I'm certain that you will agree with me when I say that there is so much division between people today. Honestly, I can't ever remember a time when division was so apparent, especially within the USA, as it currently is. All a person has to do is to spend just 5 minutes watching a cable news program to back up what I'm saying. I often wonder how is it possible for two people to RADICALLY think 180 degrees apart. We don't just think a little different these days, but we are militant in our points of view. Just look at the United States Congress! There is no longer anything called, "middle-ground!" Nothing in Congress can get accomplished as neither the Dems or the GOP can come to a compromised understanding and pass a bill!
I find the same things holds true within the Church of today. Sadly! As you may know, several years ago I had a very dramatic encounter with God. He took most of the doctrine that I had been steeped in for many years and did a complete, radical change within me. All of a sudden my Bible read as a different book. Shortly I had to stand before my congregation and tell them, "Many of the things I had taught you are incorrect!" Of course that didn't go over too well with some. Within weeks I was labeled a heretic, false prophet and even worse. As a result we watched a mass exodus from our church in Florida. Corinne and I, along with the majority of our leadership team watched dumbfounded as people voted with their feet. The sad thing was that these were people that we loved, most who we felt would be with us forever, no matter what turmoil would ever occur in our congregation. We were hurt! However, the pain was greatly reduced by our new found revelations of God's wonderful New Covenant life that He was exposing and releasing within our hearts. Corinne and I had a total transformation occur within us and so did the faithful people who grasped the life changing, freeing message of Grace. That greatly tempered the pain!
It was then that I really began to understand the great divide that existed between "Church People." Some, those who opposed what I was Biblically exposing to them, rejected my new teaching only based upon what they had been taught in the past. I soon discovered that even pastors and teachers only really teach what we had been taught in the past. Thus we only continue a vicious circle....My teachers were wrongly taught, therefore I teach wrongly! Few Church leaders teach what the Holy Spirit teaches them. Their doctrine is solely based on what others have taught them. Therefore, if what they have learned is wrong, the wrongness is perpetuated forever.
I recall the early days of my "Grace revelations." I can remember taking my boat out on the lake we lived on at the time. I was headed for some great bass fishing. As I motored to my fishing spot, out of no where, I heard the Holy Spirit very clearly say to me, "Only teach what Paul taught!" This was one of those times when what I heard was so distinct and clear that it seemed like God was actually in the boat. Of course He was....in me! Over the next few months I heard that directive very clearly over and over again. According to Galatians chapter 1, Paul was taught the principles of the New Covenant by Christ Himself. Then Paul brought Christ's words back to Jerusalem where the new Church leaders, thankfully, embraced his teaching. Thus the Church was radically changed from just another off-shoot of Judaism to the radical, life changing entity that it is supposed to be. Had not Paul accomplished his mission or the Leaders embrace his teaching, the Church would have been totally Jewish, only with Jesus added to it; not much of a change from the status quo of the day.
Here's what Paul says about the divisions within the Church....(2 Corinthians chapter 3) In writing about the old covenant, "The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death....If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!....So if the old way, which HAS BEEN REPLACED was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, WHICH REMAINS FOREVER!" And of course, I could go on and on showing how the "old way," the Law and all it contained, was replaced with the New Covenant which brings life. This chapter is essential in understanding the reason why many just can't release the "old way teaching" that holds them in bondage. Often, when I write about the Law being replaced by Grace, people holding onto the "old way" argue, some becoming nasty as well. Why?
Paul goes on in 2 Corinthians 3 to explain: (verse 12-15) "Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the PEOPLE'S MINDS WERE HARDENED, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, THE SAME VEIL COVERS THEIR MINDS SO THEY CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ! Yes, EVEN TODAY WHEN THEY READ MOSES' WRITINGS, THEIR HEARTS ARE COVERED WITH THAT VEIL, AND THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND."
However, those who oppose Grace say, "But Larry, I believe in Christ so I don't have a veil over my mind." However, what Paul is really saying here is: "This veil can be removed only by believing in THE FINISHED WORKS OF CHRIST." In other words, the veil is removed by believing in the Gospel that Paul preached. Most who oppose Grace are not believing in Paul's Gospel, but rather a gospel of the mixed message of law and grace that they have been taught by leaders who have been taught incorrectly themselves! Now that is the rub!
Thanks for reading this very long Blog post! I trust that it is a blessing to you and helps you understand a bit of what is currently going on within the Church. I also trust that you are able to avoid the veil and completely embrace the message that Paul taught. It does come by revelation, and maybe these words will help you see more of Holy Spirit's hand working in your life, bringing you into life and freedom within the New Covenant!
Grace and peace!