2 Corinthians 8:1-24 in the “Context and Flow.”
2 Corinthians 6:3-7:16 in the Context and Flow.
JUNE 9-11, 2017
BAZETTA TOWNSHIP HALL
3372 ST.RTE 5
CORTLAND OHIO 44410
Friday, June 9
6:30 – 7:00pm – welcome
7:00 – 7:45pm – Rick Farwell
8:00 – 8:45pm – Phil Scranton
Saturday, June 10
9:00 – 9:45am – Bill Petri
10:00 – 10:45am – Dan Sheridan
11:00 – 11:45am – John Ewen
12:00 – 2:30pm – Lunch on your own
2:30 – 3:15pm – Dan Kraemer
3:30 – 4:15pm – Phil Scranton
5:00pm until late at night if people so choose, will be a picnic at the home of Ted and Denise McDivitt. Food will be provided and informal group discussions and fellowship will continue beside a campfire. If the weather is bad, then the meal and informal discussions will take place at the meeting room.
Sunday, June 11
9:00 – 9:45am – Bill Petri
10:00 – 10:45am – Dan Sheridan
11:00 – 11:45am – Rick Farwell
(Any questions, please call Ted McDivitt at 330-638-1551)
2 Corinthians 5:15-6:2 in the “Context and Flow”
Christ Without Religion
Most people think the faith that is in Christ, as revealed in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, is to be ranked among the religions of the world. There are those who talk about Christianity in terms of religion. I am a student of history, especially American history. The Founders and Europeans talked about Christianity in terms of the Christian religion. In America today, Religion and the State are intimately combined.
However, the faith in Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures, has nothing to do with religion. I love God, Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, Believers, and all mankind. However, I practice no religion whatsoever. I don’t “go to Church”; I don’t need an organization of any kind to filter my charity or practical living through.
As for my love of Country, it has nothing to do with a nationalistic Roman/Pagan idea, and it certainly has nothing to do with combining the so-called “Christian Religion and the State.”
There is absolutely no relation between the “christian system” and the Sacred Scriptures. There are many true believers in the system, but I don’t let sentimentality fool me into approving the system for that reason. I embrace everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the World. But I don’t go along with the system they belong to. People think the system is “of God” because they read the system back into the Scriptures and talk themselves into believing that what they see at the “Sunday Services” resembles what took place in Acts. It’s a mind magic trick – period.
I am a believer in the revelation God gave us concerning His Son, Jesus Christ my Lord, as revealed in the Scriptures. Religion, including the Christian religion, is a system of ceremony and works to try to please the gods. But what religions set before scared human beings as the goal, I have for my starting point. I am safe and secure with my Savior through the accomplishments of Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Religion sends the fearful on the impossible task of trying to find security with the gods through religious exercises. But I am already complete and at peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Western Christianity promotes the idea that a person can be part of the “Jesus Club” by joining one of the organizations going by the name of “church” and submitting to their requirements. Paul calls this “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
The western “Church” organizations are powerful and wealthy businesses which provide social, economic, and political advantage when you join them. These organizations and their activities give the illusion that those involved in these “great works” are engaged in God’s work.
Otis Seller put it this way: “The religion called Christianity has one test for everything: material and numerical success. To it, truth is whatever works. If men will not endure sound teaching, it will find something they will endure. It is busily engaged in dispensing instant Christianity; to others, always laying hold of those upon whom the Spirit of God is working, dousing the light that He is generating by large or small applications of water, or by some other ceremony in their catalog of religious exercises.”
“Many who give themselves over to popular Christianity find it to be financially rewarding, especially in view of the explosion of piety that is seen on every hand today, also because Christianity has become one more form of entertainment.”
One has only to see the “methods” of modern “churches” to see the truth of these words of Mr. Sellers. Christian church spokespeople constantly appeal to the senses through the music, entertainment, and the atmosphere of their religion to make people “feel religious.”
But Jesus Christ didn’t come to give us a “Christian Religion.”
Sellers adds, “When God created the first man and placed him in the garden of Eden, He gave him no religion. When He surveyed all that He had created and declared it to be very good, there was not a speck of religion anywhere. When Eve was added to this beautiful scene as a ‘help meet’ for Adam, she did not bring into it a load of religion to lay upon her husband, as so many wives are trying to do to their husbands today. This first pair had no ceremonies, rituals, ordinances, or exercises by which they were to show their reverence for and devotion to the God who had created them… Adam and Eve were entirely without religion. Their relationship to God was religionless… It was sometime after A.D. 70 that a new alignment of religions appeared in the Roman Empire. This was called Christianity. It was an amalgam of Greek philosophy, Mithraic ritualism, and religious elements from many sources. It called itself the Christian Church, and it was far removed from the simple fellowship of the first followers of Jesus Christ. It did not come out of Him, since it was built by men who today are universally acknowledged to have been ‘the church fathers.’ Fifteen of these are recognized in ecclesiastical history between 70 A.D. and 440 A.D. Ten of them are commonly called “the Greek fathers,” and five are called ‘the Latin fathers.’ It was these men who produced from many sources the religion of Christendom, which today had developed into a thousand-and-one companies, a great myriad of ceremonies, rituals, acts of exterior worship, all of which together pass for Christianity today.”
“There are those who say that one is no part of Christ unless he is in some way a part of this conglomeration. This we repudiate. And in defense we would point to the truth declared by Paul in Colossians 2:8-23. This portion when honestly translated and understood sets forth religionless Christianity in all its splendor. It removes from the believer in Christ every vestige of religion both human and divine, and declares without equivocation: And you are complete in Him.”
I, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, am complete in Christ without any religion.
2 Corinthians 5:1-14 in the “Context and Flow.”