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Why all the rules?

Submitted: 12/18/2008
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Question: Why all the man made commandments? The people who taught them don't know that they are mostly optional but are compelled to be controlled? Why? Col 2:21,21 'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!' 'Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men??' These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.' The law came by Moses, but I thank God for grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. I grew up in a church with these 100s of rules and regulations like the Pharisees, dragging believers back under the works system as if we were still under the law. Don't do this, that, your gonna go to hell even though Jesus said that I give them eternal life and they shall NEVER perish. This fear preaching does not edify, spread love, nor keep people from sinning. It only makes people go into strict denial and runs people away from experiencing New Testament Grace and Peace. They will know us by the love we have one to another..not by rebuking, demanding, scare tactics, and slandering the saints Sunday after Sunday. Controling pastors are rampant among our Pentecostal and Apostolic brethren and God hasn't given us a spirit of fear. We have not come to Mt. Sinai but to Mt. Zion. We are free to experience growth in the spirit from faith to faith and glory to glory and not by strict rules. These were taught by men and the word says that we have no need of them. People are in these churches scared. Fear and not faith, always doubting and looking for a steady sign. I notice a difference now that I learn from teachers of grace and the spirit of life in Christ Jesus and not of the law of sin and death. The deeper spiritual realities of God are accecible but 'we' would rather stick with the safety laws/rules, but 'It is finished'

Answer: We by and large agree with you, although we would say that there is a biblical basis for rebuking at times (see 2 Timothy 4:2). We are not certain how widespread the practices you describe are among the apostolic churches, but we agree that wherever they are practiced, the people of God are being deprived of the grace and truth that Jesus came to give. You can't have it both ways. As you say, we are either living on Mount Sinai or Mount Zion, but we can't be on both at the same time.