Vol. 11 No. 6 June 2009
Donald R. Fox
My wife and I were looking for a tool the other day. We knew or we thought we knew exactly where it was. As we climbed over much clutter in our storage shed, we both came to the conclusion that we’ve got to get rid of this clutter. No, we never found what we were looking for! Maybe, it’s lost in the mess of disorganized stuff, most of which needs to be thrown out.
As I thought about clutter in my shed, my mind started to dwell on, how Christianity, through the centuries has become cluttered with doctrines of men. What a challenge, to remove manmade clutter from churches that desire to follow the teaching of the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Question: Can today’s churches be uncluttered from creeds written by men? With this observation, some people will become very uncomfortable and maybe just plain angry. Why should the idea of removing creed clutter from Christianity make folks uncomfortable? I guess it’s the idea that creeds would have to be removed; maybe that’s the problem. We will allow these questions to lie dormant and unanswered. The reader will be his/her own judge concerning the proposal of removing ecclesiastical clutter from Christianity.
Since Man Is Responsible for Ecclesiastical
Clutter, Let Us Consider the Points Below.
The Bible gives the answer from whence came the clutter. Notice Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves, shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-30).
The Bible teaches that man cannot add to the Word. The apostle Paul wondered why many had swerved from the Gospel. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accused” (Galatians 1:6-8).
The Bible teaches that the Word is complete. No further additions are needed. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Our Lord rebukes those that would add to his Word. Shall we heed? “Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For, laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:7-8).
To tamper with the Word of God is a fearful thing. Why would anyone desire to add to or subtract from God’s Word? For a principle that runs throughout the Word of God, we direct you to Revelation 22:18-19. It is our desire to study and obey the Word of God uncluttered. Amen!