sermon was on Angels yet when a certain part got there where he states that Near Death Experiencers (NDErs) embrace a false doctrine of a false religion. While this was probably just bad research on his part, he made a statement that was heard around the world, and was wrong. There are some that do prescribe to the New Age movement, there are most of us that I've talked with aren't. His chief problem was NDErs referring to God as "The Light". Who knows, maybe he redacted himself but at that moment I begin to wonder just what else was he wrong about. While I still retain great respect for him, my confidence is no longer placed, so much so, I haven't listened since. It did not make me mad but rather, it saddened me. At the same time I learned or should I say, relearned a valuable lesson. Do not follow blindly any man on earth. Let us address his problem with people saying The Light. Light is mentioned 438 times in the Bible. That is a lot of times so light should be not a problem when describing God. Here is a few:
John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
John 3:20 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
He became stuck on a word but not The Word. We all probably know better than to do this, yet I don't see that being done by Christians as we all tend to get stuck on a word. For that we were warned. Verse 24 seems to pretty much describe us all, no matter the beliefs.
Matthew 23:23-24 3Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Now what I am not saying is that Dr Jeremiah is bad or deceiving, but merely human and prone to make mistakes. Rather than check the real data he hastily collected from a stranger's perspective without first asking sources. Indeed there is New Age that can be found, and it is not just in the NDEr's corner, chances are most people are practicing Pagan beliefs without knowingly doing so. These rituals and beliefs are being shoved at us from every angle, Global Warming is an excellent example where nature is worshipped. But that is another writing. This one is about Organized Religion which is helping the anti-Christ come into power. I'm not sure that is the intent, but it is doing it. You can read the Bible your whole life an still not grasp the greatness of God's Light. While words written and read can give you an idea, they still do no justice to the real glory of the Lord.
People are fallible, all of us are but when we put of faith in any one man or the collection of a few men (organization) it replaces where our faith should be placed, God. If we lose sight of the fact that Jesus paid the price for us and that no matter how good we are, how many times we've read the Bible or went to church, we all fall short of the glory of the Lord. So, we rely on Grace. Most preachers and teachers have that basic concept down and yet they lack the understanding of how to attain Grace. Again, that is another time. The problem does not come as we make our mistake but only when a mistake goes uncorrected. Just as that sermon rang out to untold thousands, in time it will reach millions. An error or a lie by repetition will never become the truth and yet with time and repetition it will be viewed as the truth. I often listen to what people and organizations teach and wonder just who came up with that. For we are, after all, lead by pleasures and passions by our heart, so much so the Bible refers to the hearts of men 75 times.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
Perhaps that is why Jesus said we must be as a child for as a child we have blind faith and our heart is pure. We tend to accept what is and question what seems wrong. As adults, we often cave in to popular ideas due to peer pressure even though that is claimed to be just an adolescent thing. A child is so important that the word child is mentioned 468 times in the Bible and the word children 2900 times. Faith is mentioned 850 times. As adults though we are expected to learn and listen to the word of God verses the word of men who think they know the word of God. How important is the word, "word". Pretty important because it is contained 1320 times and rest assure, we account for all of ours.
Now in this world filled with evil we do need to connect, and even then we are silenced and we will be silenced more and more as the world goes closer to the end. That however doesn't mean that we should all jump at one man or men's thought of what God meant to say or fall for sound bites presented, for in doing so we are setting up the beast to take control. Probably the worse excuse I have ever heard of following blindly men's words as opposed to God's words is that evil people can say they are a Christian, show actions different but use sound bites to change the very meaning and essence of what a Christian. I usually say I can eat hay, live in a barn, moo at times... but that doesn't make me a cow and it is seriously doubtful I will give milk.
So the old becomes new again as the voices focus on just a few that lead the many. It was under this very same type system that crucified Christ and it is this very same scenario that will bring Him back. Yes I know, this is kind of a repetitive thing and has been called for many times over the ages, which is one way of looking at it. The other way would be aren't you thankful that the times hasn't already happened. To those that are, they are probably the ones that may make it. To those that say they look forward to going up, if believing on what a man or men say, even when it opposes the Bible. Well, I'll just post a few quotes, not from man, but from God's instruction book. You decide.
16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But 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.
3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: