Posts Per Day: 5.82
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Rep Power: 45440
More right than left
Sinners cannot save sinners, nor can sinners save themselves.
"Beware of Men" by Robert D. Brinsmead -
August 5th, 2012, 01:55 PM
Robert D. Brinsmead is a Christian scholar and a lay theologine that resides in Australia. He is the retired editor and publisher of Verdict Magazine. Verdict was distributed world wide by Mr Brinsmead and a group of associates for about 25 years. The central theme was "The Gospel plus nothing and nothing but the Gospel" The publication was directed to pastors, theologians and other Christian scholars.
". . . beware of men . . . Jesus warned his disciples. He did not say, "Beware of bad men." The warning might just as well include good men. In things divine, in things that concern the worship of God, ". . . beware of men . . ." Matthew 10:17. Luther remarked that religion was never more endangered than when it was in the company of reverend men.
The Bible begins with the record of how the creator made man in his own image, Genesis 1:27. But something went wrong in this Creator-creature relationship. Now we see the creature trying to conform God to his own image. Idolatry is simply man's attempt to make God in his own likeness. Man wants to worship the god of his own conception, which is really only an extension of himself. Says the Lord, ". . . thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself . . ." Psalm 50:21. Human nature takes the doctrines of the Bible and bends them and molds them to suit the image of the god which man has set up in his own mind. Man has insatible urge to project himself into the work of God and mold it according to his own idea.
Man's disposition to conform God, His doctrines and His work to his own image, is condemned by the second commandment. God is jealous for His own image. The work of God is not to bear the image and superstitions of man. Therefore, ". . . beware of men . . ."
The Conscience and Human Authority
When God spoke the law on Mount Sinai, the very mountain was fenced in from the people. No human hands were permitted to touch even the mount, much less the law itself. Uzzah was slain when he put his hand on the ark. There is no place for human authority - whether it be the church authority, parental authority or civil authority; but when it comes to binding and loosing the conscience with moral and spiritual law, only God can legislate. he declares, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you," Duet. 4:2. The church is not called to be a legislator, but an ambassador, 2 Corinthians 5:20. An ambassador is not to impose his own laws or even express his own opinion. He represents only the will of the goverment which sends him. so Jesus charged his disciples, "Whatever you forbid on earth, shall have already been forbidden in heaven. And what ever you permit on earth shall have already been permitted in heaven," Matthew 18:18.
The pasage does not mean that heaven will ratify anything that men do down below in the name of church authority. The original verbs of the Greek text (as brought out in the proceding translation) make it clear that Christ charges his disciples that they must only forbid what has already been forbidden in heaven - nothing else. They are not to act out their own feelings and opinions. They are simply to declare what Christ has said. Thus the Lords prayer will be fulfilled, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," Matthew 6:10.
Unto no man or body of men has Christ delegated authority to legislate on doctrine. No authority other than God Himself should pass laws which can bind or loose the consciences of men. Said Christ " . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . . Matthew 28:20.
The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught - that which he had spoken, not only in person, but through prophets and apostles, included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man's theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ's servants to teach.
When the word of God is mixed with faith, it will profit the receiver. But when it is mixed with human opinions and decrees, it becomes like the bread which Ezekiel was commanded to eat. The Lord said into the prophet: "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches . . . and thou shall bake it with dung that cometh out of a man, in their sight. and the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread," Ezekiel 4:9, 12, 13.