Title: Culture Replacing Christianity in Many Churches

posted by Dr. Jael Ever @ 7:00 AM
November 17, 2016

joseph-matteraI have always admired the ministry of Joseph Mattera, Overseeing Bishop of Resurrection Church and Christ Covenant Coalition. Last year in a post on charismanews.com, titled “5 Signs There’s Idolatry in Your Church,” he wrote: “There are many believers who have allowed their ethnicity and culture to trump the Word of God. Jesus said culture is even stronger than the Word of God in some people’s lives (Mark 7:7-8).”

That Scripture he references reads: “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, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” The LORD Jesus warns that this is one of the most dangerous trends threatening churches today and yesterday.

The Savior continues:  “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:“But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye (Mark 7: 9 – 13).”

Thus, The LORD Jesus insists that to substitute one’s race, color, tribe or ethnic background in place of absolute faith in Him and His Word is just as much idolatry as if one bowed down and worshiped material images or idols. Brother Mattera continues:  “God is not color blind, since He made humans black, brown, yellow, red and white in His own image. Hence, He designed us to have distinctions in culture regarding food, dress, language and other things based upon ethnic nuances.

“However, these distinctions are not where believers should derive their primary identity or anchor their biblical ethics, for in Christ there is neither male nor female, black, white or brown, for we are all one in Christ (Gal. 3:28).  That verse in King James says:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” And verse 29 adds:  “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Thus, today, many who claim to be believing God for prosperity, have God’s promises blocked because they want to be a child of fleshly heritage, more than they want to be a child of Abraham.

Bishop Mattera adds:  “When our ethnic thinking trumps our biblical thinking, we are guilty either of ignorance or ethnic idolatry. Unless or until the body of Christ gets over its idolatry according to ethnicity, we will never become the generation that can disciple the nations (or in other words, ethnic people groups as shown in Matthew 28:19). Since there is no neutrality, either the church will disciple the nations or the nations will disciple the church!”

In that verse from wholesale Christian Bibles, the Bishop cites, The LORD Jesus says:  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Again, The LORD Jesus adds even more:  “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28: 20).” Both The Savior, his servant and His Holy Word insist that believers must follow Him, not the mistakes of their parents or the traditions of others.

Apostle John adds that the ultimate test of all Christianity is to follow true prophets: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but 1john5v1try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4: 1).” The false spirit, prophet or preacher who tells you to go to his church because your parents went there, or because you are all of the same race of ethnicity, may well be a false prophet who follows a spirit that is not The Holy Spirit.  John insists that true Christians must walk always in love towards everyone:  “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him (1 John 5: 1).”

How is this tied to prosperity you ask? Well it may be why some prayers about prosperity are not answered: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5: 14 – 15).” That promise is for those who love Him and who OBEY His commandments to love—i.e. according to His will)–regardless of race, ethnicity or familial tradition!

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