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The entire fervor and debates over doctrine is a trap of the devil

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The Gospel was preached by a group of men who were not among the knowledgeable elite, and there is a reason that God chose fishermen, tax collectors and other religious illiterates to be His apostles and not the religious experts and teachers of Jesus' time. The reason being that religious teachers and experts, who are fervent about their religious knowledge and schools, by their endless pursuit of fruitless knowledge, is actually deep in the web of Satan.

The web of Satan is nothing more than getting people into different religious groups, getting them to chase after spiritual knowledge and then sowing discord and arguments among those who consider themselves elites. Just look at the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus' day and you see the work of the devil. These religious elites, filled with knowledge and the arrogance that comes along with it, argued amongst themselves frequently about Moses' law, about who has better knowledge of deep spiritual matters and who has authority from God. Yet, none of them were even close to knowing God personally, they were all knowledge but no understanding. They were the same corrupt persons they were before they had a religion and Jesus called them hypocrites to their faces.

The same web of Satan is used in the Christian congregations. The Gospel of Christ was not prone to corruption until the time of Constantine, who saw the need to establish a religious authority of sorts to lord it over the rest of the believers with his version of superior knowledge. When the plain Gospel preached by the apostles were no longer enough and better knowledge is needed, corruption crept in and heresies rose.

Even though the RCC was corrupt, the Reformation was no different. Here the Gospel was forcefully split into different schools of thought, no different from the schools of the Pharisees and Sadducees. How can such be the work of God? The Pharisees and Sadducees did not have any true understanding of God or His message and were full of errors, the same is true of the modern day schools of Bible knowledge.

Do you really suppose that by adhering to a denomination or a school of thought, you are adhering to the truth of God? No, you are engaging in the same arguments and divisions as the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is all talk and nothing more. You are not being conformed into the image of Christ by arguing, neither are you practising righteousness when you are fervent about religious debates. You are still plagued by sin and remain as corrupt, and anyone who hasn't been practising righteousness does not even know God.

The Bible schools are not set up to pursue the truth, the truth has been preached by Jesus and the apostles long time ago without the need for any schools. Laymen in the time of the apostles had no issues understanding what was being preached even when there was no Bible schools held. The Bible schools are set up to create divisions and strife, to puff people up with knowledge, to destroy the church with heresies posing as knowledge.
 
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What was the temptation that the devil brought to Eve?

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom, she took the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.

Chasing after knowledge to become wise in one's own eyes IS the temptation that the devil first used to deceive Eve, and it is happening in almost all cults and false religions today.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily.

When you engage in religious debates, go on and chase after better "versions" of the truth, always trying to learn something that appears wiser than what the apostles preached, you are being led astray from simple and pure devotion to Christ just as apostle Paul said!
 
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2 Timothy 3:6-7 They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women who are weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions, who are always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.


The true use of Bible knowledge is "for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness", if you are pursuing so called knowledge not for these purposes, then you are indeed "always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth"!
 
Active
The Gospel was preached by a group of men who were not among the knowledgeable elite, and there is a reason that God chose fishermen, tax collectors and other religious illiterates to be His apostles and not the religious experts and teachers of Jesus' time. The reason being that religious teachers and experts, who are fervent about their religious knowledge and schools, by their endless pursuit of fruitless knowledge, is actually deep in the web of Satan.

The web of Satan is nothing more than getting people into different religious groups, getting them to chase after spiritual knowledge and then sowing discord and arguments among those who consider themselves elites. Just look at the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus' day and you see the work of the devil. These religious elites, filled with knowledge and the arrogance that comes along with it, argued amongst themselves frequently about Moses' law, about who has better knowledge of deep spiritual matters and who has authority from God. Yet, none of them were even close to knowing God personally, they were all knowledge but no understanding. They were the same corrupt persons they were before they had a religion and Jesus called them hypocrites to their faces.

The same web of Satan is used in the Christian congregations. The Gospel of Christ was not prone to corruption until the time of Constantine, who saw the need to establish a religious authority of sorts to lord it over the rest of the believers with his version of superior knowledge. When the plain Gospel preached by the apostles were no longer enough and better knowledge is needed, corruption crept in and heresies rose.

Even though the RCC was corrupt, the Reformation was no different. Here the Gospel was forcefully split into different schools of thought, no different from the schools of the Pharisees and Sadducees. How can such be the work of God? The Pharisees and Sadducees did not have any true understanding of God or His message and were full of errors, the same is true of the modern day schools of Bible knowledge.

Do you really suppose that by adhering to a denomination or a school of thought, you are adhering to the truth of God? No, you are engaging in the same arguments and divisions as the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is all talk and nothing more. You are not being conformed into the image of Christ by arguing, neither are you practising righteousness when you are fervent about religious debates. You are still plagued by sin and remain as corrupt, and anyone who hasn't been practising righteousness does not even know God.

The Bible schools are not set up to pursue the truth, the truth has been preached by Jesus and the apostles long time ago without the need for any schools. Laymen in the time of the apostles had no issues understanding what was being preached even when there was no Bible schools held. The Bible schools are set up to create divisions and strife, to puff people up with knowledge, to destroy the church with heresies posing as knowledge.
I quite agree Enxu, the Bible is very simple and very straight forward. When preachers try to put a complicated spin on a passage they normally start by saying; 'You have to look behind ..... ' or 'You have to look into the culture of the time ...' Sometimes it's relevant but more often than not God's word is for yesterday, today and forever. So when I hear or read complex theories about God's nature and purpose for mankind based upon a dubious interpretation of a singled out sometimes ambiguous verse my attention tends to drift. To quote a previous president of the USA, 'KISS - keep it simple stupid!' or as Jesus puts it - Do you hear what these children are saying? they asked. “Yes, Jesus answered. “Have you never read: ‘From the mouths of children and infants You have ordained praise’ Matthew 21:16

That's not to say that God is simple, more His dealings with us are. God is deeper, so wonderful and incredibly complex that I doubt we'll ever fully understand, even when we finally meet Him face to face in Heaven.
 
Active
I quite agree Enxu, the Bible is very simple and very straight forward. When preachers try to put a complicated spin on a passage they normally start by saying; 'You have to look behind ..... ' or 'You have to look into the culture of the time ...' Sometimes it's relevant but more often than not God's word is for yesterday, today and forever. So when I hear or read complex theories about God's nature and purpose for mankind based upon a dubious interpretation of a singled out sometimes ambiguous verse my attention tends to drift. To quote a previous president of the USA, 'KISS - keep it simple stupid!' or as Jesus puts it - Do you hear what these children are saying? they asked. “Yes, Jesus answered. “Have you never read: ‘From the mouths of children and infants You have ordained praise’ Matthew 21:16

That's not to say that God is simple, more His dealings with us are. God is deeper, so wonderful and incredibly complex that I doubt we'll ever fully understand, even when we finally meet Him face to face in Heaven.
I always wondered why those who are intelligent and knowledgeable can be so blind to the simple truth of God. I also wondered why some atheists just cannot understand what the truth is even though they are always learning. It finally dawned on me that even knowledge can be used by the devil to ensnare people into his lies.

God did not teach Adam and Eve the foundation of the universe, the knowledge of good and evil or any complex spiritual knowledge not because He is trying to withhold knowledge from them, that is the lie purported by the serpent who told Eve that God is forbidding them from obtaining knowledge. Adam and Eve simply did not need to know deep things when they have not even learned to practise righteousness. Without the foundation of righteousness, knowledge can be used to sow corruption. Adam and Eve needed to learn only one thing when they were first created, to obey and trust in God and get to know Him through their obedience. Early knowledge of good and evil will do Adam and Eve no good, without the foundation of righteousness in their character, they could be misled by the devil to do great evil with that kind of knowledge.

The devil has not stopped drawing people away from God with the promise of wisdom and superior knowledge since Eve, it (along with many other pursuits of men) is called the pride of life by apostle John in 1 John 2:16. You will find that the most deceived people are the ones who are trying to gain knowledge for no other reason but to appear more superior. If they had sought knowledge for the purpose of conviction or for training to become righteous, they would find God.
 
Loyal
2 Chronicles 1:10

Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?”

For people in authority over others


Psalm 92:6

A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this:



Proverbs 1:4

To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,


Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.


Proverbs 1:22

“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge?


Proverbs 2:6

For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.


Proverbs 8:10

“Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold.


Proverbs 10:14

Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.


Proverbs 11:9

With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.


Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.



These are but a collection of some of those concerning knowledge. With such a great cloud of witnesses, it is best to never despise knowledge.
Rather let us focus on what I assume is the point of the thread.....


1 Corinthians 13:12-13
New American Standard Bible


12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
 
Loyal
What matters most is a person's heart and motivation, not intellectual abilities or level of learning. The apostle Paul was clearly a formidable intellect, and God used him powerfully.

God has blessed some with incredible gifts of insight and ability to learn, study and research. When a person uses that ability to humbly seek to understand more of God's will and ways and to share that with others, it's a wonderful thing.

But when seeking after knowledge is separated from love and worship of God, it's an empty clanging nothing.

We need godly intellectuals who can help guide us to live well in our very complex world. We don't need empty theological debate.

Paul reminds Titus of his mission in Crete. He emphasises the moral character of elders and bishops first, and their firm grasp of word and doctrine second:

I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
 
Active
These are but a collection of some of those concerning knowledge. With such a great cloud of witnesses, it is best to never despise knowledge.
Rather let us focus on what I assume is the point of the thread.....
The focus of this thread is to let people know that the true use of knowledge is to train them for righteousness. But the religious hypocrites and the deceived chase after knowledge to puff themselves up, elevate themselves and lord it over others. That is why they engage in endless debates about doctrine, so as to prove to others that their own knowledge is more superior, such arrogant people are not closer to the truth but entangled in the web of Satan.

If the knowledge we gain does not train us for righteousness, then it is fruitless to pursue them. The Gospel of Christ and the Scriptures are filled with wisdom and knowledge, but like the apostle wrote, the wisdom and knowledge in there is for correction, for conviction and for training us in righteousness. Our lives on earth are to be spent using knowledge in this way, or else we have great risks falling into the error of Eve, who for the sake of chasing after knowledge, sinned against God and believed in the devil’s lies.
 
Loyal
The title of this thread is a little misleading to me. Debates and arguments are one thing, but knowledge is another.

1Tim 2:3; This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1Tim 2:4; who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Is knowledge used by Satan to confuse the church? Certainly, but he also uses foolishness and ignorance as well.

1Cor 14:33; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

So then if confusion isn't from God, why do we have all these different views and theologies and denominations?
Everyone can't be right, there is only one truth. The fact that there are different points of view on this thread bears this out.

Eph 4:14; As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
 
Active
The title of this thread is a little misleading to me. Debates and arguments are one thing, but knowledge is another.

1Tim 2:3; This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1Tim 2:4; who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Is knowledge used by Satan to confuse the church? Certainly, but he also uses foolishness and ignorance as well.

1Cor 14:33; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

So then if confusion isn't from God, why do we have all these different views and theologies and denominations?
Everyone can't be right, there is only one truth. The fact that there are different points of view on this thread bears this out.

Eph 4:14; As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
Look at the error of Eve, she wanted the wisdom of knowing good and evil, and fell into the devil’s deception as a result. Does this not raise alarms about how the pursuit of knowledge can be a way for the devil to lead people astray from God?

My point is very simple, wisdom and knowledge is to be used to train us for righteousness. Pursuing this is good, but if you are pursuing knowledge because you want to look wiser than others, then beware the arrogance that comes as well as the deception of the devil.
 
Loyal
Thanks for the helpful clarification Enxu. The original post said nothing positive about pursuing knowledge. I agree (And I'm sure everybody else does ) that wisdom and knowledge should be used for training in righteousness.

Personally, I love study, discovering new things and learning from others. It's a really important part of my spiritual life. Yours is a helpful reminder that it's easy to drift into seeking understanding for its own sake rather than for becoming a better disciple.
 
Active
When God created Adam and Eve, He did not teach them how the earth was created, or pass along any deep knowledge and wisdom to make them wiser. They were put on earth to be trained in righteousness, equipped for good work by obeying God’s commands, not to study the intricacies of the universe and build up their knowledge of the deep things of God.

A relationship with God does not require them to have knowledge of how matter was formed, whether black holes exist or the number of stars in the universe. Such kinds are knowledge that God has not established schools to teach because it was simply not necessary in this age for men to grasp that kind of knowledge. The mandate of mankind in this age is to know God through obedience to Him, and through obedience become righteous souls.

So what had mankind’s pursuit of knowledge really accomplished? Look at the ancient Egyptians, they were very knowledgeable about the stars and the universe, even having the skills to construct the great pyramids. They were the most knowledgeable and advanced society in their time, but they were far from the true living God. Instead, they worshipped false gods.

What about ancient Babylon? No doubt they had a lot of knowledge and wisdom, to the point that they were arrogant enough to want to challenge God by building a tower that reached into heaven. God had to stop their madness by confounding their languages.

Then look at the modern day, in mankind’s pursuit of knowledge, they started to use science to prove that God does not exist. Not only that, with their knowledge, they create weapons of mass destruction. All these atrocities are done through the pursuit of knowledge.

Like I said, when mankind has not even achieved perfection of character, the pursuit of knowledge leads to disaster. Knowledge in the hands of the wicked brings about destruction and defiance against God.
 
Loyal
(1 Cor.8).
We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3But whoever loves God is known by God. a

"All Knowledge puffs up" But GOD will let the air out of those He love!

(2 Cor 12)
American Standard Version
And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch.
(1 Cor.1).
26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
 
Loyal
When God created Adam and Eve, He did not teach them how the earth was created, or pass along any deep knowledge and wisdom to make them wiser. They were put on earth to be trained in righteousness, equipped for good work by obeying God’s commands, not to study the intricacies of the universe and build up their knowledge of the deep things of God.

A relationship with God does not require them to have knowledge of how matter was formed, whether black holes exist or the number of stars in the universe. Such kinds are knowledge that God has not established schools to teach because it was simply not necessary in this age for men to grasp that kind of knowledge. The mandate of mankind in this age is to know God through obedience to Him, and through obedience become righteous souls.

So what had mankind’s pursuit of knowledge really accomplished? Look at the ancient Egyptians, they were very knowledgeable about the stars and the universe, even having the skills to construct the great pyramids. They were the most knowledgeable and advanced society in their time, but they were far from the true living God. Instead, they worshipped false gods.

What about ancient Babylon? No doubt they had a lot of knowledge and wisdom, to the point that they were arrogant enough to want to challenge God by building a tower that reached into heaven. God had to stop their madness by confounding their languages.

Then look at the modern day, in mankind’s pursuit of knowledge, they started to use science to prove that God does not exist. Not only that, with their knowledge, they create weapons of mass destruction. All these atrocities are done through the pursuit of knowledge.

Like I said, when mankind has not even achieved perfection of character, the pursuit of knowledge leads to disaster. Knowledge in the hands of the wicked brings about destruction and defiance against God.

Weren't Adam and Eve put in the garden of Eden to enjoy it and fellowshipping with God and to give birth to the next generation?! What would have happened if they both would have obeyed the only command that God had given them. They would have continued to live in innocence -- enjoying the bodies that God gave them and had children -- and we will again experience 'heaven on earth' lasting forever.
 
Member
The Gospel was preached by a group of men who were not among the knowledgeable elite, and there is a reason that God chose fishermen, tax collectors and other religious illiterates to be His apostles and not the religious experts and teachers of Jesus' time. The reason being that religious teachers and experts, who are fervent about their religious knowledge and schools, by their endless pursuit of fruitless knowledge, is actually deep in the web of Satan.

The web of Satan is nothing more than getting people into different religious groups, getting them to chase after spiritual knowledge and then sowing discord and arguments among those who consider themselves elites. Just look at the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus' day and you see the work of the devil. These religious elites, filled with knowledge and the arrogance that comes along with it, argued amongst themselves frequently about Moses' law, about who has better knowledge of deep spiritual matters and who has authority from God. Yet, none of them were even close to knowing God personally, they were all knowledge but no understanding. They were the same corrupt persons they were before they had a religion and Jesus called them hypocrites to their faces.

The same web of Satan is used in the Christian congregations. The Gospel of Christ was not prone to corruption until the time of Constantine, who saw the need to establish a religious authority of sorts to lord it over the rest of the believers with his version of superior knowledge. When the plain Gospel preached by the apostles were no longer enough and better knowledge is needed, corruption crept in and heresies rose.

Even though the RCC was corrupt, the Reformation was no different. Here the Gospel was forcefully split into different schools of thought, no different from the schools of the Pharisees and Sadducees. How can such be the work of God? The Pharisees and Sadducees did not have any true understanding of God or His message and were full of errors, the same is true of the modern day schools of Bible knowledge.

Do you really suppose that by adhering to a denomination or a school of thought, you are adhering to the truth of God? No, you are engaging in the same arguments and divisions as the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is all talk and nothing more. You are not being conformed into the image of Christ by arguing, neither are you practising righteousness when you are fervent about religious debates. You are still plagued by sin and remain as corrupt, and anyone who hasn't been practising righteousness does not even know God.

The Bible schools are not set up to pursue the truth, the truth has been preached by Jesus and the apostles long time ago without the need for any schools. Laymen in the time of the apostles had no issues understanding what was being preached even when there was no Bible schools held. The Bible schools are set up to create divisions and strife, to puff people up with knowledge, to destroy the church with heresies posing as knowledge.
Well said. The Gospel message was not difficult for the common people of the day to understand. The Rhema working with the Logos. It's a revelation to many believers that the NT was not written to be followed by the early church. Their walk in the Spirit was writing it. Today some key scriptures that are so easily overlooked in this day we live in as believers and not taken seriously are 'taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ', 'knowledge puffs up but love builds up', the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. The enemy (see what's stated within the fruit of the flesh in Galatians) simply puts thoughts in believers minds that are not of the Spirit, and due to people having wrong motives within their hearts purse the thoughts of the flesh and create divisions etc. We must consider and filter everything through a heart attitude of love towards others. If what we want is not in love and relationship, then it's not of God. As I see it, the single most destructive force at work within the 'church' in the western world in this day is this-believers have idols at the heart of their motivations, idols of wanting to be something or someone, recognition, knowledge, power, success, riches. Psalm 50 verse 21 is where I believe the Lord is at right now. Blessings
 
Loyal
The RCC and the Reformers -- there were those who were seeing the non-Scriptural practices within the RCC. They tried to reform from within, but it didn't work. Thus, the 99 Thesis of Martin Luther I think. The Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches emerged.

We tend to give too much credit to satan -- it's our hearts that God wants. We Are told to resist and devil and he will flee from us. But the devil knows our weaknesses and makes them look really good - to the point where we don't really Want to resist him.

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and reknew a steadfast spirit within me." And there's Psalms 37 vs 3 Trust in the Lord vs 4 "Delight yourself in the Lord vs 5 "Commit your way to the Lord ,trust also in Him and vs 7 "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."
 
Member
The RCC and the Reformers -- there were those who were seeing the non-Scriptural practices within the RCC. They tried to reform from within, but it didn't work. Thus, the 99 Thesis of Martin Luther I think. The Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches emerged.

We tend to give too much credit to satan -- it's our hearts that God wants. We Are told to resist and devil and he will flee from us. But the devil knows our weaknesses and makes them look really good - to the point where we don't really Want to resist him.

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and reknew a steadfast spirit within me." And there's Psalms 37 vs 3 Trust in the Lord vs 4 "Delight yourself in the Lord vs 5 "Commit your way to the Lord ,trust also in Him and vs 7 "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."
Amen. I have learnt from over 35 years of walking in the Spirit to not even give the time of thought to the devil. I have observed over the decades how far from God people are now who were 'devil fighters'. I was in and out of church leadership, and am currently very blessed to be out of the 'churches' as such. The enemy is rife within the 'church' in the western world because it has taken on the worldly model of 'church' business. The book of Jude says it all. The enemy wants to create his image within Gods people, His bride, and it's all through the fruit of the flesh that many many believers sadly overlook within their own hearts and motives. Blessings
 
Loyal
I'm only familiar with churches in This country. But there is a certain amount Of business needing to be 'conducted' within the church.
 
Member
I'm only familiar with churches in This country. But there is a certain amount Of business needing to be 'conducted' within the church.
I am referring to the church system being conducted like a business system within the world. The boss-pastor, the managers etc-the leaders, the employees-the people who are told what they are and aren't to do. The only difference is one gets paid to work for a business, but people have to pay to go to the 'church'. The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the leaders of the 'church' of His day because they/the leaders changed the image of God to suit their own evil desires. An example today is, do you think we must pay a tithe to God or not? And if we are meant to, is that to earn our Fathers blessing? Blessings to you
 
Loyal
In Scripture the church is compared to the human body -- every born again believer is given a spiritual gift to be used in the church - the local body of believers. Scripture Also gives guidelines for pastors/ elders - their qualifications -- which suggest their job description -- Christ being the head of the church -- then the pastor and then deacons, lots of churches , depending on the size of the congregation, also have a youth pastor, song leader, And the people who clean the church, treasurer. And, yes, they all have their job description. They do these jobs because they want to and sometimes there is pay involved and sometimes Not.

A church Does need to pay the people. Some pastors Are working outside of the church and some don't. Depends on the situation. But lights need to get paid for - use of the building. Nothing is free in this world. People Should be giving to the support Of the church because they Want to. No one should feel they are paying to go to church.

Tithing was instituted in the Old Testament. A tenth of your income. In the New Testament -- give as a person feels led to give. An offering basket is usually passed around -- no one is required to put in anything.

Jesus Christ was angry with people who were using God's house of worship for buying and selling and he over-turned their tables.

We give Back to God because He is the one who has given to us in the 1st place. It's not a means to earn His blessings -- though there Is some cause and effect involved. We will be blessed For giving out of love. 'Giving' can be helping missions both local and foreign. And we Could be seeing our neighborhood as our mission field. We Should be having that attitude towards people we live, work around.
 
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