Good Religion is a Blueprint with Tools

Fr. Wade at the Piano
Years of Piano Playing for the Lord

 

Some have thought that RELIGION is just keeping a bunch of written rules like “Thou shalt not kill” or “Honor Thy Father and Mother”. So, what’s wrong with keeping those rules?

Actually, good religion can keep you doing the “right” thing even when you don’t feel like doing it. It’s like going to the gym when you don’t feel like going.
But really, GOOD religion is NOT just about rules and habits. It’s about self-discipline, commitment, and perseverance in holding fast to your faith and love as well as the outward actions.

You pray. There is a spiritual fight and sometimes you don’t feel like praying. But you’ve made a commitment to God and to yourself IN a love relationship.
GOOD Religion is the binding of oneself to spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical values of honor, integrity, and purpose. It also binds you (or you bind yourself) – remember the song, “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds”? – to others in a greater community.

Some people say, “I don’t want to be bound to anything.” These people never enter into marriage, preferring to be FREE. But they are really just bound to their own selfishness. Have you read in Scripture about bondservants?
There is a big difference between GOOD Religion and BAD Religion. James 1:27 reads that there is a religion that God approves and calls “pure and undefiled”. Don’t throw out Scripture just to fit in with what everyone else is saying.

Bad religion is often Good Religion gone sour and stale. A yard stick, level, plumb lines, chalk lines and tape measures are great tools when used. They are not to be enshrined in glass. They have a purpose. They are the tools of the trade. Builders use these tools and follow blueprints. They follow the plan. They measure to make sure. If the blueprint is wrong or the tools are broken, you’ve got a mess.

The Lord has a plan and purpose and has given us tools. We respect the tools and the plan, but they are in vain unless with use them in cooperation with the Master Builder.

Good Religion is using the tools and following the plan that has been delivered by the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone. He is the stone that some builders have rejected. Please don’t reject Christ. Repent today and follow the Lord.

Love you much!

Fr. Wade+

Anyone Can Love the Lovely

If we love those who love us, is that deserving of a reward? No. The world loves those who love them. But if we love when we are hated, mistreated, misquoted, insulted, called a fraud, a phony – even by those who call themselves Christian, then there is a reason to rejoice because we have shared, in a very small way, the sufferings of Christ. This is another “seed” for an awakening. Bear sufferings and hardship with patience.

Love in Christ,

Fr. Wade+

Study to Show Yourself Approved

Study to Show Yourself Approved – 2 Timothy 2:15
Study to Show Yourself Approved – 2 Timothy 2:15

The Study of Holy Scripture

The first thing that you want to do before you read Holy Scripture (as well as the last thing) is to PRAY and ask for illumination and power to follow the teachings of Holy Scripture.

The second thing to accept is that ALL Scripture – Old and New Testament – must be interpreted through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and then John) Jesus Christ IS the WORD of GOD. Scripture points to Jesus. It doesn’t replace Jesus. There is no “Book” at the right-hand of the Father in Heaven.

The third thing to accept (which is for some, the most difficult) is that the Church is the pillar and ground of Truth. Starting from the beginning the Church followed the apostles’ teachings or doctrine, the pattern of worship, the prayers, the liturgy, the Eucharist, and fellowship. Scripture was interpreted while LIVING in the Community. If something was revealed, it was judged against apostolic oral tradition. If disputes arose, it was settled by a Church council. There have been seven ecumenical councils.

The fourth thing to do is to learn how to repent – how to change your mind from your interpretation and understanding – in favor of the interpretation of the Church. This is where people chose to become their own Pope and exalt their understanding over the Church. (Remember, there was basically only one church for the first thousand years. What did THAT Church teach?) This was before the “Great Schism” when the Roman Church and the other four Patriarchs split in 1054 A.D.

There are many things in Scripture that are pretty straightforward. There are some that are not. Then there are “scholars” who will argue their doctrine regardless of what the Ancient Church believed no matter what. Personally, I opt for reading the Church Fathers. You can also compare your study to the Nicene Creed. Does your interpretation contradict it? If so, then more prayer, study, and inquiry are needed.

Finally, learn how to obey the Word. Be obedient to the commandments of Christ. If we don’t obey, we deceive ourselves. Deception spreads and our understanding darkened. The Church calls people “saints” not just for their knowledge about Scripture and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, but those whose lives bear witness to the Truth of the Word.

Love in Christ,

Fr. Wade+