A Response to Robert Meeds
Robert Meeds commented upon the article on this site entitled The True Voice of South Lafford. This is my response to Robert’s comments. He wrote:
Sadly I feel you have missed the point of publications such as ‘The Voice’, they are not meant to be entirely religious but a focal point of the community. Articles published refer to any religious denomination as a discussion point, else where are we to gather the feelings of the people in our community. Can your site bring them to the church and the bible, No of course not, no more than ‘The Voice’ claims to. From your text above, you feel we should go back to the Puritan days of yore, where parishioners had no input to how the Bible is interpreted. However, there are more ways of interpreting what is written in the Bible than grains of sand on a beach and all of this second hand, for it was not Jesus who wrote it. God is personal to everyone, it is not for another to say that the other persons understanding is wrong, but to enable a conduit of discussion. Leave ‘The Voice’ alone, it is doing a valuable job in this community.
May YOUR god go with you, Robert.
The last book of the Bible, is a Revelation from God and a testimony from Jesus which was received and recorded by John at the time that the new Christian churches were being established two thousand years ago. In the second and third chapters Jesus instructs John to write letters of appraisal to seven churches. Many see these as representative of churches through the ages. Whether that is right or not, Jesus’s portrayal of the last church, Laodicea, certainly describes the condition of Christianity today.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
This description perfectly aligns with Robert’s comments! Jesus paints a picture of a people devoid of knowledge and understanding, materially rich and spiritually dead: knowing not what to believe and believing in nothing. For them the Bible is a book of positive ideas, conceived by men and open to whatever interpretation we want to place on it: a focus for a nice social club; a badge to wear; a comfort blanket in a cold world; something to turn to when we are confronted with pain, suffering or death; an indispensable addition to the bookcase.
And what of God? Well, He is whatever you want Him to be: there are endless possibilities and so an infinite number of gods – and what right has anyone to question yours?
Robert thinks I have missed the point of The Voice. In fact, it is because I believe that Robert fairly describes its purpose that I take issue with it. The Voice may be a community magazine but it uses Christianity as its platform. Yet, like the church from which it derives, its message could not be further from that of the Bible which, despite what Robert thinks, has an easily understood core message and set of instructions for mankind.
The Voice of South Lafford misrepresents the true Church and Christianity itself. In doing so, it promotes the very attitude that Robert expresses. For him, Christianity is a personal choice – fluid and adaptable – responding to the needs of the individual, rather than directing them. In other words, his church is lukewarm, addressing our desires rather than God’s.
What Robert fails to understand is that the many denominations, the endless “interpretations” that he refers to, exist not because mankind cannot interpret the Bible, but because it doesn’t want to. We don’t want to live by God’s strictures, we don’t want to put others before ourselves and we certainly don’t want to turn our entire beings over to the will of Christ: yet that is what our God demands of us. Instead, mankind has invented fake Christianity in numerous forms,
… having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power
2 Timothy 3:5
We dress men up in pretty frocks and call them “reverend” or “father”; compose repetitive chants (Matt 6:7); create enormous structures and call them churches (Acts 20:28); invent endless ceremonies – Easter, Lent, Christmas, Advent, Epiphany, mothering Sunday; distort the sacred baptism and call it christening and confirmation; reinvent the Sabbath; tell people they can go to heaven (John 3:13) – anything but follow clear Biblical instruction. No wonder Robert and most of “Christianity” are confused. These are not different interpretations, they are human contrivances that give power to man, not God.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways …
2 Peter 2:1-2
A true Christian believes that the Bible is the inspired, infallible handbook of life, written by holy individuals, handpicked by God for the purpose.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 1:21
In it God describes Himself and His plan for the world, and for those who believe in Him. If the Bible is not that – if it is just another literary work – then we might as well base our beliefs upon the writings of Hans Christian Anderson, Steven Fry or, as atheists do, Charles Darwin. If we cannot rely steadfastly on the Bible as the source of enduring truth, then Jesus Christ and His message are fictions with no validly, no authority. If we have no Christ, we have no Christianity.
We cannot pick and choose from the Bible, you either believe it to be the sole work of the one true God, or you don’t. You are either a Christian or you are not.
Robert appears to believe that God is a personal invention who changes according to the needs of the individual, but the Bible tells us that there is one true, living (Mark 12:32, Rom 3:30), unchanging (Jam 1:17) God and that we must seek His face (1 Chron 16:11). Robert advocates a doctrine-free discussion from which religious truth can be arrived at “from the feelings of the people”, but neither God nor the Bible is subject to our feelings or aspirations (Psa 119:89).
There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
The depth of Robert’s lack of understanding of the Bible message is exposed when he suggests that the article advocates a return to Puritan days, “where parishioners had no input to how the Bible is interpreted”; as if the Bible responds to fashion or need. The Bible is clear, easy to understand by those who study it and, contrary to what Robert says, not open to individual interpretation. God is not interested in the opinions of His followers, just their obedience.
The True Voice article does not promote any sect or culture or time; it promotes the true church of Jesus Christ which has been distorted out of all recognition by modern Christianity.
If The Voice of South Lafford is a community magazine, let it focus on the jumble sales, art groups and good causes. If it aspires to promote spirituality, biblical truth and belief in God, then it had better do that accurately; otherwise it will continue to receive my somewhat irrelevant condemnation, but more importantly, that of our God.
I hope that Robert, and everyone else who are satisfied with lukewarm, superficial Christianity, will come to recognise the benefit of digging for ultimate truth – not only in this life, but for the assurance of the next. Join me in creating a branch of the true church; faithfully seeking out and following the ways of Jesus. Contact me here.
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