BREAKING FREE FROM CHRISTIAN PROGRAMMING

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If you’re a Christian of some form or another, the odds are high that you’ve been religiously programmed in some way or another. They don’t call it indoctrination for nothing. You must find a way to break free.

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A LONG TIME AGO IN A LAND FAR AWAY

Let’s set the scene: Two thousand years ago, in a small secluded land, a solitary figure arose from abject obscurity and began to teach. He gathered a small group of followers, twelve in number, to assist Him. He explained that they must be fully dedicated and so this small band of men lived as a brotherhood twenty-four hours a day. They traveled the countryside, visited small villages, and on occasion ventured into larger towns, even those not necessarily of their ancestral tradition.

These men were thoroughly unknown to the rest of the world, but also remained obscure among their own in the early days of the mission. If it were not for some extremely extraordinary events that took place among them by the hand of this Teacher, the group would likely have never achieved any notoriety at all and would have just as likely faded out, unknown to history. There were such groups that did. Local bands of rabbis and students dotted the place, this little country, a place with a centuries-old tradition of legends and stories of past exploits and endeavors. They said it was once at the top of nations, that it achieved the greatness reserved only for the rarest and best, and that it achieved it in a way no other country had ever done.

The residents believed these stories. Their priests and doctors of law, what some referred to as shamans and others as religious enforcers, kept the traditions alive through various means, at best to maintain revealed truths and at worse to control the populace and extract wealth. The people had no choice but to honor these men since they had attained power over the people by possessing closely held access to the ancestral writings and the ability to decipher their content. Only they could read from them and deliver teachings based upon them. No one else had access to any meaningful degree.

The new Teacher had been raised upon these traditions and knew them as well as anyone. He had become very well versed in the teachings thereof, as others had done, but most of the others had taken another turn long before by entering the ranks of the learned by joining up with the established denominations from which honor and wealth could be appropriated. Many a proud parent saw their grown children become exalted expositors of the law and sacred parchments, not knowing or apparently caring that such expositions had become stale and distant from those of the originals long before.

The great patriarchs, in a distant age, and later prophets, were said to be in close contact with what this strange and small people referred to as the One God. They had communed with Him and heard His great Words, and honored the great God with their lives. The people of the present knew conditions must have been much different and better in those days long ago and a few longed for such to be again.

SOLITARY MAN

The new Teacher did not take the traditional ministerial route. He was no mere ecclesiastic. He did not join the ranks of the powerful public officially-ordained clerics but struck out completely on His own. He was a solitary Man, a lone figure on the outer fringes, collecting not the learned ones from religious academies as student followers, but everyday men, fishermen and tradesmen, and even the lowborn and despised, like a certain tax collector. This merry band of misfits was truly unique and showed no future promise that anyone could see, and appeared destined, like so many others, for the scrap heap of wayward wonderers and wretched falsifiers.

Except, again, for the curious presence of those otherworldly occurrences that no one else had ever seen or experienced—those strange works that followed them wherever they went—those “extremely extraordinary events.” And when people saw the events, they also began paying more attention to this Man’s teachings and pronouncements. They noticed first, that His teachings were not actually so different at all from what they had grown up hearing, but secondly, that he delivered His teachings and pronouncements in a way that no one had ever done before or even heard of before. He was powerful. He never simply read a script or spoke in the usual dry and monotonous manner of the elders and priests, or carried any scrolls that anyone could see, but delivered His words as if somehow, in some unknown way, He actually was the words. His words did not simply fall to the ground or quickly dissipate in the immediate air as all were used to, but were delivered in a way in which the words entered directly into a person, like the air he or she breathed, and stirred his soul and revived his heart. It was not as if they were words, but food. They were like spiritual food. Yes, that was it.

Others came. They sat enthralled at what they were hearing. The Scriptures were coming alive as delivered by this obscure young Preacher, if one could call Him that. He was more like a Father teaching His children, but how could that be? He was so young. And a tradesman! He bore the mark of much physical strength and long toil in the hard and rough elements. No preacher or priest they knew ever looked like that. How does such a man have so much wisdom and ability? Old men with much experience, vaunted elders of the land, had not the vast wisdom and abilities of this Man.

Who is He?

TOTAL TRANSFORMATION

From the above description we can ascertain quite the contrast between The Lord’s original ministry and that of later forms of Christianity which obviously do not possess this powerful spiritual dynamic. Their character exposes them not so much as Christianity light but as entirely different entities. We fully understand such a contrast in other fields or subjects, when something vibrant and energetic either becomes downgraded over time through use, neglect, or attack, or when it is entirely replaced by a facsimile which merely poses as the original. Why don’t we consider this in the case of Christianity?

The same thing happened to the nation of ancient Israel. There was time when it reached a zenith among nations and was blessed with God’s full protection and providence. And all throughout its history to that point there was at the very least a strong Remnant of the faithful which kept the fire burning, but this didn’t last. The Remnant certainly lasted and remained as vibrant as ever. What changed was the number of spiritually energized participants holding true to the Word first delivered. The majority had drifted away from the heart of God and flaked off. Whatever they did outwardly, if they maintained the correct geography, or became members of an official religious order, didn’t matter. They had turned on the Lord in heart.

Thus we see when studying the history of the nation, a new majority arose which was not connected whatsoever to the original or in fellowship to the Remnant. They certainly were not connected to God. The fruit was not there. The same has happened in Christianity. It has happened because Christians allowed themselves to be torn from their roots and planted elsewhere under the authority of counterfeit vinedressers in entirely different vineyards. In time the forms of Christianity these Christians became associated with were essentially the only ones they knew. They did not know a variant curriculum had been foisted upon them or their parents or ancestors. And through the use of the usual religious fear tactics by those in charge to keep everyone on the plantation, they had no heart to attempt an escape but settled into their respective cultural practices and identities. They had become captured and it often passed from generation to generation.

It is the clear evidence of indoctrination. Their lives reveal religious programming. Why their brand doesn’t match first century Christianity does not matter to them because actual history does not matter, both because those who know it reject it and those who don’t have no frame of reference. As far as the latter are concerned, their denomination’s version of events is the only one that matters. This is a bad bridge to cross because the next step is actually defaming the originals as primitive and unenlightened, and unaware of “higher truths” arising later, an otherwise clear falsehood. This perspective also implicates the Lord Himself as a veritable imposter, meaning a “new Jesus” has been created in the minds of these unfortunate ones, both to make their faux forms work and also to relieve their conscience. When presented with the real Lord Jesus He appears to them as a foreigner and His real curriculum is seen as wholly incorrect, unworkable, and even strange.

BREAKING FREE

When we see the Lord for who He actually is we understand, as the Scriptures state, that He never changes. We are still in the Age of Grace. With reference to the Church it began at Pentecost. Nothing has changed regarding His pertinent commandments since then. What was done in the beginning remains in effect now. For those Christians who disagree, they may argue until the cows come home but have no leg to stand on and the Lord will never bless them. Until they get their hearts right before Him such Christians will never see what those people saw so long ago in His ministry. What He did then He is still doing now.

Maybe only a few have experienced this. Maybe the Remnant is comparatively small as it was in those OT times when the generational line was reduced to a thread. Or maybe many Christians are not doing their work to become good disciples, “rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Can it be that most are satisfied with far less than the Lord has appropriated? Don’t we all want the full blessing? Don’t we know our Lord will not only rain down His love but also His very Spirit to fill us with His energetic and vibrant life, to do as He did and as the early believers did? There comes a time when we need to get out more. Abundant life awaits for all those who seek it.

There’s a green pasture out there where dreams come true.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13][1]

© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 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 July 31, 2020, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It’s all about simply knowing God and walking with Him everyday, thankful for His incredible grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jesus introduced grace and faith into the world. Man turned it into religion and put formality and liturgy into it. Lots of good stuff here, RJ, but my favorite sentence?

    “What He did then, He is still doing now!” Amen!

    Like

    • Thank you Linda. And this is why there is always HOPE.

      The enemy tries to take our minds off the fact that the Lord is still very much in charge for those who love and follow Him, is still defeating the enemy, and is still winning the spiritual war. Whatever happens outside His kingdom is being driven by the enemy and sinful humans with their own opposing agenda, as always. If, on the other hand, someone could graph out what has happened in this world since the Lord’s resurrection one would see at least a steady overall climb from left to right with occasional highs. The enemy often resorts to crazy efforts to stop the success of the Lord’s kingdom but always fails, and if there is any correlation, the kingdom always gains from persecution or enemy debauchery. The devil will never win.

      He is certainly involved, however, in Unreal Christianity, which is essentially spiritually dead, but represents enough of a fake out to capture those who refuse to go all in with the Lord. So yes, the Lord Jesus, who has all power in heaven and earth, is still very much at work and His kingdom continues to advance. His grace remains available for those who believe.

      Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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