Class Notes: 5/6/2012
False systems of spirituality cont...
In our continuing study of the unique spiritual life of the church we are continuing with a brief look at what often passes for spirituality but is not actually spirituality.
We stopped last time when we were looking at the false system of "spirituality by respectability' that resulted in moral degeneracy that our Lord condemned the scribes and Pharisees for in Matt 23:13-36;
Always remember morality is not spirituality, but the spiritual person is moral.
Another form of false spirituality is "ritual spirituality" that is the belief that you are spiritual by observing certain rituals. This includes observing "holy days," or certain rituals of a church, such as Lent, the Sabbath, or water baptism.
Water baptism was a ritual for the pre-canon period of the Church Age to teach retroactive and current positional truth about the believer's union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection before there was any NT scripture written.
The only ritual that is significant and mandated for the post-canon period of the Church Age is the Lord's Supper. The observance of this ritual demands the filling of the Holy Spirit. 1Cor 11:29;
At this point of time in the Church Age ritual has been reduced to the communion service, designed as a reminder of Christ and his work through the recall of the relevant doctrine under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit.
Improper understanding of ritual has resulted in false systems of "spirituality by ritual"; examples of this include the idea that you are spiritual because you take communion or because or because you was baptized with water.
The purpose of ritual in the Old Testament was to teach doctrine. There was no merit in the ritual itself. The merit was in learning the doctrine that the ritual demonstrated.
False spirituality by ritual involves the failure of believers to understand that the protocol plan of God has replaced the ritual plan of God, the failure to understand the filling of the Spirit that IS the spirituality of the Church Age and the false interpretation of the Scripture that results in emphasis on ritual and the false belief that performing ritual is pleasing to God.
The reality is that the performance of ritual in itself was never pleasing to God not even during dispensations when it was commanded. Isa 29:13; Psa 51:16-17;
Another false system of spirituality that is often practiced is "program spirituality" that is often used as a substitute for the spiritual skills; many local churches and denominations have devised systems that emphasize loyalty to the church through a system of works.
Program spirituality implies that spirituality is doing something for God and the accumulation of "good works".
Those involved with program spirituality believe that spirituality comes from the production of good works in Christian or community service. If the concept of confession alone to God alone for the filling of the Spirit is not taught program spirituality results in doing things in the energy of the flesh rather than in the enabling power of the Spirit.
Spirituality through the program system that implies that you are spiritual because of the things you do that may include church attendance, giving, participation in prayer meetings, bringing visitors to church, singing in a choir, or teaching Sunday school.
The problem with this is that activity is often substituted for the filling of the Spirit and the program to often results in getting everyone so involved in church activities that doctrinal communication is relegated to a minor role.
Program spirituality is therefore a false system that ignores the protocol plan of God while creating ignorance of Bible doctrine, cosmic involvement, and Christian moral degeneracy. The activity that is produced in the system often caters to approbation and power lust.
In true spirituality, spiritual skills must precede production skills for the performance of divine good. In the program, action has been substituted for doctrine so there is no proper motivation and everything that is done is nothing but human good and evil that God views as worthless. 1Cor 3:12-15;
Production is always a result of spiritual advance it is never the means of spiritual advance. A right thing must be always be done in a right way for the right reason at the right time for it to be accepted by God.
Another false system of spirituality is "spirituality by emotion." Emotion is defined as an affective state of consciousness rather than a cognitive and volitional state of consciousness. Emotion is designed by God to be a responder and to always be subordinate to the mentality of the soul.
Spirituality by emotion attempts to duplicate the temporary spiritual gifts including tongues, healing, and miracles that were only functioned during the pre-canon period of the Church Age while the NT was incomplete. 1Cor 13:8-10; NET note 2
Spirituality by emotion is wrong because emotion is not the criterion for the filling of the Spirit. Emotion does not possess spirituality. Weather one is emotional or not has nothing to do with spirituality.
Emotion has no ability to reason. When emotion takes over, common sense, the vocabulary as a tool for mental function, and the ability to think is lost resulting in irrational behavior.
Since true spirituality that is a system of thinking Bible Doctrine under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit is the ultimate form of rationality emotion is not a criterion for Christian experience.
Normal emotional responds to the values of one's thoughts. Abnormal emotion reacts with irrationality, with sin and with OSN control of the soul. Abnormal emotion overpowers the thinking and blots out Bible doctrine.
Abnormal emotion builds a wall in the soul that prevents the recall and application of doctrine that results in developing the irrationality of emotional revolt of the soul.
The wall is built by the various categories of emotional sins including fear, jealousy, self-pity, hatred, implacability, envy, and guilt, Anyone involved in mental attitude sins, will have a malfunction of their personality.
Emotional spirituality is therefore an abnormal function because Bible doctrine does not change your personality it only refines it.
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