Barking up the Wrong Tree

Some people say that there is little love in the world because there is so much focus on, or preoccupation with, “lists and duties” to do, instead of simply “loving” God and neighbor as oneself. This preoccupation is often called “religion” as opposed to true “spirituality.” And because such a religion has often caused pain and heartache – even alienation among family and friends because of judgmental and perfectionist attitudes – it has been labeled as “toxic religion.”

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The Trinity Doctrine Reconsidered

If the Holy Spirit is the third Person of a Trinity, then is not the spirit in man also another man?  — Herbert W. Armstrong (Mystery of the Ages,  New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1985, page 112.)

The time-honored belief in a divine Trinity posits the idea that the Holy Spirit is the third Person in that Trinity, in addition to the Father and the Son. The Spirit, according to this belief, is not just the power of God but also a distinct Person, as are the Father and the Son.

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“Your Eyes Will Be Opened!”

So goes the second lie which Satan, in the guise of a wily serpent, told mankind’s first mother (Eve) in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5).

The first lie – directly opposite to what God had told Eve and her husband (and mankind’s first father) Adam (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:2-3) – was that they would surely not die even if they ate the fruit which God had forbidden them to eat, the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Sure enough, because they went ahead and ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6) Adam did die (Genesis 5:5), and presumably Eve died as well (1 Corinthians 15:22), just as God had told them.  [See:  What Happens to Man After Death?]

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Freed From Bondage

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law (Galatians 5:1-3, NKJV throughout; emphasis mine).

The Scripture verse  quoted above has been used by many Bible students to prove that Jesus Christ has freed everyone who would believe in Him, from a “yoke of bondage.”  And that “yoke”:  the keeping of the “whole law” of God.  Therefore, as the understanding of many goes, the keeping of the law – and particularly the law in the Old Testament, starting with the law on circumcision – is bondage.  Thus, for any preacher to insist on imposing the law of God on a person who wants to come to God would, supposedly, be to bring that person into bondage.

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