Saturday, April 16, 2016

Jesus and the Outlaws!

Image Courtesy of: Ballywillin Presbyterian Church PCI, County Antrim, Ireland

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

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 / - Date: 17 April 2016 

Text: Mark 7.1 - 8
Thesis: Tradition is a False Guide, a “strong delusion,” making one an OUTLAW!

The Reenactment of the OK Coral!

1          Introduction

A. “The Talmud is the heart of Rabbinic Judaism; after the Bible, the Talmud is the book most studied by religious Jews and the Hebrew Bible is read and interpreted in light of the Talmud.” – Joe Carter in “Gospel Coalition” August 2014
B. We reviewed the theological approach of the Pharisees last week, essentially…what was important to the Pharisees was not the Bible but what the rabbis SAID ABOUT the Bible!
C. As forgiveness and salvation were not considered due to their “favored status” with God, they were most concerned with “Works of righteousness” that elevated them above other men in the sight of God.
D. The Pharisees and the Scribes saw Jesus not only as a heretic but as a threat to their hold on the people.  
E. This scene is full of high drama, much like a showdown in the “wild west.”
F. The consequences of this showdown are far more urgent than the consequences of every conflict in every time…rolled into one.
G. Leaving the Commandments of God for the Traditions of men is a false guide, “a strong delusion.”
H. II Thes. 2.7 – 12 – Literally “without law”
             1. I Corinthians 9.21 – “without law” - --- OUTLAW

2        Of Hands, Cups and Couches – Mark 7.1 -  5

A. The tradition of Hand Washing
B. The tradition of Cup Washing
C. The tradition of Couch Washing
D. The Awkward Question

3        The Explosive Answer – Mark 7.6 - 7

A. Isaiah’s prophesy names you of hypocrisy for your embrace of tradition!
B. The embrace of tradition shows that the lips and the heart are not in sync, they are in opposition
C. Traditional worship is vain worship
D. The doctrine of men is NOT the Doctrine of God!

4        The Line in the Sand – Mark 7.8

A. When one leaves the commandment of God, he embraces the tradition of men.
B. When one embraces the traditions of men, he leaves the commandment of God.

5        The Meaning of the Text

A. “Argumentum ad antiqitatem” or Appeal to Traditon
B. Will we embrace tradition or will be embrace Christ?
C. The appeal to tradition is the same as leaving the commandment of God.
D. The embrace of tradition is a “false guide” and a “strong delusion.”
E. Tradition is a spiritual narcotic. 
1. Tradition numbs the mind
2. Tradition erases both guilt and duty towards a Holy God. 
3. Tradition will lull one into a deep spiritual sleep that will ultimately result in a fatal overdose.
       F. To embrace tradition is to become an OUTLAW
 G. To embrace tradition is to embrace death itself.

6        The Challenge of the Text

A.   Clearly understand the origination of all modern religious traditions can be traced to the Council of Trent in 1545 that declared that Tradition, Canon Law and Scripture are equal legs  that must all stand together equally. Roman Catholicism also declares the "Laws of the Church" to be of equal authority with Scripture.  Canon  252 Sec. 3 claims sacred tradition is the basis for dogmatic theology.
1.      "We confess that the Pope has the power of altering Scripture, or increasing and diminishing it, according to his will." --Article I, "Confessio Romani-Catholica - 1838 Tom. 2, p. 343
2.     "We confess that whatsoever new thing the Pope of Rome may have instituted whether it be in Scripture, or out of Scripture, its true, divine, and salvific; and, therefore, ought to be regarded as of higher value by lay people than the precepts of the living God." --Article IV,"Confessio Romani-Catholica - 1838 Tom. 2, p. 343
3.    "We confess that Holy Scripture is imperfect and a dead letter, until it is explained by the Supreme Pontiff and permitted by him to be read by lay people." --Article XXI, "Confessio Romani-Catholica, 1838 Tom. 2, p. 343


B. Clearly understand that the Council of Trent and the “Tradition of the Elders” are both cut from the same block of wood.
C. Clearly understand that the appeal to tradition among churches of Christ regarding the instrument, female leadership and changing the meaning of baptism stems directly from Satan via the Tradition of the Elders and the Council of Trent.

7         “The Gospel Call”

·         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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