Traditions Nullify the Word of God
The traditions of men nullify the Word of God just like Jesus said they would. I don’t know why that was so hard to figure out since it’s a direct quote. Traditions nullify the Word of God and cut us off from being able to hear God’s voice.
When you have a big mortgage payment for your “church” building and you’ve got all the programs, salaries, and all the stuff that are nowhere to be found in the Bible, it creates a certain pressure and a certain expectation. Men have to get in there and stay in control and do things and have things and promote things that are just not in the Bible anywhere.
So that was basically what we did when we moved to Indiana twenty some odd years ago now. The way we approached it was, Let’s pretend God dropped a Bible out of the sky and said, “Here’s what church is, here’s what a Christian is and here’s what a leader is. And here’s what it’s like when you get together as a church. Find the places in the Bible that describe what it looks like when the whole church is together.” When you start asking those kinds of questions everything changes.
The only place where it describes what it looks like when the whole church is together is in 1 Corinthians 14. “When you come together, brothers, everyone has a word of instruction, a song, a revelation. When revelation comes to the second, let the first one sit down.” That’s the only place in the whole Bible where it describes what it’s supposed to look like when the church is together.
And you can see in Hebrews 10:25 where it says, “Don’t forsake the gathering of yourselves together…” That’s just like we’re doing now. And “so much the more as the day of the Lord approaches.” As time gets short we need to be together like this. And if you look at the verse before that, in Hebrews 10:24, it says, “Consider how to spur one another on to love and good works.”
“Don’t forsake the gathering of yourselves together” is usually viewed as a Sunday verse. But there is no “Sunday” in that verse! It’s not in there. It’s be together as much as you can. As you see the day of the Lord approaching, be together as much as you can.
One way you can know it has nothing to do with Sunday is to insert “Sunday” in verse 25. “As you see Sunday approaching, do not forsake the gathering…” That means it won’t be Sunday that you’re gathering on because your Sunday is approaching which means you’re not even on Sunday, right? See what I mean? It can’t have anything to do with Sunday if you’re reading it intelligently.
So what do you do when you “gather yourselves together and all the more as the day of the Lord approaches”? (v. 25) What do you do? “Consider how to spur one another on to love and good works.” (v. 24) And that means we’re all participants. Which now all of a sudden that makes sense in view of 1 Corinthians 14: “When you come together, brothers, act like Jesus lives inside of you. Everyone brings a word of instruction, a psalm, a spiritual song, a revelation.”
Everyone acts like Jesus lives inside of them instead of having some medicine man preside over you like the other world religions have. They start you, stop you, control you, instruct you and all of you sit and watch the movie. Simon says, “Raise your hands when you worship.” Simon says, “Stand up. Sit down.” Simon says, “Say amen.” Simon says, “Stay awake during the sermon.” :)
That’s not what the Bible says, right?
So that’s what we did when we went to Indianapolis. It wasn’t “against” anybody. We had very good and still have great relationships with people. In any given week we probably have 15 different denominations write to us. Over the course of the year we have 200 different religious organizations or bodies or “ministries” or whatever, write to us and say, “Let’s dialogue. Let’s talk about these things.”
So we don’t have any wars going on. And when we moved to Indianapolis there was no war going on. It was just for us and for Jesus. Let’s just see what the Bible says and do that. And let’s try to eliminate if we can, all the trappings that confuse the issue even if they’re well intentioned. Let’s just try to see what the Scriptures say about these things and do that.
And twenty years later we’re very glad we did.:)