"Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me...
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?"
Galatians 2:4-6, 11-14
I think there must be many secret societies going on behind closed doors of the church world. I can't understand why whole christian organizations get away with murder, while the people in other similar organizations smile and say "I think they're real nice". Preaching law is akin to spiritual murder. (*2 Cor. 3:6-8
Paul did not privately address a few false teachers (Galatians, he even publicly rebuked Peter! ch.2) with his concerns, he wrote very public letters, showing his anger very publicly, in fact, one might say he ranted and raved when it came to wolves trying to put God's children back under bondage and slavery. He actually pronounced a double curse on anyone who preached any other gospel but the one he preached (*Galatians 1:8-9). This should stop many preachers in their tracks, they should be trembling in fear, but instead they are swaggering drunk with conceit.
I'm tired of the so-called leaders of the church (I'm talking church universal) patting each other on the back, telling each other jokes, and writing up impressive intoductions to each others books all the while one or the other is teaching demonic lies that are destroying the people who follow them. These men are worse than dogs and mutilators of the flesh (*Phil. 3:2-4), they are mutilating souls.
I'm not one of those people who likes to be a watch dog, you know, going around barking about this person in error or that one. I don't think I'm nitpicky, but come on, can't we examine the fruits (or more accurately works) of a ministry and be honest? This peace at any cost idea, love means never telling the truth about the 'important' men of the church, this butter-my-bread-and-I'll-butter-yours doctrine is ridiculous. It's a ring of fear, each man fearing for his own name and reputation, not caring what God thinks of it all but choosing to be ashamed of the Gospel for the sake of his standing among the respectable religious of the 'church'. This makes me sick, really. And angry, angry for the souls of all those who pour out their lives, their families' lives, their wallets, and their hearts to these cowards, thinking that they are God's ambassadors on this earth. They are not. (And I can honestly tell you and I'm not thinking of any particualar ministry here, but more of a jumbled mess of things I've seen everywhere over my life growing up in the church world in general.)
But we are! Every one of us who put our faith in Jesus and his good news. We are not ambassadors who never make a mistake, but we are ambassadors who are not ashamed of the gospel once we have received revelation from heaven of who Jesus really is! And some of the men I'm talking about will live to receive the same revelation, just as Paul did. He was a persecuter of those who in the eyes of the law and religion were crazy fools, but in the moment of the thunderous voice of God and a flash of brilliant light everything changed! So it was for all of us who have received grace and mercy and know we are dearly loved of our Father.
I don't know why, but I feel very compelled lately to speak, or should I say write, very strongly against legalism in the church. At the bottom of it is the violent love of God for his people! I feel his love as I write, I read Galatians and my heart is breaking, tears are welling up in my eyes! God's people have turned away from his glorious grace, from the unsurpassed sacrifice of his only beautiful Son, and gone back to law as a dog returns to it's vomit. It's time to cast out the maid servant's son and stop allowing the legalists to bully the children of freedom!
Let's grow up in grace and stand strong and proud of Jesus! We must never yeild or submit in the face of even the most vicious attacks from those who have fallen from grace, but it is imperative that we preserve the truth of the gospel in these last days. It is not love to watch a brother veer from the truth of the gospel without speaking out, it is hate.
Even as I write this, I'm unsure of what it means for me. I have been careful to avoid publicly criticising people or ministries by name (on this blog, but have sometimes been more specific elsewhere) because of their serious and destructive false doctrines . At this point, I will continue to address the false doctrines without 'naming names'(on here), but perhaps the fear of naming names is not coming from the Holy Spirit. There are names that are named in Scripture, recorded for all time as falling prey to error! I think we have lost boldness and power, not because we love so much, though we like to think of this as the reason, but because we care very much what men think of us or how they might try to slander or persecute us in retaliation! I'm just not sure we can stand for grace without also standing against legalism...it's time to let our "yes" be "YES" and our "no" be "NO"!!!
* 2 Cor. 3:6-8 "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?"
* Galatians 1:8-9 "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
*Philippians 3:2-4 "Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence."