Sunday, April 24, 2016

Busted! for Attempted High-Jacking!

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“Busted! For Attempted High-jacking”

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 / - Date:  24 April 2016

Text: Mark 7.9 - 13
Thesis:  A fine way to reject the commands of God is to establish one’s own tradition

1          Introduction - Review

A. The “chosen” did not need, ask for or even want forgiveness
B. The “chosen” presumed to brag before God of their “righteousness.”
             1) Luke 18.10 – 12
             2) Romans 2.17 - 23
C. The Pharisees were “Social Darwinists” 19 centuries before Darwin!
1) All life moves continually upward from the simple to the  Complex, they saw themselves as the “best and      brightest” of all those who had come before!

2        Establishing The Tradition of Moral Transference

A. “Bragging rights” trumped what “is right!”
B. The irony of Matthew 27.6!
             1) “Corban” (oblation, offering) used here and in our text
C. “The ends justify the means.”  Or…  “I’m doing this for the “greater good.”
             1) Elder abuse was wrong then and it’s wrong now even if
     one takes their abused parent to church with them!
D. Cloaking evil with “good” is much like having a golden trash can!
E. We are to love people and use things, not, love things and use people.

3        Establishing The Tradition of Allegorical Interpretation

A. They established their doctrine of “corban” by reading between the lines, as it were, in the Torah
B. Define allegory
             1) Hidden meaning
             2) Personally assigned interpretation
             3) A clear signal of agnosticism!
             4) A vehicle of rationalization and self-justification
C. Allegorical interpretation leads to rationalization, compromise, surrender, hypocrisy and ultimately disbelief.

4        Establishing The Tradition of Imagination as Truth

A. The dislodge of “old truth” demands creation of “new truth”
B. Since “old truth” is revealed, “new truth” must be created.
C. In order for “new truth” to be created, it must first be “imagined.”
D. Thomas Aquinas and the “6th sense.” – IMAGINATION!
E. The Pharisees “imagined” that elder abuse could be justified by “corban.” 
F. It is the “knowledge of the truth,” NOT the “imagining of the truth that “sets us free!”

5        Establishing The Tradition of Weaponizing Doctrine

A. In the movie “Hunt for Red October,” the Russian submarine is destroyed by its own torpedo
B. The Pharisees weaponized doctrine by transference, allegory and imagination only to have it destroy them and their nation 40 years later.
C. BEWARE!  The doctrine you shoot at someone else may just miss them and return to make you a target of God’s wrath!

6        The Meaning of the Text

A.   Handing down tradition voids the Word of God!

7         The Challenge of the Text

A. Morality and Doctrine must always be in sync in order to avoid hypocrisy
B. We must embrace the Scripture is its own Interpreter in order to avoid hypocrisy
C. We must never replace Truth by imagination in order to avoid hypocrisy
D. We must never weaponize Scripture in order to avoid hypocrisy

·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here:
Ruins photo courtesy of:

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