Saturday, March 24, 2012


Is it possible, that what we call 'Christianity', is really the greatest enemy of Christ?

From, at least Constantine’s era, it seems that what professes to be “Christianity”, has come to an ever broadening understanding that it is simply a matter of substituting a continuing, and wider range of religious thinking and systems, with the attendant rules and regulations, for what the Scriptures reveal is truly Christian.

There has been this consistent desire for what is perceived to be another and better way of doing things to replace what is considered an undoubtedly bad one.

It would also seem, to me, that a large number of people think that it is only, or mostly, a matter of authoritative order, technique, and development of form, tradition, and endless busy-ness.

The erroneous logic used is that, if we returned to what is perceived to be the "New Testament" form or order of churches, everything will be fine and dandy.

The Scriptures do reveal the characteristics of the churches of New Testament times, and the principles by which they functioned, yet we certainly do not have a clear, indelible blueprint according to which churches are to be set up or formed!

With all our sincere desires and efforts to have a “New Testament church”, is it possible that all we are actually achieving is the development of a myriad of other systems, or sects, with differing sets of legalistic rules, traditions, and regulations, sectarian bigotry, and remaining as spiritually lifeless as those we have left behind in the trash-can of our experience of searching for the church that suits our imaginings or tastes.

There is only ONE Church, the one Jesus is building, which is a dynamic living organism, from which rivers of living water flow. Its source is ONLY in the person of Jesus Christ. And built upon the cornerstone of His practice and completed work.

His church is totally dependent on Him through the working of His Holy Spirit in its members.

So! Back to the question: Is it possible, that what we call 'Christianity', is really the greatest enemy of Christ?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Modern Deception of Formalism

Having just placed JC Ryles “The True Church” on my blog, I wanted to mention a sermon he preached which influenced my writing a series titled “A Malignant Disease” which I began to post on the 8th December,2010.

A lesson we have not even begun to learn, is that the life of those who are genuinely a functioning part of the Church of which Ryle writes, will never be, and must never expect to be, popular. Mankind, in general, will never praise her, but the very instigator of the true Church, God the Father will.

The problem is that the clear truth of Scripture, and a lifestyle ensuing from that truth, will never popular with the wider population. History will show that they never have been, and never will be, because such lifestyle is the antithesis of that which the world, at large, craves.

Those who truly belong as part of the true church, of which Ryle writes, whether traditional, house church, or whatever arrangement is adopted, will never be satisfied with a practice which is mere form, because it requires a practical outworking ensuing from mind and heart..

On the other hand formalism in a church, is a religion based on form, and will satisfy the majority of mankind, who will vigorously embrace this “ism”, this religion of form, because it is simply that; a form without cost, and little personal effort.

Formalism is nothing more than mere religious philosophy, which, has widely replaced Biblical faith in the living Lord Jesus Christ.  It completely satisfies the withered, ignorant conscience. All philosophies can be embraced religiously; for instance, atheism, agnosticism, liberalism.

Formalism  is the unreflective scrupulous adherence to prescribed or traditional external forms imposed by tradition, or, personal comfort with a structure rather than the content which  should be represented.

Spiritually un-awakened  humankind is drawn to a  religion which does not require much cost, or effort, allowing him/her to be a comfortable observer, especially if it leaves the conscience salved, and the heart  untroubled.  I like to call this Christian-ism.

Of course it is even more acceptable if this religion doesn’t confront or interfere with his/her sin .
That’s what formal religion, or Christian-ism, which is erroneously regarded as “Christianity” does. It satisfies those who engage in it.

Formalism indulges the self-righteousness of mankind, and doesn’t expose those hidden places in his heart and conscience, and panders to the hidden Pharisee in all of us.

That’s why mankind is easily persuaded that the way of salvation is a path paved with doing good things, attending religious meetings, and with pious words and attitudes he will accomplish the heavenly goal. Formalism coerces us to believe that the way to peace with God is by our religious effort, and practice.

Formal religion is nothing more than an empty shell!

Unredeemed man practices this religion because it doesn’t trouble his conscience, and requires very little from him. Formalism leads to the wider gate and seems an easier path to heaven (Matt. 7:13).

It is my contention that there are very few, for whom mere outward show of religiosity, of mere formality, is not their practice in the present day?

To quote from my final article on “A Malignant Disease”:

Again, I am in hearty agreement with J.C.Ryle, who says, The person who thinks that there is no formalism in his church, is a very blind and ignorant person. If you love life, beware of formalism. Nothing is "so dangerous" to a man's own soul. Familiarity with the form of religion, while we neglect its reality, has a fearfully deadening effect on the conscience. It brings up by degrees a thick crust of insensibility over the whole inner man.


I'm not sure whether I can legally copy and paste the following information. I can show you where to read it.,