QUESTION: When was the last time you went to church and didn’t leave with a question unanswered? Has there EVER been a time you felt you were comfortable and knew everything that was said?? Have you ever went back and looked for the answers yourself through God’s word? As Christians, it is my belief that our DUTY as followers of Jesus Christ (also known as DISCIPLES), that we need to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance for whatever direction our church foundation leads us towards. It would behoove us to do this on our own instead of relying totally on an equally sinful human’s interpretations! Even now, as I write this I am telling you, follow up my convictions with your own one-on-one study with God! If you lead with emotions instead of truth, you will miss where He’s leading you!
Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to accompany a friend of mine to a memorial service for his wife. She was raised Catholic and he was an evangelical Christian (you do the math!). This memorial was given by her family at their Catholic Church. Let me tell you that prior to this visit, I has only been apart of a Catholic service ONE other time back in college! When we arrived I immediately felt uncomfortable! People kneeling and crossing themselves and splashing “holy water” on things and the chants…..my Lord the chants!! It was enough that my stomach was in knots as I observed this sacred practice!
The history behind a religion, worship practice or whatever I know I don’t know it all; but looking at the above picture, how can that not contradict scripture? Here are a few examples:
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. (Exodus 20:3, 4 NIV)
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:5, 6 NIV)
Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’ “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices! (Ezekiel 14:4-6 NIV)
Why does this perceive to be idol worship when an apparent statue of Jesus & other apostles are there!? Simply put, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14 NIV)” How it this reasoned to NOT be idol worship? You have a challis Of gold, statues equal to Jesus, chants to Mary….from an outsider looking in, it seems borderline cultic!
These other two pictures on either side of the stage are similar:
No one….can come to the Father, EXCEPT the me (Jesus)….why so much worship and emphasis on Mary and the other Saints? Does that mean we worship ourselves as well? Being that the Apostle Paul said we are all saints, “I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. (1 Corinthians 1:2 NLT)“. There is no one, who claims the name of Jesus Christ as their personal savior, who is better or more privileged than another:
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. (Ephesians 2:19 NLT)
So why are millions of people relying on the speech and declaration of another, born-into-sin human being to be their communication to God for their sins!!??
I don’t want to ever read a Bible and see markings like the one above….what good will that do us?? Reading God’s holy word and interpreting it is one thing; I believe He speaks to each individual differently. But I can never understand only referencing points of it, especially Jesus’ ministry instead of seeing the whole picture, His whole life lived. I truly think the more we make scripture to be how we desire it to be instead of the literalness of its deeper meaning is hypocritical!
He didn’t sacrifice His life cause He had to as much as He WANTED to out of genuine love. And let me tell you, when you do edit Jesus out of the important parts of your life and replace it with your idol of comfort and excuse; the eventual rude awakening you’ll have along with a sense of loss and hopelessness will overwhelm you. WHY? Because Christ is trying to bring you back to the reality of REAL INTIMACY with the Prince of Peace…..why would you want to have it any other way??
I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE….NO ONE (no replacements, no excuses, no sugar-coating) NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER, EXCEPT THROUGH ME (Jesus Christ, the Son of the LIVING GOD).