The True Voice of South Lafford
The Source of All Truth
The Voice of South Lafford Newsletter is typical of church publications, which are delivered to households all over the country. They are a way for the local clergy to communicate with the parish and maintain a connection between the church and the local population. But do they truly represent the Bible and its teachings, or are they just a social tool in which God plays no part?
Christians believe that the Bible is the only source of Christian belief. There is no other. Any other teaching is not the inspired Word of God, but the teaching of man. This makes it very simple for us, since all we have to do is read our Bibles, believing and doing only what it contains – nothing added, nothing subtracted. Paul said,
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Thus, those who read the Bible and follow it in their lives are completely equipped for entry into the Kingdom of God. How can it be then that there exists today so many diverse beliefs in what is supposedly the body of Christ? How can Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Baptists, Anglicans and the rest, all claim to represent the Bible. Clearly, they can’t!
Today’s “churches” would be unrecognisable to early Christians
Few people, whether they be non-believers or claim to be Christians, actually read their Bibles. If they did, they would discover that it contains a graphic description of today’s world, described as the final moments of our age. This message is almost universally ignored by churches and the diversity of beliefs to which they subscribe is undeniable proof that they are adding to or undermining the Word of God. Those who seek to alter the message were singled out for a special warning by Jesus:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The teachings of the early church were pure in that they were based upon the beliefs of those who had actually met Jesus. Over time, the church has modified and embellished the story, adding ceremonies and traditions that have no place in the Bible. Today’s “churches” would be unrecognisable to early Christians as Paul warned:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Fables! Paul says that our teachers will be teaching fables. Sadly, Paul did not see this “turning away” from the message of the Bible as an accident, but as part of a deliberate deception:
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Note that Paul recognises that Christians might “bear with” being preached “another Jesus” or “another gospel”, so that they will allow their minds to be corrupted. It is obvious that this is happening in churches today.
We can see that anyone who adds to or subtracts from the Bible can expect to incur the wrath of God. Yet, that is exactly what almost all churches wilfully do every day; and millions of Christians “bear with” it without thought.
The Voice of South Lafford
In a recent copy of my local parish magazine, The Voice of South Lafford, the local rector discusses Easter. He says,
“For Christians, Easter is more than one day. Admittedly it’s a very important day – the day when Jesus broke out of the rock-hewn tomb…”
“In church, Easter is a season which lasts for 50 days…”
There is one reference to Easter in the Bible (King James Version) and it is a mistranslation of the Greek word, “pasha” (Acts 12:4), which means Passover. All other translations correctly render the word, Passover. Jesus did not “break out” of the tomb on Passover, he left on, or more likely the evening before, an ordinary “first day of the week”. Passover lasts one day, not fifty. It is part of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread and celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
Vines Complete Expository Dictionary says this about Easter:
The term “Easter” is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast, but was not instituted by Christ, nor was it connected with Lent. From this Pasch the pagan festival of “Easter” was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.
Easter may last fifty days in the Anglican church, but in the true Church of Christ it doesn’t feature at all. Astarte or Ishtar is frequently represented with a crescent moon on her head representing the god Sin, the father of the Sun god, from whom Sunday worship derives. Jesus stated in Matt 12:40 that he would be “in the heart of the Earth” for three days and three nights. How then could he have died on a Friday evening and been resurrected on the following Sunday morning? In reality, Jesus died on a high day, probably a Wednesday and was probably resurrected on the Sabbath, a Saturday. Like Christmas, Easter is a purely human festival, having no biblical significance whatsoever.
There are those who will say that this is nit-picking; what’s important is that we mark the events of Christ’s life. Yet the Bible tells us that God hated the false feast days of the Children of Israel. He said, “… your assemblies are a stench to me.” (Amos 5:21 NIV). Perhaps we should consider God’s view of Easter. If the Old Testament tells us anything it is that feasts, celebrations and symbols are of great importance to God. Consider how He might feel about our celebrating the sacrifice of His only begotten Son with the pagan symbols of bunnies and chocolate eggs. Easter is just one of many examples of deception in the church which we “might well bear with”.
The false teaching of misguided church leaders, who get their ideas from academic training rather than the word of God are too numerous to list, but The Voice of South Lafford mentions a few more.
Later in his editorial the rector says,
A few weeks ago, on Mothering Sunday, we had a confirmation [in] our parish..
Whilst there is nothing wrong with recognising the important role of mothers in society, when it is done formally by a church, it carries the risk of association with Mary, mother of Jesus. The elevation or sancification of Mary, as is practised in the Catholic church, is heretical teaching, being found nowhere in the Bible. Methodists have even discussed calling God, mother! The Bible tells us that God is our Father. Therefore Mothering Sunday is an addition to the Bible and has no place in church.
Finally, the rector turns to “Confirmation”: another invention of man! It follows the infant act of “Christening” which also is not found in the Bible. The origins of christening are debated, but it was certainly practised in pagan religions and appears to have been adopted first by the Catholic church. Where the Bible refers to baptism it involves belief (Acts 8:35-38) and repentance (Acts 2:38). Baptism is a symbol of the washing away of our past sinful lives and rebirth into faith in Jesus. Clearly no infant can meet these conditions. Baptism is carried out by full immersion, not sprinkling and should herald a fundamental change in the subject’s behaviour. Christening and confirmation are no substitute for baptism and are a distortion of a sacred ceremony, yet Christians bear with it easily enough.
Now we have the Church of England recognising the changing of sex as a part of baptism. The Bishop of Norwich said, “The Church of England welcomes transgender people and wholeheartedly wishes for them to be included in the life of the Church.” Yet the Bible says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:27) Whilst we should be compassionate towards people struggling with identity, perverting baptism to accommodate them is clearly not God’s plan. Not content with that desecration, the church is also considering baptising animals. Where else could such ideas originate but from the serpent that beguiled Eve?
Jesus specifically commanded, “call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matt 23:9). Yet the very meaning of the title, “Pope” is “Father” and every catholic priest describes himself as Father. The Bible tells us,
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:4
So irrefutably, John tells us that the Pope is a liar. Any other interpretation twists or denies a clear Biblical truth. Jesus made another crystal clear statement about our relationship with him:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The Pope contradicted Jesus when he said,
There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations.
General Audience, St. Peter’s Square, Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Jesus came to show mankind an example of sinless living. The Bible tells us this time and time again …
.. who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth
1 Peter 2:22
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
1 John 3:5
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.
.. but the Pope knows better:
True reconciliation means that God in Christ took on our sins and He became the sinner for us. When we go to confession, for example, it isn’t that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: ‘This is your sin, and I will sin again’. And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us.
Pope Francis at Mass Saturday at the Casa Santa Martha
This man, who believes that Jesus is a sinner who “likes” us to sin, is currently running around the world engaging your church in the sinful objective of creating unity amongst the churches in the name of peace (Read, Ecumenism – What’s Wrong With Church Unity).
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged members of all religions and those belonging to no church on Wednesday to unite to defend justice, peace and the environment and not allow the value of a person to be reduced to “what he produces and what he consumes”. Francis, elected a week ago as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, met leaders of non-Catholic Christian religions such as Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists, and others including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.
Reuters March 20, 2013
I cannot count the number of supposed Christians who have told me that Christ came to bring peace. They, like the Pope, refuse to read their Bibles!
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
Millions of Catholics and other denominations actively disobey Christ daily, bearing with the teachings of men, just as the Jews did for centuries until God finally gave up on them as a nation. To how many of today’s Christians will Christ say, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”? (Matt 7:23)
Christ’s goal is, of course, ultimate peace; but not peace to this earth. Not peace by cobbling together the string of false beliefs and human customs of today’s churches. Jesus will usher in his Church, based in spirit and truth. That is the Church of peace and that is the one that I want to join.
The whole message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the story of Jesus Christ: the promise of his birth, life, teaching, crucifixion, resurrection, second coming and future Kingdom. If you do not believe that, then you are not a Christian. Yet, hundreds of church leaders – vicars, pastors, bishops and priests – in the Church of England and other denominations – do not believe in some, or any, of that! Some do not even believe in God! Retired New York Anglican Bishop, John Spong declares that the apostle Paul was a homosexual. (see 1 Cor 6:9-10)
Finally, consider this example of false teaching. How many Christians do you know who believe that when they die they will go to heaven? The Bible (John 3:13) tells us that no one has gone into heaven except Christ himself. If Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaiah and Job did not go to heaven when they died, why should anyone believe that they will? The only explanation is that they have believed their church instead of the words of Jesus himself.
The Responsibility of A Christian
The list of false doctrines and heresies on many subjects including salvation, works, the law, heaven, death and even God Himself in the “churches”, is virtually endless.
The Bible tells us:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
and asks us
Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?
We cannot stand with heretics of the true church and not be counted as one of them.
But why have Christians endured false teaching for so long? Why have we not challenged? The answer has to lie partly in the herd instinct. Most think that if everyone else believes in Easter or Christmas or christening or that good people go to heaven, then it must be true. Yet Matt 7:21 tell us that most Christians are wrong and only a select few will find salvation. We follow the hordes to damnation.
It is also about a need to conform and a fear of standing up and saying, “No!” But that is exactly what Jesus expects of us.
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Perhaps another reason that Christians do not stand up for God’s word is about laziness of mind – a sense that studying the word of God is just less interesting than our day to day pursuits. Again, the Bible challenges us to do better.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
Or maybe our tolerance for false teaching results from the most beguiling reason of all – culture! How many times have you heard the vicar or the pastor say, “In those days…”, and then go on to tell you that this or that does not apply today because our “culture” is different. Do not be misled by the doctrine of relativism: God does not change his mind (Num 23:19)! When God says that fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom, he meant it!
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Of course it is difficult to challenge beliefs that some of us have been taught for most of our lives, but it is our responsibility to do so. The Book of Acts tells us how we should question what we are told. Referring to the Jews of Berea it tells us that they didn’t simply accept the word of others but avidly read their Bibles to confirm or otherwise the truth of it.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
We are expected to do the same.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Jesus does not require buildings or special costumes or stained-glass windows. Jesus dwells with those who love and obey him.
So, to answer the implied question of the title, the true Voice of South Lafford is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. It is that true voice that taG will follow as we seek to build a real church like that described in 1 Cor 14:26, faithfully following the teaching of the Bible, and only the teaching of the Bible, to the best of our ability.
There is a direct instruction to those whose churches teach unbiblical doctrine:
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2 Thessalonians 3:6
If you would like to discover what God offers us and what the true promise really requires of us, then please join taG. Not because I or we will ever claim to have special knowledge or an exclusive route to truth, but because we will always be in search of it. Together we can become true followers of Christ, just like his early disciples, feeding upon and always learning the truth of salvation.
Click HERE if you would like to attend the first meeting of the taG group. Don’t just wonder whether it’s for you, come and find out. No commitment and no strings attached.
Read my response to Robert Meeds comments below
Have you read It’s the End of the World As We Know It?