Jesus said we had to receive the rule of God as children if we were to experience it at all (Mark 10:15). Alas, most people aren’t willing to humble themselves that much.
Thanks for all you do, Mike. I agree with what you just said. Over the centuries many traditions have arisen that add to the simplicity of Christ within. I suppose that is OK if people realize that those traditions are personal and optional. The problem is that most people cannot see that and their traditions become rules which are binding on other people. Over the years I submitted to those rules. First it was because of family and then I wanted to be a pastor so I went to school and became mystified by all the rules and of course, which ones were binding on me. A lot of that was because subconsciously I knew I needed to choose one of them so I could get a paycheck. I am not saying there are no rules, but those rules are all covered by the teachings of Jesus. As God brings me into new situations He continuously shines the light on areas where I need to grow and if I fail, He restores my by His mercy and grace. I am still puzzled over my responsibility towards the PEOPLE in the churches. I know that I can’t be a part of that system anymore. Over the years I have tried to share with those people, but have met mostly deaf ears. What has God shown you about this?
My experience has been similar to yours.
When Jesus brought the gospel of the kingdom of God to Israel in the 1st Century, most of His fellow citizens were more interested in preserving the nation of Israel than they were in learning about God’s kingdom. And so it is today, with most Christians more interested in preserving the institutional church than in learning about God’s kingdom.
It is good to hear you say:
As God brings me into new situations He continuously shines the light on areas where I need to grow and if I fail, He restores my by His mercy and grace.
In this context, He can lead you to the peace and understanding you seek about any further responsibility you might or might not have to people in the church.
Tom, the teachings of Jesus are pivotal but it’s important to study the Old Testament so that the Lord can deepen our love of the Lord Jesus Christ, His teachings and His deeds.
You are right about the importance of the Old Testament, but I read nothing in what Tom wrote that would discourage me from regarding it as Jesus taught us to regard it: as in, for example, Matthew 5:17-19.
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