Brother Michel Lankford

Many do not leave Christianity. They are leaving traditional organized church. There is a difference. That’s not always the same thing.

The reason that many Christians leave churches after reading the Bible is because they want to follow what the Bible teaches and not follow traditions of men. Once you start reading and studying the Bible for yourself, you start learning that what a lot of Christian churches do is actually AGAINST the Bible. They don’t want to commit what Jesus Christ called Vain Worship.

Not as many people are leaving, “Biblical Christianity,” as you might think. They may be leaving organized churches, but they still believe in YHWH Almighty God. They still believe that Messiah is the Son of YHWH. They still believe Messiah died for their sins and that YHWH raised Him from the dead. They still believe in following the written text of Scripture as best they can.

The reason that many believers are leaving organized churches after reading the Bible is because a lot of the traditions that organized churches celebrate on a regular basis are actually AGAINST what the Bible teaches that believers should do. If a person is trying to be a truly Biblical Christian, they discover that they CANNOT legitimately honor some of the customs and traditions and behaviors that have become commonplace in modern and postmodern Christianity today; because when they do that they are actually VIOLATING what Scripture teaches that believers are supposed to do.

What many of these Christians are trying to do who are leaving traditional churches; they are trying to get back CLOSER to what the Bible says that a YHWH and a Messiah follower are required to do according to the Scriptures. They are trying to DO Acts 5:29. They are trying to obey God rather than man.

Trying to Avoid what Messiah calls Worshiping in Vain

Messiah clearly taught that it is possible for people to worship YHWH Almighty; but they do it in vain, (meaning that they render their worship to become worthless, empty and meaningless in the sight of God) Messiah defines Vain Worship in very specific ways, (e.g. Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13).

  • You over esteem religious tradition invented by human beings.
  • You treat religious traditions and rules given by man AS IF they are the SAME as God-given Commandments.
  • You value a religious rule and tradition that was invented by human beings, and you treat that Tradition AS IF it were equal to or higher than written Commandments of God in Scripture.
  • You neglect and disobey the written Commandments of God in Scripture, but you go out of your way to make sure that you honor religious traditions invented by men.

As It Is Written:

“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (Mark 7:8–9 NKJV

“then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (Mark 7:12–13 NKJV)

According to what Messiah said combined with the definition of “Vain Worship,”When you do these four types of things, any worship that you offer to God in this way is rendered empty, worthless, and meaningless. It’s Vain Worship. From God and Messiah’s point of view, it is the SAME AS IF you did not truly worship God at all. You made your attempt at worship meaningless, under those circumstances.

Contrast Vain Worship with the Worship that God Truly Wants

Part of genuine worship is learning what YHWH Almighty God SAYS that He WANTS, and choosing to give God what He says that He WANTS, instead of only giving God what WE desire and what we prefer to give Him. Find out what God values. Find out what God says He wants. Give God what He says He wants, instead of focusing on what YOU PREFER to give to God in worship. That is genuine worship. Let’s take a closer look at what Messiah said that God wants in worship:

As It Is Written:

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(John 4:23–24 NKJV)

So, according to Messiah Himself, YHWH Almighty God is looking for people to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. So, if we want to be the kind of worshiper that God is looking for:

  • We must worship God in the right spirit
  • We must worship God according to the Truth. According to Scripture, truth is defined by God’s Commandments. Therefore, our worship must be in full agreement with the Written Commandments of God, as well as being given in the right spirit.

Example: in circa A.D. 603, Pope Gregory I ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury to incorporate and adapt all manner of pagan religious practices as possible into the church so is to entice more pagans to become Roman Catholic. As a result it became religious law, (although it had already been practiced by tradition for centuries before it became church dogma), to incorporate all kinds of pagan practices into Christianity in an effort to entice other religions to adopt Roman Catholicism as their religion. The problem is that this religious decree was 100% AGAINST God’s Commandments in Scripture.

Therefore, in order to keep a commandment given by popes, you had to reject a Commandment expressly given by God. God specifically says, DON’T mix or blend pagan religious traditions, when you are trying to worship YHWH Almighty God. What Pope Gregory did, was to force people to DISOBEY what God Commanded in order to keep religious traditions that popes commanded. That’s vain worship according to Jesus:

As It Is Written:

““These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things. (Deuteronomy 12:1–4 NKJV)

If a custom, a decoration, a religious practice was first used to worship other gods, we MUST NOT use or adapt those same things to worship YHWH or honor Messiah. That breaks a direct Commandment given by God. There are no two ways around it:

As It Is Written:

““You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes—(Deuteronomy 12:8 NKJV)

Doing only what seems right in our own desires and in our own eyes, is FORBIDDEN. You have to learn and do what God says He wants in worship. That’s important.

As It Is Written:

““When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:29–32 NKJV)

Almost every practice that is done in traditional modern Christianity today, VIOLATES the direct Commandments in favor of keeping church tradition given by popes. They often reject what God said, in order to keep what Pope Gregory said. That’s why many Christians leave the church after they read the Bible. They want to obey God rather than man. The wan to avoid Vain Worship.

Many are simply trying to obey Colossians 2:8

As It Is Written:

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

(Colossians 2:8 NKJV)

As It Is Written:

“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, And be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; For the heathen are dismayed at them.

(Jeremiah 10:2 KJV 1900)

That is why sometimes people who seek to follow the Bible leave traditional church. I hope that helps. Thank you for your kind attention.

Brother Michel Lankford

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