Sunday, January 22, 2017

A MATTER OF FAITH: THE MISEDUCATION OF A CHRISTIAN

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Philippians 2:12-13

Many believers get their theology by parroting the words of someone whose opinion they trust. I wrote “BROKEN AND NOT A$HAMED” (available in eBook format only) because after being a part of several different churches and each church leader addressing money in a different way my finances were screwed up (yes, I tithed). This book is one of the major lessons I had to teach myself.

It is important that we ‘judge’ fairly, honestly and I like to add with mercy if possible. Recently, I challenged a believer who was declaring a popular belief among Christians- we are not to judge. I asked her for scriptural references three days later she has yet to find any. We all judge: we form opinions, come to conclusions, make decisions, decide not to agree; that is judging. Jesus said: “Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.” (Matthew 7:2 The Voice). It is clear, at least to me, that He is not telling us to not judge but warning us that when we judge the same guidelines we use will be used when we are being judged.

Church leaders will share messages of tolerance without actually saying a given  behavior is un-biblical. I was shocked when a woman who ran a pro-life clinic shared with me the number of Christian women, including Pastor’s wives who were seeking abortions. Other issues that are mentioned in Scripture but not as definitive from the pulpit: homosexuality and spousal abuse. Still today, there are churches who do not speak out against drug abuse, pornography or even premarital sexual activity. When any of these ‘hot topics’ are brought over they are skimmed over to ensure service ends on a positive note.

As a Bible study teacher I was surprised at what many ‘Christians’ do not know. Recently I was talking to an individual who was twenty years older than me and had been attending church since birth but did not understand the difference between Jehovah Witnesses and Christianity.  Other Christians do not believe in heaven and hell. Far to many Christians foolishly call loved ones who die angels in heaven.

Along that same line of misrepresentation of Scripture is one of my pet peeves: the responses heard when a person dies.  We do not know who is going to heaven or who is going to hell. Even in life we do not know who is saved and who is not saved. Only God knows what a person really believes thus unless a person who says she is saved begins doing satanic things I have to believe she is a Christian.

Romans 10:9-10
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Unfortunately, every church has its’ own doctrine on how a person is saved. I personally take Romans 10 verses 9-10 literally: If a person confesses Jesus as Lord and believes God raised Him from the dead he is saved.

Some people believe that unless you have gone to seminary you cannot teach, others joke that seminary is like a cemetery not teaching the truth. I find it discouraging that many people are attached to the personality and not the message. There is so much confusion in the body of Christ.

The eBooks that I write are not meant to tell anyone what to think. My goal in writing as in my Bible teaching is to encourage the believer to search the Scriptures to validate what I have said or prove me wrong.  Though I share quite a few Scriptures within the context of my writing I also include a few more, as I do with my blog post. Followers of Christ should, must, study God’s word independent of what they are being taught at church.

Finally, a word on church doctrine: women preaching or not preaching; which day to have communion on, using wine or grape juice for communion; worship on Saturday or Sunday; dress codes, and baptism (who can be baptized and when)are just a few things that create friction among the body. It is important that you study your word and determine what you believe, it may be different than what the church you attend believes.

I cannot say it often enough- BUY A PRINT BIBLE. Do not depend on electronic devices or a devotional to teach you what you need to know. If someone tells you something about Christianity ask them what verse are they quoting. Check the verse in question and make sure it is being discussed in context. Xxx Marsha L F Randolph

A MATTER OF FAITH reflects the opinions and property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. Don’t miss weekly faith based post FOLLOW THIS BLOG and receive notifications when a new article is posted.
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