Part 1 – Know your religion: Ritualistic acts in Christianity?
I remember a time when a Christian tried to influence me by stating that God intended us to be “vegetarians”.
His logic: “you see, eating meat is a choice. I feel pity for the animals which have to be killed to become food for us. Hence I feel that the Lord is leading me ‘higher in the spirit’ to become a vegetarian”.
My reply: “Lol” (Laughing out Loud). Dude, get real. If God found that killing animals for food is wrong, then He wouldn’t have created the lion (for evolutionists, the argument still holds true because ‘natural selection’ made the lion 100% meat eating with no choice).
By the way, the lion doesn’t kill its prey “with care”. Anyway, don’t be deceived by such “new” teachings attempted by cunning men who have crept in to deceive the Ekklesia (Called – out ones).
I told ya, the devil will create the “dumbest” false teachings and the ‘herd’ will go straight over the cliff to believe it. You have been “bewitched” (unable to use your brains to ‘think’ and ‘reason’).
True Christianity has “no” such “don’t eat meat rules”. Regarding food, a Christian is only prohibited to:
- Not eat strangled animals (due to the cruel way they were killed)
2. Not eat/drink blood (for blood is the life of an animal)
3. Avoid as much as possible food offered to idols (for conscience sake, respecting the people of other religions by not partaking to their ritualistic food & also to not stumble other brothers in Christ by doing so) – SeeActs 15:29below:
“to abstain from things offered to idols, and blood, and a strangled thing, and whoredom; from which keeping yourselves, ye shall do well; be strong!‘” (Acts 15:29)
“Don’t let anyone judge you in food (apart from the written New Testament rules above) or even in keeping the Sabbath (e.g. “do you go to church on Sundays to keep the Sabbath?” – all such ritualistic laws are abolished together with the Old Testament) as the verse below “literally” states:
“Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of Sabbaths,” (Colossians 2:16)
The choice of a person to be a vegetarian or not is entirely their own but has nothing to do with True Christianity! (fact)
Similarly, any “assembling of yourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25) in True Christianity is out of freewill choice and not out of a religious obligation to keep the Sabbath under the New Covenant!
Lastly, freewill offering given out to help the “poor” (regardless of whether they are Christian or not, pastor or not etc.) is Scriptural but the collection of tithes in the Name of God (taking it in vain) is entirely not Scriptural under the New Testament age’s Covenant!
Simply put here’s a list of “some” reasons why tithes (mandatory/forced giving of 10% of one’s income) is not Scriptural under the New Testament:
- It’s not mentioned as a rule in the New Testament. The time when Christ mentions it to the Pharisees is when the Old Testament was still in force (not ended yet). On the night Christ was betrayed, the nullifying of the Old Testament’s ritualistic laws began to come to an end as He made the “New Covenant” (or New Testament in His Blood –Matthew 26:28) during the Last Supper.
- Tithes was an Old Testament Covenant for the “Jews only” (e.g. God mentions that it’s equivalent to “robbing Him” when a Jew does not pay his tithes as written in the Book of Malachi). The King of Salem (Melchizedek–Hebrews 7:1) is probably the only non-Jew who paid tithes (willingly – no Mosaic Covenant yet) to Abraham (the first Jew). The Mosaic Covenant enforced or made tithing a rule for “Jews only”.
- Here’s a verse agreeing with (1) that the Old Testament Covenant has been “abolished” (and ready to vanish away) and is replaced by the “New Covenant”:
“in the saying ‘new,’ He hath made the first old, and what doth become obsolete and is old is nigh disappearing.” (Hebrews 8:13)
- Only Levites could collect tithes and notyour pastors (who are not Levites!). By the way, the Levitical priesthood has alsoended. Here’s the verse which correlates to that beautifully (hence no one is a Levite anymore with its priesthood having ended):
“If indeed, then, perfection were through the Levitical priesthood — for the people under it had received law — what further need, according to the order of Melchizedek, for another priest to arise, and not to be called according to the order of Aaron? for the priesthood being changed, of necessity also, of the law a change doth come … for a disannulling indeed doth come of the command going before because of its weakness, and unprofitableness,” (Hebrews 7:11 – 12, 18)
And please, the New Priesthood of the order of Melchizedek (where Christ Willingly opted for it – Hebrews 7:21 – 22) has only One Priest, the High Priest Himself, Lord Jesus Christ! (The phrases such as “spiritual Levites” commonly used by your pastors who claim to be priests etc are not found in New Testament Scripture!)
The common misinterpreted verse below actually talks about (all believers not select few) of being kings and priests in His Kingdom (not in this age on earth – and certainly not referring to your pastor’s ordination! – a pastor and a priest are different roles!). It’s a prophecy for the coming age:
“and didst make us to our God kings and priests, and we shall reign upon the earth.‘” (Revelation 5:10)
In short, please don’t be deceived!
OT = Old Testament (Old Covenant)
NT = New Testament (New Covenant)
Part 2 – The difference between OT and NT
Regarding the OT and NT laws, it’s simple:
All “ritualistic laws” (Sabbath, tithes, slaughtering sheep etc.) have “ended” because the author of Hebrews clearly writes that the “age-during Mosaic Covenant” (not an ‘eternal’ one) has been “abolished; obsolete; ready to vanish away – Hebrews 8:13). By the way, all those “ritualistic laws’ defined by the Mosaic Covenant (OT) was “only” for the Jews (not Gentiles).
That’s why circumcision (the first covenant usually fulfilled for a male child) in itself “avails to nothing” (in Christ; under the NT Covenant – Galatians 5:6). In Colossians 2:16, we find apostle Paul stating clearly that even the “Sabbaths” are “not” a law under NT because it states that “Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of Sabbaths,“.
Logical flaw: To say otherwise (that since Sabbath is mentioned, thus it must be an ancient practice of the church) implies equivalently that the other things which are mentioned in Colossians 2:16 such as a feast or a new moon must also then be ritualistic acts of the ancient church – which is not true.
Note that these (Sabbaths, New Moon, Feast etc.) are mentioned not in the sense of apostle Paul exhorting true believers to keep them but rather to not do them (note the phrase: let no one judge you). Paul probably mentioned these only because it may be a case that some in the ancient church of the Colossians were indulging into these non-Biblical ritualistic acts which are against the NT Covenant!
All giving (2 Corinthians 9:7) or “assembling together” (Hebrews 10:25) under the NT Covenant is to be done “willingly” (not as a result of obeying any “ritualistic law” – having thus ended in Christ Who alone fulfilled them all Perfectly without us being required to fulfil them by ourselves anymore – Matthew 5:17; Romans 10:4).
The “Knowledge of sin” (based on the OT Law) remains because those are “non-ritualistic” in nature. Sin (missing the mark) is always sin regardless of the Covenant (OT or NT) because it’s against God’s Holiness (without which no one will see the Lord – Hebrews 12:14).
Now that’s why the NT maintains sexual immorality (whoredom, adultery or homosexuality), idolatry, etc. as against living Holy and are sins!
In Acts 15:29, the authorities in the earliest church stated that the “ritualistic laws” which still needed to be adhered to (by the Gentiles – of course the believing Jews as well) are:
1. Do not eat strangled food (probably due to the cruel way these animals were killed)
2. Do not consume blood (because life is in the blood)
3. Abstain from food offered to idols (probably due to respecting ‘people’ in other religions by not participating in their ritualistic meals simply because we don’t believe what they believe & also so that we may not stumble a weaker brethren in Christ – the Law of Love – answer to the infamous question, “why my liberty or freedom is judged by another?” Because to Love them like Lord Jesus Christ; the only Perfect One! – 1 Corinthians 10:29).
Part 3 – FAQ
Please allow me to demonstrate how to answer some FAQs. (Other FAQs not mentioned here may be handled in like manner)
FAQ: “No verse says that I can’t do them”
For example, “No verse in the Bible says you should bathe twice in a day and don’t skip breakfast or that we should sleep at least 8 hours a day. No verse in the bible says that “smoking cigarettes or weed” is a sin or even having tattoos as well (except as an OT ritualistic Law which is already nullified under the NT)”.
(i) The Bible doesn’t say the opposite too: namely, Smoking or Tattooing is right or allowed under the NT Covenant!
(ii) Another logical reason why Smoking is not mentioned in the bible is simply because there were no cigarettes back then! (no point in God issuing a rule when that sin is ‘non-existent’ back then). If smoking weed was present, a reason why it may have not been mentioned is because it might not have been a practice amongst any of the new believers back then.
(iii) Regarding whether you bathe twice a day, the bible doesn’t mention it (true). This means that you can choose to do it as you like (say bathe 3 or 4 times) or don’t do it at all (it’s your freewill choice). However, your body may stink and succumbing to such unhygienic practices, you may fall sick!
(iv) Excuses such as “God knows my heart” or “God understands my intent” are commonly used to contradict conducts which are clearly spelled out in the NT such as, “marrying after divorced is wrong” (see the Chapter on Marry – Remarry). However, for those Christians who still choose to disobey, leave them alone. God will judge them righteously. Don’t take matters into your own hands but just know that it’s against NT verses and do ensure that you don’t fall into this pit of sin. No one is led by the Spirit to go against these verses aforementioned simple because, “the Voice of God does not contradict the Word of God”. By the traditions of men, they make the Word of God to no effect.
(v) Drinking alcohol is a sign of immature faith. Consumption in itself is not sin but the thoughts, words and actions which often follow it lead to sin. It is not uncommon to hear one reminiscing about the reason one did or indulged in certain sins is due to moments of irrationality which arose as a result of alcohol consumption. This is what it means to being unwise as the verse below declares:
“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
We can see this requirement for a mature faith laid down with all subtlety when we compare the qualifications needed for a deacon (lower) and an overseer (higher) in the verses below (when taken “literally”):
It is written in Scripture that a deacon (ministrant) is “not given to much wine” (1 Timothy 3:8) while an overseer (elder; bishop) is “not given to wine” (1 Timothy 3:3) at all!
A different phrase used in each of the verse s above means that a deacon may drink alcohol but not too much of it while an overseer cannot!
“and be not drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled in the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18)
Tattooing may be viewed in like manner. In itself, it may not be a sin since all ritualistic laws are nullified with the OT. However, it’s a sign of immature faith simply because it’s an exercise of self – indulgence without caring about other Christians who may stumble while making dirty our bodies (with vulgar pictures, non-Biblical quotes or prideful statements) which is supposed to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit of God (to be kept holy):
“Have ye not known that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own,” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
I strongly disagree with the tattooing of Bible verses on one’s body simply because it shows no reverence for His Holy Word (which is not to make you look pretty nor for you to exhibit them in such manner – it’s not your own words – you have no right! – better to put your own quotes on thy bodies! – perfection, no tattoos at all!).
By the way, please don’t twist the verse below by stating that it justifies tattooing:
“On His (Lord Jesus) robe and on His thigh He has this Name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:16)
Lord Jesus having “King of kings and Lord of lords” written on His Thigh does not justify you and I to have a tattoo simply because it’s done in the spiritual realm and not while He was on Earth. If God sees it fit for you to have one too, you may have it in heaven (or the spiritual realm) as the “literal” context of that verse allows!
For those who have already done it (knowingly or unknowingly), let God judge them. But I write here for your admonition so that you may not fall into this snare which retards the growth of your faith. Be wise (redeeming the time):
“But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” – Lord Jesus Christ in (Luke 7:35)
Lastly, don’t be deceived into keeping any of the religious laws of the OT because by doing so, you may actually be condemned as the verse below “literally” states:
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)
“so thoughtless are ye! having begun in the Spirit, now in the flesh do ye end?” (Galatians 3:3)