Here is a message I preached a few weeks ago from Mark 7:1-13. There is a lot there I still need to learn! Here is a bit of it....
• Satan is no dummy. Right from the beginning, He knew that the way to hurt God and get mankind into a mess is to continually tempt us to disobey God's commandments...His Word. And in the process of this battle, two mistakes are made by man:
- The first is to not care "what thus says the Lord" and do our own thing in lust and carnality.
- The second is just as bad: to begin to create rules, rituals, methods, and life and ministry constructs not according to the Word, but according to the dictate and desires of man's sinful heart. And that is what makes the sort of hypocrisy in the text so bad: the traditions Jesus described flowed from man's sinful heart.
• The first error is the sin of the culture; the second error, if we aren't careful, is the sin of the church.
• And in both errors, the sin is that Scripture isn't Sufficient. Both represent rebellion against Christ.
- The first says, "Obeying Scripture won't make me happy or fulfilled or successful."
- The second says, "Obeying Scripture won't make me holy or anointed enough or sanctified enough."
• In both cases, man veers off into his own ideas. Let me say that again. In both cases, man drifts off into his own ideas...one into carnality and the other into legalism or pragmatism.
• The second error is particularly dangerous for the church. Why? The problem is two-fold:
- The development of a rule-based hypocrisy that goes beyond Scripture (common in holiness traditions).
- The development of a no-rules-based hypocrisy that works to eliminate the controls of Scripture.
• Bp. Hall said, "It is a dangerous thing, in the service of God, to decline from his institutions; we have to do with a God, who is wise to prescribe his own worship - just to require what he has prescribed - and powerful to avenge what he has not prescribed."
• So what we must strive for is to NEVER minimize God's Word, but NOT to go beyond It either. And to be honest, as a pastor, just reading this text makes me begin to think of anything we are doing in a "Corban" manner that actually mitigates against what God said.
• In other words, could it be dangerous to say "we are doing this for God" when God's Word forbids it, either by direct command, principle, or pattern?
Here is a challenge for each CRCC household: Have you set up anything in your life that deceptively makes you think you are obeying God, but in actuality causes the Word of God to be set aside?