Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Why Man-Made Holy Days Are Wrong (Along with Any Other Complications of Worship)

'Tis the season to answer again the most important question: what is the right way of coming to God? Answer: "Only the way that He says to come." Any answer beyond this inevitably means adding something to Christ. 

There are of course circumstance and selection questions that must be answered in the course of doing what God has commanded as the worship that comes through Christ. But anything that we add, or that we sneak in by way of "circumstances and forms," is a man-made complication to the simplicity that was "just as the LORD had commanded" under Moses and is now an even simpler simplicity under Jesus.

So, what is wrong with any man-made complication of worship?
1. Only worship that God seeks actually finds God. John 4:16–26; Heb 8:1–6. 
2. God Himself says that man-complicated worship treats Him as common and creaturely instead of as holy. Lev 9:18–10:7; Heb 12:28–29.
3. Jesus Himself says that man-complicated worship is vain and heartless (regardless of how we feel about it). Matt 15:1–20; Isa 29:9–16.
4. Man-complicated worship departs from the worship service that is led by Christ from heaven. It thus fails to come to God through Christ. Heb chs. 1–12.
5. God calls those who offer it, "Them that hate Me." Deut 5:8–10; Deut 4:1–24.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Why Do We Do the Religious Things That We Do?

 "I mean for this to be about Jesus" or "I feel that this is about Jesus" or "This 'makes me feel' about Jesus" are no substitute for "Jesus says that this is about Himself."

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Where to Begin: God [Dec, 2022, Contribution to Seventeen82]

This article first appeared at Seventeen82

As ARPs, it is by means of the Westminster Confession and Catechisms that we obey the Scriptural mandate to maintain a pattern of sound words. By the Confession’s own viewof the Holy Scriptures, such patterns of sound words must be servants of Scripture, not substitutes, or even supplements. This is what we might call the preliminary principle of Reformed Presbyterianism.