Class Notes: 5/2/2012
False systems of spirituality cont....
In our continuing study of the unique spiritual life of the Church we have started a short discussion of what is often taught and accepted as spirituality but is not. When we stopped last time we were discussing the false legalistic system of "spirituality by taboos."
We saw that a taboo is something prescribed by society as improper and unacceptable. It is a practice that is excluded from social life that when improperly applied within the church becomes a false system of spirituality.
A taboo is therefore an activity that is forbidden by some Christian group that is not forbidden by the Word of God. The Jews in Jesus' day were involved with this. Matt 15:1-9;
Taboos superimpose legalism on the Christian community as if they were a mandate from God. Most taboos are mandated on the basis of human arrogance and prejudice. This means that taboos are not part of the function of the Christian way of life.
The Bible is specific about forbidding sin, but taboos are not sins. Legalistic taboos often originate from the failure to distinguish between God's ritual plan for Israel and God's protocol plan for the Church.
Common legalistic taboos include but aren't limited to Sabbath observance, dietary restrictions, mandates not to drink or dance or go to the movies and mandates against smoking or gambling.
These things may cause health problems or be socially unacceptable, but they do not indicate a lack of the filling of the Spirit. Taboos often appear in different forms in different geographical areas because of different cultures.
Believers under the filling of the Spirit must regard taboos with a certain amount of self-restraint. This means that the four laws of Christian behavior apply.
The law of liberty states that believers have right to do certain things that will not cause them to sin or enter into OSN control of the soul. 1Cor 8:4, 9; but believers have to be careful when they are around other people who might be corrupted by what they do.
The law of love is the function of impersonal love where believers avoid offending weaker believers and avoid becoming a distraction to their spiritual growth. 1Cor 8:13;
The law of expediency is directed toward the unbeliever. The believer avoids doing certain things so that the unbeliever is not offended with the result that they are prevented from seeing the true issue is faith alone in Christ alone. 1Cor 10:23-33;
In self-righteous arrogance, the unbeliever attempts to superimpose his own self righteous standards on the believer, and expects the believer to comply with those standards regardless of weather they have any real spiritual connotation. 1Tim 4:7;NET
In this case, in the interest of witnessing for Christ, the believer refrains from doing certain things because they prevent the unbeliever from understanding the only true issue in salvation: faith alone in TLJC alone. 1Cor 9:19;
The law of supreme sacrifice is the highest law of Christian behavior. It sometimes requires the believer to forsake even normal living and legitimate function in life, in order to serve our Lord in a special capacity. 1Cor 9:1-15;
The problem with taboos is that they disregard the enabling power of the Holy Spirit inside the divine dynasphere and the principle that if the unbeliever can do it it's not the spiritual life because the Christian way of life is a supernatural way of life that demands a supernatural power for it's execution. Gal 5:16;
Taboos ignore the principle that spiritual skills must precede production skills for the performance of divine good and fails to recognize that no two believers have attained the same spiritual growth; therefore, there are legitimate differences in the way believers apply doctrine.
Taboos produce legalistic bullying that results in the failure to develop spiritual skills before production skills that results in the performance of human good and evil that are dead works.
When believers respond to legalism they are converted to the practice of legalism and the function of Christian moral degeneracy.
When believers react to legalism they often not only reject the legalism but also reject Bible doctrine and true spirituality resulting in Christian antinomianism and Christian immoral degeneracy.
When children leave "the church" when they grow up it is often because legalism and taboos are being taught rather than true spirituality. Children who understand the freedom and grace of true spirituality may change pastor teachers when they grow up but they are very unlikely to leave their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Taboos become a distraction from Bible doctrine, so that the believer fails to execute the protocol plan of God. Taboos weaken the volition because the believer is relying on conformance with the taboo for spirituality and those who establish the taboos judge and invade the privacy of others.
Taboos are used in an attempt to reform the old sin nature by restraining it without the only true solution to the power of the OSN, the filling of God the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:16; They glorify legalism and the function of human power to do something, and thereby hinder true spiritual growth.
Taboos obscure the unique spirituality of the Church Age, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the portfolio of invisible assets, the royal commissions, mystery doctrine, and the indwelling of the Trinity.
Another form of false spirituality is "spirituality by respectability' where believers operate under the false assumption that they are spiritual because their sins are more respectable than the sins of others.
This is arrogant self-righteousness where believers function in self-vindication or self-justification regarding their own sins while simultaneously condemning the sins of others. The believer involved in this system of false spirituality is very superficial and very legalistic. This was the case of the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus' day Luke 5:30;
They are simply involved in more subtle sins that are often worse than the sins that are being committed by the antinomian believer. Prov 6:16-19; Spirituality by respectability establishes a system of overt morality, and calls it spirituality.
This system is heavily involved in inordinate ambition and inordinate competition and believers involved in it often rationalize divine discipline as suffering for blessing.
These believers do not believe that one category of sin makes you just as out of fellowship as another category of sin. Any sin destroys your fellowship with God and demands the use of confession alone to God alone for recovery.
Lack of human self-esteem is often the problem of spirituality by respectability. When people have no human self-esteem they strive to find something that makes them feel important in their own eyes. By so doing, they develop a pseudo or human self-esteem instead of the true spiritual self-esteem that is absolute confidence in God and his word alone.
A lack of understanding of the categories of sin (mental, verbal, overt) results in the believer's failure to address his or her own problems.
Self-righteous believers always have a tendency to bully, judge, and meddle in other believer's business. Self-righteous believers often have a tenacious arrogance. They think that if they lose their self-righteousness, they lose their relationship with God.
Self-righteous arrogance is the base for spirituality by respectability. Spirituality makes you respectable, but respectability does not make you spiritual because respectability is not spirituality.
The sin pattern of self-righteous arrogance is often the worst because it results in Christian moral degeneracy and all of its attendant evils that go unrecognized by the performer. Our lord condemned the scribes and Pharisees for this in Matt 23:13-36;
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