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Locked in Legalism?

Posted by KTaylor on December 23rd, 2019

As many of you know, the Lord has provided our ministry with some wonderful folks,those who allow me as the editor of Crossmembersmensministry,com to bounce around thoughts have solid faith based & Biblical conversations as they provide straight forward prayerful advice. During many of these conversations I myself gaining insight & knowledge,insights that not only help me but help guide our ministry in the direction that we as servants of Jesus Christ can be the most effective in spreading God’s wonderful news. With that I have requested that men like Kris Atkins not only share those thoughts with me but with all of you,so its with much thankfulness the below article is published. Thanks Kris,Crossmembers is truly excited as we work together,all to the glory of God’s Kingdom.

Below Article Submitted by Kris Atkins;

A question was asked to me the other day, “What makes one denomination more in tune with God than another?” I always considered the southern Baptist to be pretty inline with him but it got me to thinking. Is one denomination any better than another? Is there anyone one group more Godly centered than another? So I did what any good Christian would do and got into God’s Word. I did some praying and started asking questions to my associate pastor.

          My associate pastor Michael gave me a good starting point in Colossians. Paul wrote a letter to the Colossians because as a church they were beginning to deviate from Paul’s teachings that Jesus was the Son of God. They were drifting into legalism, mysticism and asceticism and that was causing great concern for Paul. Any time we drift from the Word of God, we are wrong. His word is God breathed and there isn’t any gray area. It’s His Word and He never deviates from it. That is one of the things that make Him a wonderful God; you always know where you stand with Him.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)

          Back to the point of legalism, I believe a lot of times we as a church or denomination tend to get stuck on “our way or the highway” mind set. Paul warns us about that in Colossians. For example, we tend to think baptism has to be submersion instead of sprinkling (it’s an act of public profession either way) or KJV (King James Version) is more accurate than ESV (English Standard Version) or you can’t have wine during the communion. We all have different ways of thinking but how much of that thinking is God centered or man centered? How much of it is “This is what I think and it is right!”? Is a lot of it pointless man thought that doesn’t bring glory to God? As with the different translations, God used man to translate His Word. So if we didn’t translate it correctly, don’t you think He would have us aware of it by now? I’m sure it wouldn’t align with God’s Word.

Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you in their attempt to lead you away from Christ’s fullness by pretending to be full of wisdom when they’re filled with endless arguments of human logic. Colossians 2:8 (TPT)

          They are times when we fail to check behind our pastors….. (What did he just say???). “Check behind our pastors? Blasphemy talk!” I did say that because we should check behind our pastors to make sure what they preach is God breathed. They are human and the devil can influence them as well. They are called to a service of teaching His word but they can make mistakes as well. The one place you can always be sure what God has to say is in the Bible. IT NEVER CHANGES!!

          The Colossians had become more about the rituals and customs than about God’s word. They were condemning people because of their failure to comply with certain rituals and ways of doing things. The church was losing focus of Christ and He being the center of everything. In today’s time when a lot of people are watering down God’s Word, we have to think. Are we causing as much harm by arguing insignificant points because of human thinking and turning people away from God? Are we leading others to Christ or condemning them because we think differently? It is interesting how sneakily and quietly the devil can creep in and cause conflict anywhere with anyone. We must vigilant in always staying in God’s Word, being in prayer and most importantly listening to God (It isn’t a one way street.).

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in question of food or drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Colossians 2:16-17

          I firmly believe as long as we stay with God’s perfect plan we will never fail. We may do things a little different, read a different translation or wear different clothes to church but the goal is all the same. Bring others to Christ! We must admit we are all sinners and confess those sins, and TRULY believe Christ died on the cross for us. When we dabble in legalism, we are in danger of judging others. Focus on God and His Word and you can’t go wrong. Do not let your pride get in the way.

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