The Five W’s of Denominationalism
Paul here wrote that we should beware of these elements of religion’s denominationalism, which is built largely upon Srcipture taken out of context, and mixed with men's biased sectarian philosophies, tradition, and ideas, which then corrupts the Apostle Paul's “gospel of the grace of God” that says to simply ... “believe on (trust in) the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Act 16:31)
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8 KJV).
Believers should be wary of Satan’s false “ministers of righteousness.”
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the (false) apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the (false) ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Men’s religion pollutes your mind, causing you to forget that believers are “complete (lacking nothing) in Christ” (Colossians 2:10)!
As I’ve witness in my 45 years, man-controlled Religion’s uses a five-step plan (below) that serves to take a new Christian’s mind off of God’s all-sufficient provision of Christ’s Cross and life for them. Man controlled, religion keeps the believer’s mind focused on himself, on his performance under Religion’s rules and on his futile self-effort to try and make himself more acceptable in order to be blessed by God.
- Win ‘em! — First, they convert “unchurched” people to their denomination. Very rarely is a clear or complete Gospel presentation given. Often the person is still lost, still going to eternal judgment, although appearing to be going to heaven because he or she is now a “churched” individual.
- Wet ‘em! — They then use Israel’s water baptism program to put their names on the church membership roll. Sadly, there are ever so many people in the world who base their eternal salvation on a water ceremony. One day, they will learn what a failure that kind of “salvation” is!
- Work ‘em! — They give them various rules and regulations to follow for God’s acceptance; some from Israel’s program and some are strictly manmade by the denomination. These may include; an expected number of daily prayers, a very thorough daily confession of sins, holy book reading, keeping obligatory holy days or feast days, generous almsgiving, tithing, and other “donations.” Even the clergy have difficulty remembering and obeying all these manmade ecclesiastical laws, which often are drawn from Israel’s program… not applying in today’s age of “the dispensation of the grace of God”!
- Whip ‘em! — They punish people who do not perform as the denomination requires; this may include excommunication, shunning, threats about how God will curse them, how they are disobeying God or blaspheming His name or Spirit, et cetera.
- Watch ‘em! — They watch to see if their members straighten up or if they need more church discipline. Some have been known to send scouts to spy on suspicious members. If someone is caught “out of line,” it I’s time for another strike with the “whip!”
This in essence, Religion’s five-step plan is for building their man-built, man-controlled religious organizations. I am Not referring to Scientology, but very staunch so-called “Bible Based Churches.”
Oh, what a “weak and beggarly” system performance-based religion is (cf. Galatians 4:9)!
By contrast, what a strong and rich system grace is! We are accepted before God by simple faith in Jesus Christ! “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31). May we not let religion rob us of such clarity and simplicity! It is God who died for us and saved us, by grace through faith alone in Christ … as the gift of God.” (cf. Eph. 2:8-9).
The fact is that after our Salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, He does the work of Transforming us from inside out!
“For It Is God Which Worketh In You both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phili. 2:13)
“Being confident of this very thing, that He Which Hath Begun A Good Work In You Will Perform It Until The Day Of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6)