Traditions and Traditionalism

Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Preliminary commentary

But This Is the Sabbath! (John 5:1-46) 12/02/01

Rubel Shelly: In an interview with a national newsmagazine several years ago, historian Jaroslav Pelikan - who taught on the faculty at Yale University from 1962-96 and authored more than 30 books related to his discipline - said:

Tradition is the living faith of the dead;

traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.

Tradition lives in conversation with the past, while remembering we are where and when we are and that it is we who have to decide.

Traditionalism supposes that nothing should ever be done for the first time, so all that is needed to solve any problem is to arrive at the supposedly unanimous testimony of this homogenized tradition.[1]

Does this mean that the living faith at one period of time suddenly become tradition at another time? Is the living faith of my parents built upon the Word of God suddenly destructive traditionalism for me? Am I really that superior? No. God provided a way to "sieve out" the Post Modern hammers on the Word.

My four-year old granddaughter was trying to tell her mother the facts.

Her mother asked: "When did you get smarter than me?"

She responded quite logically: "When I turned three."

I find it mind boggling that the 2,000 year old facts have suddenly become obsolete right here in our own inspired generation. I am astounded that truth had to await the Baby Boomers (Infantile Drummers). You grew up in the MODERN period but things have changed so fast that you are now in the POST-MODERN period where the Word of God doesn't work like it did when it was YOU WHO HAD TO DECIDE. But, isn't every micro-second of time really Post-Modern? Yes, and I am waiting for the next young turks to show the modern STRIPPED OF BRAIN UNIVERSITY generation just how juvenile they have been.

When I read my very ancient physics or radio theory books I find that the laws haven't changed. People still "go boom, all fall down" when they try to step off tall buildings.

But, only poor ignorant old obsolete God as the CREATOR doesn't have the power to establish rules for the Spirit which survive the ME-RIGHT-NOW generation. God WAS modern but WE have to decide: Christ had His "assignment" but that was then and we are now and WE have to get our Blackaby-King assignment to be the Moses or Christ for OUR time in the sun.

Traditionalism is not age-dependent. If it is not Biblical then it is a new tradition or an older pagan tradition. If it is Biblical truth which has been handed down through the reliable text then it is a Biblical TRADITION or teaching.

If I make up the new rule of Narrative Theology or Post-Modernism then that becomes our tradition the instant it spews out of our ignorant mind.

Using the Pharisee as the standard by which we measure others, traditionalism means "post modern." It means that we need to do something for which there is no direct command so we claim that following direct commands is not a Biblical principle. However, if all of the history defends one view and we decide to violate all of the known evidence and invent a "new style of worship" then we are repeating the tricks of the Pharisee and our new method is traditionalism.

Therefore, rejecting Commands, Examples and Inferences it a brand new traditionalism which none of the church fathers or denominational founders would agree with.

Why it is important to teach Biblical Truth with Biblical Words.

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. Mt.15:2

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Mt.15:3

Therefore, in a bad sense, TRADITIONALISM is deciding that we can transgress the message to TEACH the Word and just sing and play OUR words. We do what we do because we want to ignore what God said to do: that IS THE ONLY MEANING OF TRADITIONALISM.

And to accuse those who obey Paul's commands with being TRADITIONALISTS in an evil sense is pure ignorance. If we obey Paul for ten thousand years it will still be God's Traditions and not Man's traditions.

But from a Biblical standpoint, a tradition is something taught and transmitted:

Paradosis (g3862) par-ad'-os-is; from 3860; transmission, i.e. (concr.) a precept; spec. the Jewish traditionary law: - ordinance, tradition.

The Bible makes no discinction betwee traditionalism and Command keeping. There are traditions of men and traditions of God:

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. Col.2:8

However, the TRADITIONS handed down from God are what gives authority for the Christian System:

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances (g3862 traditions), as I delivered them to you. 1Co.11:2

Dr. Shelly and the Post Modern Patternism believes that the letters from the apostles have been sifted and no longer authority in the same sense as the seven facts about Jesus. However, Paul didn't attend Post Modern University:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions (g3862 traditions) which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 2 Th.2:15

The elders as the only Pastor-Teachers of the local flock must meet this definition of holding fast to the TRADITIONS:

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:9

Therefore, the Christian traditions consist of the "message as it has been taught."

Are we to conclude that holding on to the message as it has been taught is destructive traditionalism? So it seems.

If a religious practice is done just because God has not decided to ESTABLISH A TRADITION then our practices are HUMAN TRADITIONS and our worship is vain worship.

If the "tradition" taught by Paul was to worship God by giving heed to the Word (Spirit) of Christ in TEACHING which is PREACHING then that becomes the tradition until a qualified Apostle comes along and changes it.

We are bound to that TRADITION and that is what we are commanded to do. But, a tradition in the Biblical sense is not like running a superhighway over the old buffalo trail just because of "tradition."

Traditionalism is holding fast to the Word as it has been taught. The alternative is to believe that a modern "tradition" is more valid that one taught by Christ and validated by the testing of 2,000 years.

If by rejecting the notion of "traditionalism" one decides to change the melody from inward meditation to outward melody (psallo) then they have added an abrading, discord sowning element which destroys the unity made possible by teaching the Word.

This is still just our TRADITION but it has no anchoring power to the Word of God. We are no less TRADITIONALISTS but we are destructive TRADITIONALISTS.

Contrary to "unity in diversity" or "affirming the Samaritants" Paul demanded that the non-traditionalists be disfellowshiped:

And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 2Th. 3:4

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. 2Th. 3:5

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition (g3862 ordinances) which he received of us. 2Th.3:6

The Post Modern view is that Paul never had any authority: only his own interpretation filtered through the philosophical "sifter" and his own personal agenda.

For those who believe that Paul was Spirit-guided others who violate those "traditions" are not suitable for fellowship in the Christian Church which has the Bible as the Christian Document.

Another form of TRADITION is an APPROVED EXAMPLE. If one is going to KNOW CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED as qualified to be an evangelist this is how you do it:

> For yourselves know how ye ought to follow (mimic) us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly (insubordinate) among you; 2Th. 3:7

> Neither did we eat any mans bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 2Th. 3:8

Paul could have insisted on normal hospitality but in order to set "an approved example" he earned his own bread:

Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 2Th. 3:9

> For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thes 3:10

Mouth religion rather than Mind Worship is a tradition where "tradition" here means "not Biblical."

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Isaiah 29:13

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Isaiah 29:14

The Post-Modern view is the Pre-Modern view: when people build religion based on the precepts or traditions of men then God will plug your ears and blind your eyes: your wisdom will perish and a six year old will be able to see through the silliness.

A modern tradition is something just made up by men according to the principles of the World. Dr. Shelly believes that we are sinning if we do not "baptize" the rudiments of the world and "color" them Christian.

However, as worship means to "give heed" to God and His Word, performance preaching takes they mind away from God; "musical worship teams" take the mind off Christ and incite and excite to lust (gender-variant).

Because the word "music" is never used in a SCRIPTURAL sense other than to show that people want their minds taken off the Word, any "musical" concept is going well beyond the traditionalism of the Pharisees and making them look highly spiritual. They would never try to speak for Jesus by using a feminine or effemine stand-up team using the authority called authentia which is both erotic and murderous.

The as-revealed Biblical Traditions repudiates music or theatrical preaching which are traditions taught by men and therefore produce VAIN WORSHIP.

Therefore, the non-musical church assembly is defined by Dr. Shelly as destructive traditionalism even though it has Biblical authority for teaching through singing.

"Music" comes solely out of the TRADITION OF ANCIENT PAGANISM--as the Catholic Encyclopedia confesses--but it is defined as loving, grace bringing liberty.

This is consistent with Dr. Shelly's appeal to Constantine and the Catholic church in "baptizing" the S.U.N. to represent (be an idol) the S.O.N.

But this leaves the Post-Moderns out on a limb because the Catholics confess that their TRADITIONS are not BIBLICAL TRADITIONS but PAGAN CULT'S TRADITIONS.

Why, then, are Catholic traditions such as S.U.N. worship at Christmas and Easter and the introduction of instrumental music so much more an expression of God's grace than those who simply rest on the Word "as it has been taught?"

Rubel Shelly: I thought of that quote as I began reading, studying, and preparing to preach today's text from the Gospel of John. To be sure, this information about the healing of a paralyzed man, the challenge to Jesus about what he had done, and his response to the indictment can be appealed to for several important lessons.

One could simply stress the importance of our doing more to imitate Jesus' concern for the sick, vulnerable, and suffering.

One could pursue the theme of spiritual sickness, blindness, and insensitivity over against unresponsive limbs. Or one could trace out with great profit the bold claims Jesus makes for himself as the Son of God in the exchange with his critics.

We'll give these only passing notice and focus instead on how easy it is for religion to get in God's way.

Religion Gets in God's Way

Every individual, every family, and every religious group develops traditions. From personal reading or TV habits to special holiday meals to focus areas for ministry, we evolve time-honored and customary ways of doing things. So far, so good. We need these habits and routines. They define us. They introduce our children into a culture. They help us know how to respond to challenges and new circumstances. They give us a sense of continuity with the past, a sense of depth, a sense of secure belonging. As Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof: "Because of our traditions, everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do."

My mother spoiled me: she began the tradition of feeding me when I was born and I have never gotten over it. Traditions in Dr. Shelly's human sense can be changed like old clothes. However, from Plato onward, scholars have noted that music is one of the most stabalizing traditions known to mankind. Plato said that when people changed the "music" they intended to change the LAWS or traditions.

Those who change musical traditions are bent on Navigating the Winds of Change. The "music" is not the issue: the issue is to emotionally disorient you to "tenderize" you and make the changes to the TRADITION easier to facilitate.

The TRADITIONS taught by Christ the Spirit and handed down by the writers in the Word of God are to be held. These are not "traditions" in the definition Dr. Shelly proposes. Rather, these are eternal traditions or ordinances.

There is nothing which can happen now or in the future which will make obsolete the need to repudiate pagan practices which takes the mind off God and His Word, nor which will obsolete the primary meaning of worship as "giving heed to the Word."

Even if reading and explaining the Word causes every member to leave and the Thought Leaders to come in and hang us on the cross, the fact is established on Christ Himself and giving heed to the Document of the Christian Faith is what makes one a Christian. The moment Tevye's family marries my family and we have to change the Word or ourselves to "become as much like the world as possible" then we may be Tevye's family but we cease to be Christ's family.

Any ritual performed in the belief that it has "power" is RELIGION. Dr. Shelly believes that the new "traditional praise music" has the power to move the worshipers into the presence of God. They will get no closer to God than the praise teams violating the direct commands of Paul. And Paul promised that "He is not far from all of us." He isn't lost as David often thought.

The feeling produced by the theatrical performance--and secretly violating what many think is the law against performance singing and women exercising sexual power--creates feelings all over. This is "spiritual anxiety created by religious ceremony" and that is what Jesus Christ died to ELEMINATE.

This "lading" is what people do to pack animals:

Phortizo (g5412) for-tid'-zo; from 5414; to load up (prop. as a vessel or animal), i.e. (fig.) to overburden with ceremony (or spiritual anxiety): - lade, be heavy laden.

Jesus removed most of the "elements" from a performed or ceremonial religious part of the Christian religion. Musical ceremonies especially work by creating spiritual anxiety. This is why some flee, some fight and some have sex with God. Jesus died to remove that laded burden and to give us rest.

Rubel Shelly: Ah, but Tevye puts his finger on the problem with evolved human traditions in that statement. They are valuable. They steady and comfort us. But they are not sacred divine expectations.

They must always yield to the exigency of new situations. Family rituals may, for example, become onerous and divisive rather than stabilizing if they don't change as family members alter their life situations. Children go off to college.

Marriage demands the blending of two sets of family traditions. Grandchildren are born. Each of these situations demands a reshaping of rituals - or there is trouble.

"Because of our traditions" as handed down in the Word of God, everyone knows who he is and what God expects of him. If we want to do something contained within the Biblical Traditionalism such as sing congregationally then we are approved by God.

However, if we want to "marry" the pagan musical practices which is their traditionalism then Paul would say that you cannot be part of my family.

Don't let any of the professors make the word TRADITION into an ugly word.

We might celebrate secular birthdays according to the customs but the customs are not TRADITIONS in the approved Biblical sense. If grandchild wants to Rap or Rock as part of our "worship" and create "spiritual anxiety" among the older generation this violates the BIBLICAL TRADITIONALISM. At no time in the future nor place in space can one change Biblical pattern without ceasing to be Christian.

One cannot, for instance, ever blend a Biblical non-musical tradition with a musical tradition. This would be like blending water and oil. What you can do is to actively promote the musical, non-Biblical tradition and force people to "marry" the musical family or get out.

We do not believe that this is a "marriage" any more than tying two cat's tails together creates unity.

Rubel Shelly: An inflexible soul who insists that everything must be kept as it has always been will soon be resented - even if catered to - by all parties involved. Someone is making a valued tradition into a soul-shriveling, anger-generating, absence-fostering traditionalism. What once helped stabilize a family can become a medium to destabilize it.

That is why, in the imagry of Isaiah, the REMNANT will be "a tiny drop of juice, from a rotten grape, from a dried up cluster, from a bare vine, from a vineyard whose walls God has broken down" so they can enjoy their musical, new wineskins religious festivals.

If you cannot stand having someone NOT AFFIRM you or applaud you then you need to get out of the Christian business.

Jesus and Paul insisted that worship has not changed: all people worshiped God (even David without his harp) by giving heed to God and His Word. For that, they were both murdered. And that is much worse than being resented.

The people complained that Jesus wouldn't dance, that John wouldn't drink wine, that he really wasn't soft (homosexual), that John was morose: none of these guys are fun and games.

They resented the fact that Jesus wouldn't endorse their temple rituals and indeed they got the message that their Money Tree was going to be cut down and soon.

They resented the fact that He claimed to be God. They resented the fact that He was not the Messiah or Warrior David who would "sing to the Gentiles" with his foot on their necks. This "David" was actually going to die FOR the Gentiles rather than kill them all. But Jesus didn't affirm the Gentiles: everyone had to come to Him in faith and obedience.

Jesus and Paul mortally shriveled souls, generated anger and fostered absence from their sermons. They had to be "despised and rejected of men or they had no validity."

I can think of no more soul shattering, ego shriveling, anger generating experience than to have Lord Jesus Christ come into our assembly where the TEAM is trying to have sex with God. If I found myself even present I believe that I would just 'give up the ghost' and turn into ashes.

It would appear that the "absence" has been fostered by turning "worship" into a boy and girl show. Musical performance generates endorphins in the body. This is related to fight, flight or sex. Many are attracted to the flaunted 'female authority' which is both "erotic and murderous." Many flee as they might from an art musuem restroom. Still others are enraged by the music and rise up to fight. That is why Paul ABSOLUTELY OUTLAWED it in Romans 15, Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3.

That is why scholars are confused that all musical terms and instrument names seem connected to destructive warfare and even to the Devil.

The rise of dominant pastors and the universities taking over where God left off has causes people to be absent.

Theatrical performance or "Holy Entertainment" will attract the goats or those already brain damaged by music but why should we "tithe and more" when we can, as preachers brag, steal all of that "Christian music" off the internet?

Why should I get involved when a church's "Ministry Plan" looks like the pyramidal organization God promised Israel when they repudiated Him as King and demanded a human king to be able to worship like the pagans? Church is not "community" but school and cummunity means commune which attracts the weak.

When I have chased down old wives tales I have always found them to be false. Gallup said that 80% of preacher's "first person illustrations" are just invented by the preacher. Now, it might just be an Urban Legend. However, the following quote may illustrate why the MUSICAL AND ENTERTAINMENT TRADITION at home may just naturally follow into churches:

Rubel Shelly: The same thing can be said about tradition versus traditionalism in religion. Leith Anderson tells the story of a Danish Lutheran Church where people filed in, walked to the front of the center aisle, and - facing a plain white wall - reverently bowed. Then each worshipper took his or her regular seat. A visitor was curious enough about the ritual to ask for an explanation, but neither laity nor clergy in the church seemed to know the origin or justification for the practice.

With the curiosity of several aroused now, further research revealed that there was an elaborate painting of the Virgin Mary behind the layers of white paint on the blank wall. That painting dated back several hundred years to a time before the Protestant Reformation when the structure was a Roman Catholic worship center. When the church became Protestant and the painting was covered over, the worshipers just kept coming in and bowing. Generations later, the practice was still being perpetuated - even though the reason had long since been forgotten. Such is the power of religious tradition.

Part of this story is repeated by a Baptist page which notes that we are free from the STATUTES OF MEN but not of God.

Other churches tore down the pipe organs and used the pewter to make communion cups. They knew that MUSIC had never been a worship word and was not so even after adopted by the Catholics. Music was a Seeker Sucker device as they admit. They also admit that congregational singing was the TAUGHT BIBLICAL TRUTH and should be restored.

First, we should notice that this bowing was violating the letter and principle of God in bowing to any image. The Pharisees did not hold on to traditions of the culture: Jesus said that they were Post Modern. They made up their own rituals specificially to ignore the Word of God. Then, they turned Synagogue over to making long speeches and prayers so that they could "steal the houses of widows."

The "rise of pompous preaching" was a Catholic tradition. They invented it to GIVE WORSHIP to the preacher and so that no one else could dialog in violation of Pauls absolute demand that no one speak without being tested.

"With the victory of Christianity and the development of the service

came a soaring of the sermon. Preaching became more frequent, being employed even during the week and during fast seasons in some places daily.

As the Church during that period assimilated more and more Greco-Roman culture, the sermon developed para passu.

The most noted Christian preachers had not seldom been educated in the rhetorical schools of the heathen,

and employed in their sermons the rule of rhetoric and the artistic effects taught there, and polish became almost an end, often giving more brilliancy than warmth.

The hearers came to look for esthetic satisfaction rather than for edification, leaving after the sermon and before the Eucharist." (The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Preaching, p. 150, Period 300-450 A. D.).

The congregation "gives attention to" the preacher or "team" as focus point for Christ. Christ does not stand: He reads the Word and has the common decency to sit down. However, as adopted Catholic tradition and traditionalsm a small but growing group of people do not know why they bow to the "vicar of Christ" preaching Anderson. But, perhaps it has cultural value even if it leaves the body hungering and thirsting for the Word taken away by cut N paste sermons and silly, erotic praise songs.

HERE IS A TRADITION RUBEL SHELLY IS NOT GOING TO ABANDON!

"Surely official preaching has no authority, either in Scripture, reason, or experience, and it must come to an end sooner or later." (Pulpit Commentary, 1 Cor. p. 464). The operative word is "teach" among believers: See R. L. Dabney, Presbyterian on preaching rather than teaching. Contemporary of but no friend of Alexander Campbell.

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM, APOSTASY FROM THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT: "The system of sermonizing on a text is now almost universally abandoned by all who intend that their hearers should understand the testimony of God." Alexander Campbell, The Christian System. See Regenerating the Church.

Where it still exists, the Restoration Movement does not exist because:

"Those who lord it over the people will soon begin to destroy them. The word Balaam means 'the destroyer of the people.' If we turn back to the history of this strange figure as recorded in the book of Numbers we find that which clarifies three passages in the New Testament where 'the error of Balaam' (Jude 11), 'the way of Balaam' (II Pet. 2:15) and 'the doctrine of Balaam' are discussed." (Barnhouse, D.G., Revelation, Zondervan, p. 54

Destruction comes when there is a distinction between clergy and laity: clergy intends to silence the laity.

The Apostle Peter refutes Rubel Shelly and the whole Post-Modern work of children "painting" the Bible in their own colors to rise to the heap of the pool of "scholars."

For we have not followed, when we made known unto you the power and cunningly devised fables coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 2 Peter 1:17

And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 2 Peter 1:18

It is the Word of Christ which He said was "Spirit and Life" (John 6:63) which we are to give heed to as our primary act of worship:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:19

Taking Heed is: Proserchomai (g4334) pros-er'-khom-ahee; from 4314 and 2064 (includ. its alt.); to approach, i.e. (lit.) come near, visit, or (fig.) worship, assent to: - (as soon as he) come (unto), come thereunto, consent, draw near, go (near, to, unto).

Christ came as The Teacher and fired the "doctors of the law" because they always "took away the keys to knowledge." He explained the prophesies or put that into the hands of inspired men.

Therefore, while they were "narrating" the Old Testament they were under the direct inspirition of Christ the Spirit.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Pe.1:20

Interpretation is not remotely available to the preacher. If he is uniquely selected to interpret then he would have been able to inspire:

Epilusis (g1955) ep-il'-oo-sis; from 1956; explanation, i.e. application: - interpretation.

Epiluo (g1956) ep-ee-loo'-o; from 1909 and 3089; to solve further, i.e. (fig.) to explain, decide: - determine, expound.

Sorry, old Filthy Lucre Seekers: God took preachifying, versifying and harmonizing the Word out of your hands: once for all times. If you are doint it it is because you are pulling TRADITIONALISM WOOL over the eyes of the sheep you have blinded.

Second, the early church (ekklesia, synagogue) was not a Worship Center: the worship center is the individual human spirit giving heed to God's Spirit through His word. The synagogue was "school" of the Bible and "allegorizing" the Bible was against Rabinnic law.

Alexander Campbell Warned: The congregations of the saints want system in furthering the knowledge of this book. The simple reading of large portions in a desultory manner is not without some good effect; for there is light, and majesty, and life, in all the oracles of God; no man can listen tos them without edification.

But the profit accruing from such readings is not a tithe of that which might be obtained in the proper systematic reading and examination of them.

The congregation is the school of Christ, and every pupil there should feel that he has learned something every day he waits upon his Master. He must take the Master's book with him, and, like every other good and orderly pupil, he must open it and study it, with all the helps that the brotherhood, his school-fellows, can furnish for his more comprehensive knowledge of all its salutary communications.

Peter took the silly Narrative Theologians out of the "feeding trough" because:

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21

Therefore, don't let the PRIVATE INTERPRETERS IN because they will claim authority from "Anderson" or some one else and deny that Jesus came to validate His Deity and Preach the Word once for all times. Peter applies that to the future-tense prophets or preachers:

BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1

Therefore, Scripture never calls the building a Worship Center but Paul told Timothy to do what Jesus Christ claimed that He did: don't speak it unless it comes from the Father.

Now, you can be a Narrative Theologian but you cannot at the same time possible "teach the Word as it has been taught" because you presume greater authority. Paul agreed with Peter and Jesus;

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 tim 4:13

Prosecho (g4337) pros-ekh'-o; from 4314 and 2192; (fig.) to hold the mind (3563 impl.) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to: - (give) attend (-ance, - ance at, -ance to, unto), beware, be given to, give (take) heed (to, unto) have regard.

Nous (g3563) nooce; prob. from the base of 1097; the intellect, i.e. mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by impl. meaning: - mind, understanding. Comp. 5590

This word has the same meaning as spirit.

Other versions make it clear that this is the public assembly:

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 1 Ti 4:13NIV, NAS, RSV,

Until I get there, read and explain the Scriptures to the church; preach God's Word. 1 Tim 4:13LIV

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 tim 4:13

Pagan teams do not worship for us or lead us into worship or replace Christ as "mediator" by "leading the worshipers into the presence of God." The place of Worship is:

Prosecho (g4337) pros-ekh'-o; from 4314 and 2192; (fig.) to hold the mind (3563 impl.) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to: - (give) attend (-ance, - ance at, -ance to, unto), beware, be given to, give (take) heed (to, unto) have regard.

Nous (g3563) nooce; prob. from the base of 1097; the intellect, i.e. mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by impl. meaning: - mind, understanding. Comp. 5590

This word has the same meaning as spirit.

Other versions make it clear that this is the public assembly:

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 1 Ti 4:13NIV, NAS, RSV,

Until I get there, read and explain the Scriptures to the church; preach God's Word. 1 Tim 4:13LIV

Rubel Shelly: Incredible! A man whose limbs had been powerless for 38 years was well, and the legalistic religionists of Jerusalem set out to persecute Jesus rather than to praise him, learn from him, and further his ministry of compassion! And try to visualize this from the perspective of the healed man. His life had just been transformed by Jesus, but the joy of that event is going to be overshadowed by the legalism he is called to debate.

Jesus fired the "doctors of the law" because they "take away the keys to knowledge." Instead, Christ authorized a band of compassionate men so dedicated that they would go into all the world and preach the compassion of Jesus.

Jesus did not send them out to build "seeker centers" to meet the needs of the lust of the eyes, ears and flesh. He did not send them ot to heal bodies but to heal souls.

Because today's preachers don't have body-healing power through 12 step programs or psychological counselling or providing a Car Repair Ministry, their job is to heal souls. That healing power is dispensed ONLY by the Great Physician.

God's mission is not to heal the external but the internal:

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; Luke 4:25

But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. Luke 4:26

And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. Luke 4:27

And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, Luke 4:28

And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. Luke 4:29

Therefore, as a Local Temple or Venue for Holy Entertainment (Abbadon's job) has no Biblical foundation but is based on pagan TRADITIONALISM, one who refuses to go out into the cold of the mission fields is steadfastly refusing to administer the compassion of Christ.

Rubel Shelly: Jesus began his response to the legalists by telling them, "My Father is still working, and I also am working" (5:17). God sustains the cosmos constantly. He is sovereign over all people and all things without taking any time off. So, since Jesus is God enfleshed, he has every right to be who he is and to do what his nature calls him to do all the time. He wasn't "breaking the sabbath" but simply being who he was - and modeling the truth for mortal onlookers that the sabbath rules had never been designed to prohibit kindness.

But are we reading too much into this to see his "My Father" as a claim to deity for himself? Indeed not. The people present that day understood it so, and he didn't take it back or disclaim their interpretation of his words.

But Jesus answered them, "My Father is still working, and I also am working." For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes . . ." (5:17-21).

Jesus or Religion?

Unless we get over some of our "hung-upness" - is that word? - about religion, we are going to continue missing Jesus. We won't see him. We won't understand his words.

We won't be able to reveal him to others -

and will, indeed, get in the way of his effort to make himself known to them.

Alexander Campbell noted that we cannot bring anyone closer to Christ than we presently are. Therefore, we cannot REVEAL Christ to others. The PATTERNISM is to LIVE CHRIST CRUCIFIED and the TEACH WHATEVER HE TAUGHT OR REVEALED. We can plant and water but we are not so powerful that we can give the increase.

The Apollyon Seeker Systems actually believe that they are the images of God and that they are mediators and that music can "lead the worshipers into the presence of God."

Ulrich Eggers, a leading German evangelical who served as press spokesman at the Hamburg sessions, stresses that Willow Creek's "central message has nothing to do with drama or music,

but rather with the living portrayal of dedicated Christians."

"Yet Eggers is worried that liberals may only accept the methodology and forms of this program. He says nothing can change "unless content is changed; the gospel must become a matter of the heart." Christianity Today

Jesus spoke only what He as Son heard from the Father. Jesus read the Word and then sat down. Jesus made a point that not even God wills to get in the way of His Word.

Rubel Shelly: Yes, we must honor and live within the limits of Scripture. We must regard the written Word of God as authoritative. It is the single document in all the world that is God-breathed and capable of making known his will for our lives.

Maybe it is because I am just an engineer that I am not fast enough to keep up. Or is this called dodging and weaving; push a little here and back off and preach in the Zone of Safety?

In another sermon Dr. Rubel Shelly stated:

Here is what God wants churches passionate about:

(1) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, (2) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

(3) "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(4) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: (5) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (6) Since we have now been justified by his blood, (7) how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Rom. 5:8-9).

These are the essentials of Christian faith. It is this core message about Jesus that we share in common with other

Bible-believing, cross-proclaiming, resurrection-confessing, born-again persons that constitutes us a church.

Outside the essence of the gospel,

there are other features that reflect our history and consensus interpretations of the larger biblical message.


Rubel Shelly: They had to strain the story of Jesus through philosophical sieves. They had to create and clarify special terms. They made entrance into their circles a matter of "enlightenment" as reflected in peculiar vocabulary and interpretations.

In the meanwhile, the core gospel has survived two millennia now in its narrative form of telling the big story through collections of little ones about Jesus.

Dr. Shelly defines the narrative form as writers taking the literature and constructing a narrative for their own time, place, theological agenda and by sifting in Greek philosophy.

Rubel Shelly: Having said that, however, we must not forget that Scripture is not an end in itself. It is meant to point us to Jesus himself and to call us to a personal relationship with him.

But if we are not very, very careful, Scripture will become an end instead of a means. We will fight scholarly battles over texts and tenses and put out each other's eyes so that neither of us sees Jesus - but we both feel holy for having fought. That is what Jesus told the people present that day:

"You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life" (John 5:39-40).

That depends on "what the meaning of end is" doesn't it? The END of the collective assembly is not pagan "worship" where "praise singing" is one of the oldest known superstitions where you praise to give the god more help when the SEEKERS are disguised as empty pews.

The battles are not over texts and tenses but whether a "direct command" is a direct command or an "apostolic opinion in conflict with other apostles." If Paul commands TEACHING in the assembly with the singing and melody in the heart then that CAN end the argument. However, if you are afflicted with the LUST OF THE EARS then you can invent the MUSIC concept and make it available as a new TRADITIONALISM as a way to actually attempt to worship a Spirit God with "the works of human hands."

The common Jews under the Law "did not worship" at the temple. The synagogue (mowed) always existed as a time and place for the priests to go out and teach the people in their local assemblies.

There was no "praise service" in the synagogue because it was a school and "praise singing" was a superstitious practice of pagans who had absolutely no confidence in a Spirit God capable of supporting the universe without the "praise crew."

As we will note the total end of the collective "worship" is in giving heed to Christ by giving heed to the Word which explains why the Lord's Supper is important.

The church was synagogue or school and not a pagan worship center.

It is dangerous to identify searching the Scripture as an evil tradition because Luke wrote:

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

Anakrino (g350) an-ak-ree'-no; from 303 and 2919; prop. to scrutinize, i.e. (by impl.) investigate, interrogate, determine: - ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Co.2:14

Rubel Shelly: Jesus' fiercest opposition came from religious leaders who viewed him as a threat to their ability to run the religious establishment. They were respected theologians who had studied for years and who had built up a following of sincere students. I suspect most of them had good motives - at least originally. But they became the enemies of Jesus. But I'm not bringing this up to pick on Judaism in general or the Pharisees in particular, for the toughest opposition to Jesus Christ still comes from the legalism inherent in human religion.

It is time for us to choose Jesus over religion. It is time for us to seek and affirm personal-relationship-with-Jesus spirituality over

hide-bound-legalistic religion. It is high time to learn the meaning of Christ's challenge about mercy over sacrifice. Rather than leave the challenge of this text vague for you, let me close with three very practical consequences of receiving this lesson

Usually but not this time stated is tht hide-bound-legalistic religion is the old decadent and deleterious (rotten and destructive) non-instrumental church of Christ refusing to "bow the knee as the team blows their little pipes."

However, the Scriptures universally associate the "music" word with telling God that we will not listen to Your words anymore. Musical performance, on the other hand, was always the legalistic, hide-bound way that the TEAM knew that they could abrade (make melody) on the stretched hide of the "worshipers" to create something to be peddled as "spiritual worship."

Reading and meditating on the Word is school, Biblical and Spiritual.

Musical or celebrative or performance "worship" is works-oriented. If you believe that the musical team creating sexual stimulus is "leading you into the presence of God" you are engaged in ancient paganism and modern Vineyard ritual where you work your way into a climax with God and make the Spirit come.

We have noted above that the church is "bound" to the "skin" in which Christ and the inspired writers put it. The church or gospel or kingdom is NOT a new wineskin which has the infinite stretching ability to enfold trying to put new wine with old yeast in the system.

The church is bound to the TRADITIONS which Christ and the apostles delivered to us. You can repudiate that but the Bible is the document which defines the Christian System. If you try to cut N paste it in song and sermon then Paul would say that others must separate from you.

The traditions delivered by God creates a hide-bound religion in the senes that it dowsn't stretch enough to enfold that which directly contradicts, say, the taught traditions about teaching which leaves out any hint of a MUSICAL context.

Conclusion

Rubel Shelly: The Pharisees of Jesus' day and the legalists of every generation work to make sinners feel uncomfortable and unwanted; Jesus is eager to accept them. Jesus associated eagerly with people the religionists of his time considered untouchable. Jesus' church has not always followed his lead, choosing instead to be an ingrown community behind stained-glass walls.

On the contrary, Jesus said:

Woe unto you, scribes (book writers) and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Mt.23:15

Pharisees hold grand religious festivals in order to attract everyone. Their Post Modernism was to make people feel comfortable by making changes to replace the Word of God. The Pharisees were honored and even worshiped so they would not do anything which would make them unpopular and cut off the cash flow.

If the walls are so ambitious as wanting to "provide a venue for Rock and Roll" music are still standing one might suggest selling them to some pagan institution moving into Holy Entertainment. Then, the money can be used to hire honest evangelists to go out and preach the gospel and leave the stained-glass walls to someone else.

This sound so much like a Kennedy preaching that money isn't important: it isn't, if you have enough of it. But, will Dr. Shelly break some stained glass?

The teaching task does not need an Apollo (Apollyon, Abbadon) like theater with errected Asherah poles to suck in the seekers and then teach them tithing or how to lust after Sister Singers. The mission field is a hundred yards outside the parking lot of every mega-mega-church in Nashville.

Jesus did not associate with and affirm the religion of the Samaritans as Rubel Shelly suggests. He did not call assemblies but went out and preached to the people without having to endorse or affirm their religions: the teaching task does not care about people's background. However, if you are going to "marry" two diverse religious practices such as the musical Orphics and Musical Dionysics in Romans 14 then the solution is to teach "with one voice" the revealed Word of Christ (chapter 15).

It is being a Pharisee to suggest that we have to added their religious practices just to attract them. However, no Pharisee would have tolerated a full-time "evangelist" who refused to go out and teach. Neither would they have tolerated a choir or a musical worship team or instruments: synagogue was SCHOOL OF THE WORD.

Conclusion

Rubel Shelly: If Jesus is light and if he has sent us into the world bearing witness to him, there is no need to fear darkness. There is certainly no justification for avoiding people who are in the clutches of sin. [Note: Although not all suffering is the direct consequence of sin in the sufferer's life, this paralyzed man's appears to have been (5:14; cf. 9:1-12; Luke 13:1-8). He had suffered for 38 years, and the attitude of some must have been that we was getting what he deserved. That wasn't the attitude our compassionate Savior had toward him.]

This is not quite the same thing as "becoming as much like the world as possible to attract the world."

Rubel Shelly: "First, Paul wanted people to
........... know Christ so badly that he took the initiative to
........... know and be like others as much as possible.

A poor soul at Madison in Nashville flaunts the progressive nature of Holy Entertainment by showing how they were progressive: Madison invented "orphan homes" in the 50's. However, the liberal, charismatic people did not invent feeling compassion for people. I am not aware of a great institution begun by liberals.

Rubel Shelly: The Pharisees of Jesus' time valued traditions over people; Jesus always valued people for the image of God he saw in them. The Pharisees of then and now persist in stressing "the letter of the law" and trying to dispense the artesian well of God's redemptive grace through the soda straw of their neat theological systems. A prime example of this would be the way our human zeal to protect marriage has made divorced and remarried persons feel like second-class Christians - if they are convinced they can be Christians at all.

Not in my Bible. A Pharisee is a Post-Modern product of the empty troughs of the university system. A Pharisee is a hypocrite meaning that he is an actor: a theatrical performer. Next, they do not hold to the letter of the law but they invent a NEW TRADITIONALISM in order to REJECT THE DIRECT COMMAND OF GOD.

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6

In Ezekiel 33 this repudiates musicians and singers.

Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:7

For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. Mark 7:8

And he said unto them, Full well

ye reject the commandment of God,
that
ye may keep your own tradition. Mark 7:9

There you have it: we can honor the traditions of God or the traditions of men. Why didn't Jesus agree that it was about time to CHANGE the tradition bound rules of God.

Praying "as an act of worship" was not commanded and Jesus said "do it in private." However, we identify a Pharisee by how long they can preach or pray out of their own "spirit."

And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the market places, Mark 12:38

And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Mark 12:39

Which devour widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. Mark 12:40

Rubel Shelly: The Pharisee-spirit trusts rules; Jesus offers us a relationship. While the animal sacrifices of Hosea's time and during Jesus' earthly ministry were commanded by God, many of the worshippers were convinced sacrifice was a way to buy God's favor rather than merely a grateful response to his love.

Sacrifice never was the basis for approaching God, and those who understood and practiced it as such were guilty of reducing an intimate relationship to a legalistic formula.

Sacrifices were part of the Law "added because of transgression" to control a lawless people who had lost themselves beyond redemption by their musical idolatry at Mount Sinai.

This "because of transgression" was musical. Musical idolatry was heard by God as their "prayer" and He answered it by turning them over to worship the starry host. Remphan or Chiun was worshiped at Gerezim as defined by Amost 5 and 6 and, contrary to Rubel, Jesus did not affirm the Samaritans just because He spoke to the Woman as a way to repudiate all external worship "tricks."

You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High; Ecclesiasticus 48:5.
who brought
kings down to destruction, and famous men from their beds; Ecclesiasticus 48: 6.
who heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb; Ecclesiasticus 48: 7.
who anointed kings to inflict retribution,

and prophets to succeed you. Ecclesiasticus 48: 8.

O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Hosea 13:9

I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? Hosea 13:10

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. Hosea 13:11

Instrumental "noise" was part of the burning of animals ritual. These rituals were "like the nation's rituals" because that is what Israel's elders prayed for when they demanded a human king so that they could worship like the nations.

Therefore, it is unseemly and inconsistent with what Dr. Shelly has just said to try to give the Musical Levites a Second Incarnation based on the Old Testament "proof-texts."

Hebrews 6 read with care will show that restoring the "noise" part of the burning ritual is a way to silence the Word of God. This, to Paul, is an unforgivable sin.

Rubel Shelly: A legalist fears that overemphasizing God's love and grace will lead to license, but they are the ones who - by focusing on formulas, right actions, and church rituals - are presuming on God's grace. And Jesus was incredibly stern with such persons.

We believe that a LEGALISTS is one who FEARS that if they do not AFFIRM everyone: divorcee, homosexual, terminal aids preacher, Rock and Roll (that F word) and Samaritans that they will be lost.

It is hard to think of anything more unlovely and predictably pagan and even Satanic than to "steal the church houses of widows" in order to make them into Theaters for Holy Entertainment where the Word is silenced.

How is it loving to brand all churches of Christ as legalistic and Sectarian based on their refusal to bow to the sound of musical instruments? Why not work on them for "singing idle songs and improvizing on 'organum' like David?"

Just how is it unloving to hold OUR church services without subscribing to instrumental music, premillenialism or the Post-Modern, Post-Inspired view of the Word of God?

How is it loving and graceful to repudiate all who will not turn into the fatal Methodist dead end of the Social Gospel?

How does it presume on God's grace to try to follow God's will? Sure, everyone has their "pattern" but none are so legalistic as to believe that one must construct an Apollyon theater and FACILITATE worship for the audience.

> Jesus was incredibly stern and "cast out more or less violently" the Musical Worship Team trying to facilitate the exit of a dead person. Music was for the DEAD but Jesus said that the young girl was not DEAD in the spiritual sense.

> Jesus was incredibly stern with those who piped and tried to get Him to join the musical singing and dance team of Dionysus to prove that He was effeminate and "just the guy for us."

> Jesus was incredibly stern with those whom He (as Spirit) prophesied in Psalm 41 would try to "triumph over Him" where triumph over means to "play loud music and make a joyful noise before the Lord." This was the Jewish War Chant

This musical assault of mocking Jesus was to identify Him as Belial if He would not confess to being Dionysus: the god of new wineskins and old foreskins.

> Jesus, as the Spirit in Revelation, is incredibly stern in identifying the end-time Babylon Whore religion with the Lucifer Patternism of the king/queen of Tyre and of Babylon. She still had her musical worship teams.

Rubel Shelly: Religion put Jesus to death once! Then again. And again and again over time. It is time to put away human-controlled, rule-bounded, life-stifling religion for the sake of letting him live.

Peter and Paul has told us how to "let Jesus live." That is, you must give attention to reading the Word and explaining its doctrines. RELIGION is what Rubel Shelly practices when he promotes PREACHING as worship, singing, playing instruments, getting EXCITED meaning "enthus O mania" or madness caused by music. Orpheus the Thracian gave birth to worship as THRESKIA. This was IMPURE religion whereas James defined PURE religion as righteousness and justice.

Life-giving worship was to GIVE HEED to the Word of God "as it had been taught." That is because Jesus said "My WORDS are Spirit and they are Life" (John 6:63) because the FLISH COUNTS FOR NOTHING.

The LIFE in the sense of EXCITEMENT which Paul outlawed for the "synagogue" in Romans 15, like the word GRACE to which Paul POINTED, speaks of the sexual and homosexual impulses which drive an AUDIENCE into believing that they are in the presence of the gods but they are drunk by being 'piped down with music.'

These RITUALS of livliness are called ORGIES which is the meaning of the WRATH God pours out of the Vat of the Wine pagans have plucked the graps for.

"Nor are these Thracian orgies, from which the word Worship (threskia) is said to be derived; nor rites and mysteries of Orpheus, whom the Greeks admired so much for his wisdom that they devised for him a lyre which draws all things by its music. Nor the tortures of Mithras

Threskos (g2357) thrace'-kos; prob. from the base of 2360; ceremonious in worship (as demonstrative), i.e. pious: - religious.

Commentary on Vergil, Aeneid. book 6, line 645.

[645] Orpheus was one of the mythical fathers of song, and his name was associated with revelations about the lower world, supposed to be preserved by secret societies (Dict. M. Orpheus), so that he is naturally made the harper who plays while the blessed spirits dance and sing. He is called `sacerdos,' as in Hor. A. P. 391 he is called sacer interpresque deorum. The long robe was characteristic of musicians, as Cerda shows, comp. Prop. 3. 23. 16, Pythius in longa carmina veste sonat (of the statue of Apollo in the Palatine temple), and also Hor. A. P. 215, Ov. F. 6. 654, 688, where the long robes of the `tibicines' are mentioned and accounted for. `Cum veste' above v. 359. Elsewhere we have `in veste,' as 12. 169, puraque in veste sacerdos.

thrêsk-eia , Ion. thrêsk-eiê , hê, ( [thrêskeuô] ) religious worship, cult, ritual,; tou Apollônos SIG801 D (Delph, Hdt.2.37,

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:25

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this mans religion is vain. James 1:26

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Ja.1:27

Pure is: Amiantos (g283) am-ee'-an-tos; from 1 (as a neg. particle) and a der. of 3392; unsoiled, i.e. (fig. pure: - undefiled.

Threskeia (g2356) thrace-ki'-ah; from a der. of 2357; ceremonial observance: - religion, worshipping.

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, Col.2:18

"Voluntary" (g2309) means determined, delightful, pleasurable. It is from:

Haireomai (g138) hahee-reh'-om-ahee; prob. akin to 142; to take for oneself, i.e. to prefer: - choose. Some of the forms are borrowed from a cognate heålloåmai +tx hel'-lom-ahee; # which is otherwise obsolete

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than (choosing) to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Heb.11:25

"Orpheus was te most famous musician and poet of ancient times. His lyre, given to him by Apollo (after he invented the Cithara: a CtharIST was known as a SORCERER and a PARASITE), could enchant not only the wild animals, but the trees and rocks as well. As will become obvious, Orphism is closely related in many ways to Dionysus, and could be considered a reform of the Dionysian Mysteries and is often regarded as the highest religious form in the ancient world.

"Orpheus is said to have travelled to Egypt, where he learnt from the priests there and became the most learned among the Greeks in all that concerns the Gods and their initiatory rites. He excelled in the beauty of his verse and song, and was believed to have discovered mysteries and how to achieve purification from sins, cures of diseases and means of averting divine wrath. These early rites were said to be very similar to those of Dionysus but have also been linked to the rites of Osiris and Isis."

"There are many stories of his death. Rejecting all women after the death of his wife, Orpheus was torn to pieces by Thracian women; or in another version, he was dismembered by Maenads (at Deium in Macedonia) at the urging of Dionysus, who resented Orphic rejection of sacrificial murder and the worship of Apollo (in whose temple Orpheus served as a priest).

Orpheus the Thracian was the inventor of worship in the form of rituals. Music especially was added to claim that the charismatic, sexual feelings were proof that he could call down the gods or move you up to "him".

"If any one perchance thinks that we are speaking calumnies, let him take the books of the Thracian soothsayer (Orpheus the inventor of musical soothsaying), which you speak of as of divine antiquity; and he will find that we are neither cunningly inventing anything,

nor seeking means to bring the holiness of the gods into ridicule, and doing so: for we shall bring forward the very verses which the son of Calliope uttered in the Greek,

and published abroad in his songs to the human race through out all all ages." (Arnobius Against the Heathen, Ante-Nicene, VI, p. 499).

THRA´CIA Now, if we are to understand it to mean that Eumolpus, Orpheus, Musaeus, and Thamyris were the fellow-countrymen of those Edonians, Odrysians, and Odomantians,

who in the historical age occupied the Thracian territory, and who spoke a barbarian language, that is, one unintelligible to the Greeks,

we must despair of being able to comprehend these accounts of the ancient Thracian minstrels, and of assigning them a place in the history of Grecian civilisation; since it is [p. 1181] manifest that at this early period, when there was scarcely any intercourse between different nations, or knowledge of foreign tongues,

poets who sang in an unintelligible language could not have had more influence on the mental development of the people than the twittering of birds.

If you claim that John took liberties with the story they you are binding Lord Jesus Christ to mean no more than what the Shelly-Sifter has permitted to filter through as seven facts about Jesus who, praise the Lord, survived! Jesus took His Words from the Father and said:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

There is nothing you can do with the flesh which is worship to God unless you literally fall flat on your face and gag a rotten dog for presuming to be able to drive people into worship with music.

Here are the people who killed Jesus and it was not those who had remained faithful to the Word of God delivered by the Spirit of Christ. Rather, the truth murderers and Christ murderers were those who had built them a "worship center" and a place to sell sick sheep and to dispense the dogmas from all over the Greek World: Post-Moderns if you will:

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, Matthew 26:14

And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they convenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:15

And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Matthew 26:47

You see, God in Isaiah 55 says that the Water of the Word is free of charge. However, then and now the TRADITIONALISTS are truly Catholics who claim that you have to come to THIS HERE PLACE and AT THIS HEAR PLACE and let our "team" jack you up into the presence of God.

And, Oh Yes! Tithe? Sure and more. Legalism! However, the TRADITIONALISTS will still sell Jesus to you: we have this new book claiming for itself the same thing the Bible claims for itself. We have these here CDS with "gospel" or "praise" or erotic songs to grind you into bits (melody) and make you have a climax with the Spirit!!

Sure, they still hang Him on the tree in their Cosmic Christmas and "baptizing" the S.U.N. to bring honor to the S.O.N. Call it idolatry but baptize it "Christian" and you have crucified Christ all over again. Why? Why, to SELL CHRIST ALL OVER AGAIN and to restore the true focus of Temple worship as the Starry Host according to Stephen.

Others who wanted Jesus out of the way:

Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. Acts 6:9

And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Acts 6: 10

Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. Acts 6: 11

There was not a single person as the enemy or murderer of Christ who claimed: "I believe everything written in the prophets and I live faithful to whatever God has commanded. No. I do not change God's traditions for human traditions just to be more popular."

The Post-Modern view is the view of the Pharisees. Therefore, if Christ walked into our church this sunday and shamed the Sister Singers into sedentary silence, pulled down the pulpit, turned over the collection plates (trumpets in the temple) not dedicated to the Word and poor and put you out more or less violently for repudiated the finished Jubilee then how would you make a living? Would a group of silversmiths rise up and crucify Him all over again? I say, Yes.

The enemies of God were always enemies of His Word. This repudiated God and Christ by repudiating their ability to leave a history for our education.

Stephen preached the GOSPEL by telling them the story the scholars did not have a clue to. And because Stephen preached the Spirit by preaching the revealed Words, the builders of temples and holders of fertility rituals (worship rituals) were quite ready to murder him just as they murdered Jesus and all prophets who spoke against the "Worship Center" concept.

[1] U.S. News & World Report, June 26, 1989.

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