The “Official” Christian Rule Book: Invalidating the Word of God for the Sake of Religious Tradition (1)
I was sitting in church one day years ago. It was relatively early in a midweek service. We all sat waiting expectantly to hear a message from the Lord. The pastor had just begun his sermon and he told the congregation, “Please turn in your Bibles to the Book of…”
A twenty-something man toward the front, an unbright visitor with no understanding of church protocol, then immediately blurted out, “Wait! What page!?”
One wonders why, in the face of many centuries of ecclesiastical control and strident oversight within Christianity, that someone has not yet addressed this issue. Why don’t we have just one Bible and one translation so everyone can follow along the same way many Christians do with everything else?
Wait. In fact, “Christians” did think of this. Many centuries ago. Then they quickly surmised it would be even better if they simply dispensed with the Word of God altogether. Then they could make up their own rules and their own book and no one would be the wiser.
They could have called it The Official Christian Rule Book.
All facetiousness aside, such a thing actually happened, exactly that way. For a thousand years (let me repeat), FOR A THOUSAND YEARS, the Bible was effectively outlawed within “official” Christianity.
THE ORIGINAL PROTESTANT REFORMATION
Christians forget that there was once a Protestant Reformation. They also forget that the Protestant Reformation arose for only one reason—it was a PROTEST against the Roman Catholic Church.
Why were so many people protesting against the Roman Catholic Church? And why were all the ringleaders Catholic or former Catholics?
Actually, the Protestant Reformation did not simply begin at a single point in time in the early 1500s, though that was certainly the beginning of the open and successful Reformation that the Catholic Church could no longer suppress or contain. It had been ongoing for, yes, A THOUSAND YEARS.
The problem for the various Protestants through the intervening years prior to the early 1500s was that they were usually politically unprotected single individuals, much like Old Testament prophets, or relatively small Christian societies. They were always outnumbered and outvoted, which included by possibly the millions otherwise sympathetic Catholics who were intimidated into silence without the courage to join them. Thus, these early Protestants were very easy to suppress and kill off by the so-called mother church.
Never mind that the Catholic Church violated always and repeatedly the clear teachings of the Lord Jesus in this regard in order to gain and maintain its strict religious control; it was obvious to the evil leaders thereof that no other method was feasible. The RCC spared no effort or funding to engage in ongoing religious cleansing of dissenters in order to establish and maintain a religious monolith.
Once a person decided to protest against obvious rule-breaking by the new illicit rule makers, such a person became their enemy. The religious controllers could attempt certain punishments to bring such righteous dissidents back into line, such as applying a non-tangible whip like a guilt trip or social excommunication, or they could go much further and engage in actual physical “discipline.”
If such efforts failed and the recalcitrant party refused to buckle under, the only things remaining were the dungeon or death. Both had been used forever by evil despots to silence their critics, and the new “Christian” clergy knew it must also use the same tactics to stay in power. Otherwise, their lies would be overwhelmed by the honest words of honest men who stood for the teachings of the Lord Jesus, and the clergyites would be defeated by truth.
Hence, the Original Protestant Reformation continued on throughout the many centuries of the Dark Ages—ages made dark for one reason—the elimination of the Word of God from the people. Therefore, the opponents of the Catholic Church—the protesting opponents who favored the free use of the Word of God for everybody—were actually the real friends of God. This exposed the real enemies of God—the Catholic clergy—the ones who purported officially and openly to be God’s friends and spokesmen.
Remember, there are two things that the enemies of the Lord hate more than Him, and that is HIS WORD and HIS NAME:
As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:30-32]
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. [John 20:30-31]
The elimination of the freedom-releasing, life-giving, and spiritual power-producing Word of God and Name of God is a must if the Lord’s enemies are to be successful. That this happened through a false front “Christian” operation would otherwise open many eyes save for the extreme duplicity and treachery involved.
It is what we call religious guile, deceit, and hypocrisy of the highest order—standard operating procedure at the hands of the official Roman Catholic clergy of that time—and the very thing the Pharisees of the Lord’s time were guilty of as well.
THE ORIGINAL PHARISEES
The Lord Jesus saved His greatest, most forceful, and most damning rebukeathons for the evil Pharisaic leadership for one reason—they refused to allow the pure Word of God to be in the hands of the people—they refused to allow God to be in charge. They majored on instant condemnation for rule breakers. They were much more interested in the Gotcha! Protocol (and the quick punishment thereof) than any forgiveness, compassion, understanding, love, or mercy.
The Pharisees also insisted they must teach from a perverted “official” substitute rulebook written and sponsored by them and by no one else. The desire and goal of the Pharisaic leadership was complete and dominant religious control over every single person within what was left of the nation of Israel, as well as to infinity and beyond:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” [Matthew 23:15]
The Pharisees succeeded at this for a while, maybe two or three centuries. Their efforts ended up destroying their nation. But their success was minimal in comparison to successful Roman Catholicism, which not only caused the European Dark Ages but became the greatest Christian offshoot in history to the tune of one billion plus worldwide at present.
And it still operates the same way it always has, though obvious outward changes had to be made since the incredible spiritual successes of:
(1) The Protestant Reformation,
(2) The unprecedented establishment of complete, legal spiritual liberty and religious freedom with the against-all-odds creation of the United States of America. This freedom and liberty did not exist in Europe, even among Protestants, and certainly not among Catholics who spent a millennium and half fighting against it.
(3) The giant, ongoing, ever-increasing, worldwide Pentecostal movement of the last 120 years.
As had the Original Pharisees, the Roman Catholic Church still possesses its official rule book. It is a book loosely based on the Word of God. Yet, whoever knowingly teaches against the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, makes additions or subtractions to or from them, and refuses to honor all of His teachings are, like the interloper Judas Iscariot, the Lord’s greatest enemies.
They are such because they both pretend to be something they are not and deceive people into believing it, and are flippantly arrogant in their effective rewriting of God’s original Word for the sake of their own illicit religious kingdoms and elite power structure.
Regarding the approach of the Lord Jesus toward such illicit rule book makers who revel in lording it over others, we know how He approached the Torah teachers (lawyers) and Pharisees of His time in the following passages:
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52]
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]
“And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” [Matthew 15:6] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on October 8, 2015, in Teaching and tagged Christian Pharisees, Counterfeit Religious Traditions, Deception, Hidden Agenda, Lord Jesus, Real Christianity, Spiritual Warfare, The Name of Jesus, The Word of God, Unreal Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
Spot on! I’m just starting a study in the book of Ephesians, and I can’t wait to dig into the effects of REAL Christianity on the individual and the church.
Thanks Linda. The Lord is good! Be blessed in your new study.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:10]
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I love the word “workmanship” in that verse. As I’m sure you know, it comes from the Greek word “poema” which is the root word for our “poetry” and “poem.” We are God’s literary work of art. Cool.
This word also appears in Romans 1:20. It only appears in these two places in the NT. In Romans, it refers to what God has created, in that the Lord’s Creation reveals His actual nature.
It is the same with His people. Paul says the Lord’s people are His workmanship which reveals His design and His purpose. The work of real Christians in this world reveals God’s presence and His authorship. Such workmanship obviously demands a new birth for each individual in order to become a new creation, in order to reveal HIS creation in His children.
This is a hard concept to grasp with cultural Christians with no new birth. It is impossible for such people to actually display the creation of God within themselves. That the Lord Jesus is creating His people as His work, but in a much, much higher sense than in His physical Creation (the Universe), demands a Father-child family relationship and a free will submitted to His will. The Lord actually desires and allows His children to be a viable part of His act of creating, in that we work together creating all kinds of cool stuff.
Unreal Christianity does not and cannot do this and does not want this. The last thing fake religion and its rulers want is free expression and Truth. This is why it demands submission as mere conformity to a group and set of rules. Being part of the “right” group and keeping the “right” rules becomes their fake salvation. It is not about God’s works because the Lord Jesus is not actively involved (has been rejected) but about the works of unregenerate human beings in the mere fleshly outward surface act of being a “Christian” and has no spiritual benefit whatsoever.
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