Monday, September 24, 2012

Mark 7:7-13 commentary: the offspring of the tradition of men

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

I think of the fools who refuse medical care to their children and say that prayer is all they’ll rely on, often resulting in the worsening condition of their children. They deny God’s power in giving the doctor knowledge or wisdom. They reject that there couldn’t even be a medical profession if God did not permit the truths of the human body to be revealed. They restrict God by saying that the person who heals is not of God but of something else. They have no real faith and, in fact, their faith reflects their worship of themselves. I’ve heard of the “power of prayer” more than I’ve heard of the power of the One we pray to, and I have even heard, God forbid, of the “magic of prayer”. How hideous.

We don’t refuse to eat and say that prayer will sustain us. No, we eat and thank God for His providence in providing food for us. People are insane when they reject this Book and try to operate as Christians apart from it, at least in America. They start making up their religion as they go along. I would say that most Christians are too busy worshipping themselves to be of any use to God. Do you have more faith in your faith than faith in Christ?

We have traditions; door knocking, passing out tracts, Sunday school, preaching, taking up an offering, the altar call, hymn singing, etc. and these traditions CAN wind up being the object rather than a method to achieve an end for Christ, although they aren’t wrong in themselves. Remember, there was no Sunday School until the end of the 1700’s and there was no church building until the late 200’s. These things are good but are not the end we seek but a means to the end, which is the salvation of men, women, and children and their discipleship and ultimately the glorification of Christ, who is God.

Something of note here in that, once again, using five out of thousands of minor manuscripts plus the Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the modern scholars have removed vital words from the Bible. The last part of verse eight beginning with “as the washing of pots and cups…” is missing in modern versions based on the corrupt manuscripts of the beginnings of the state-church at Rome. Jesus is showing that the washing of pots and cups for a religious reason was a man-made tradition. This part of the verse is found in the Byzantine text, but not in the Alexandrian text. Once again, the Alexandrian cult corrupts the Scripture by deleting words.

Let's take these traditions that really undercut God's authority and elevate man a step further. As Christianity became more accepted in the Roman Empire its spiritual nature was harmed by the influx of people with pagan ideals. If educated the ideals they brought in were based on Greek philosophy and so-called scientific speculations. If uneducated they brought in superstition. In Ancient Rome there were gods of the hearth, and gods of the nursery, and even gods of the doorway threshold. Between the time of the New Testament Christians and those of the time of the Emperor Constantine, when Christianity had been made the state religion, you went from Christians who would not acknowledge the pagan practices of burning incense to the emperor and supporting the many gods of the state to people becoming “Christian” so they could get a government job. It was not considered too unusual a circumstance for a rooster to be sacrificed on the church building’s steps before the congregant went inside to pay obeisance to another god.

These Pagan-Christians would make the sign of the cross, unheard of in the early days of the church, when they entered a doorway, the bath, partook of a meal, went on a trip, or made a business deal. They brought in their own baptism as a sacrament from their mystery religions. Baptism went from a type of your salvation (1 Peter 3:20-21), evidence of a prior condition of belief in the resurrection and trust in Christ, and obedience to Christ (Mark 16:16) in which verse it is most certainly evident that not being baptized doesn’t damn anyone, to salvation itself. Once baptism saved you, then it was a small step to go from dedicating a child to Christ to that infant being saved by sprinkling, which began only as a clinic baptism for people who were sick and unable to be immersed.

These traditions of men, having no place in the Scriptures, were placed on people who were ignorant and unknowing by people who wanted them to remain that way, people who claimed the spiritual benefits of Christianity without anything to commend them other than a philosophy and the approval of the functionaries of a state sanctioned church. It is no giant step for this dominant strain of philosophical Christianity, having no spiritual power, purpose, or place in Christ, to produce massacres of other Christians and non-Christians, to lead armies, murder Jews, and kill millions of people, saved and unsaved, in the name of their god, the god of this world.

Christ has never called Christians to kill anyone in His name. It has never happened and until He returns bodily to take over the kingdoms of this world (Revelation 11:15 with John 18:36) the desire to spread Christ’s message with blood and death shows that your god is not the God of the Bible, but Satan, the prince of the power of the air. These murders and sorceries and practice of political crafts throughout history in Christendom-dumb all began with non-Biblical traditions that become orthodoxy to the powerful pseudo-Christian world, that, not satisfied with slaughtering believers and hapless others in Europe and Asia spread their poison around the globe gathering slaves and gold, and justifying the conquest of nations and genocide by saying that they were spreading the gospel of Christ. [You cannot use the courses of the ancient Hebrews in Palestine as the example for the church because that was a singular event in history performed under conditions and under a Law that has nothing to do with the practice of the Biblical Christian church which information was given to us for our learning and edification (Galatians 3:24-25; Romans 15:4) not as the pattern for practice of our faith (1 Thessalonians 5:14, 15).]

Why am I connecting things that seem so different; a foolish man-made tradition and the conquest of the world? Because, the belief that there is a Christian nation that has a moral right to spread Christianity with fire and sword has its foundation in the belief that the church can add to God’s words and create non-Biblical traditions with which to burden men then imposing on the state to enforce those burdens with bloodshed and slaughter. It’s a small step.

All religions that combine some sense of spirituality with state power are wicked. Whether that power takes its inspiration in the Vatican, Mecca, Benares, or London it is wicked. Whether that religion beats Baptists and hangs Quakers in colonial Boston, murders millions of natives on Hispaniola under the direction of Spain (read Bartholome’ de las Casas “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies”), or beheads women for dressing immodestly in Algeria it is evil. And it all begins with thinking you have the right to add to God’s words or take them out of context.

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