Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tim Price on The Tale of Two Masters

Tim Price (Omaha, Nebraska) is a friend of mine who works as an editor, publisher and writer. Tim is currently working on a book called The Tale of Two Masters, uploading individual chapters to as he completes. He has given me permission to copy one chapter of his new book on this blog, a chapter I believe is extremely important for Jesus followers who are living through America's charged political atmosphere of 2016. If you take seriously the call for Jesus to be the Lord and Master of your life, then take a few moments and be challenged from Tim's writing on the difference between Jesus being your master and the machinations of the world being your master.

In God's Kingdom - the very thing Jesus brings - there is equity, equality, etc. But in the kingdoms of this world there is none of this. Oh sure, there are attempts at altruism, but the world can only attempt to achieve what God's Kingdom already brings. Christians often make the mistake of believing altruism can be achieved through unregenerate people. The New Testament teachings of Christ are clear; God alone is able to make people capable of true goodness. The machinations of the world can only make attempts at altruism, but they are destined to always fail. It is Christ in us who is our hope of true goodness.

Please read Tim's article below carefully. After reading it, see if you don't have a better appreciation of the difference between what God is actually doing in His people and what the world is deceiving people into doing and believing through political, social, and cultural change.


The Tale of Two Masters
Tim Price

No one would be surprised that the average church person could quote a number of isolated biblical texts. Or even that a few small snippets of Bible verses are commonly known in unregenerate circles. Yet, I wonder at the penetration level of these texts. For the church folk, are these texts applied in real life? Does the well-knownness of a text equate to a full understanding or application of it in our life? Many would like to think so, yet I wonder. Let’s consider just one such text:

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."  (Matthew 6:24 NIV)
Many a churchman could quote Matthew 6:24 verbatim. However, is it understood in a circumspect application or is it another of those texts we quote that has no real root in our lives? To answer such a query one would have to know what does Matthew 6:24 mean. Does it refer to: money, idolatry, control, all of the foregoing or even more?

In an attempt to answer my own question I went straight to the Internet in search of meanings inferred from this text. I wanted to know what currently shapes the collective notions about this text as far as general understanding. There were no shortages of commentary. Those cited below were randomly chosen from the first page of search results.

1. John Gill’s exposition on the Bible regarding the stated text says:
Whereas it (mammon) is not a Hebrew word, nor an adjective, but a substantive, and signifies riches; which are opposed to God, being by some men loved, admired, trusted in, and worshipped, as if they were God; and which is incompatible with the service of the true God. A
2. The Bible Hub provided their commentary concerning our text. They listed many interpretations. This one is from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers:

…Literally, can be the slave of two masters. The clauses that follow describe two distinct results of the attempt to combine the two forms of service which are really incompatible…there is obviously an approach to a personification (of mammon) for the sake of contrasting the service or worship of money with that which is due to God. B

3. The Christian Resource Institute notes:
The two words "serve" and "masters" refer to a slave's relationship to a slave-owner… The verse ends with a summary statement: You cannot serve both God and Money. The Greek word for Money is Mammon, which was taken from Aramaic, the language of Jesus. It meant wealth, property, or possessions…C
It appears the commonly understood meaning of this text is anchored to the final word in the verse: mammon (money). However, is this all the verse is speaking about? Another detail to consider is in reference No. 3, which reminds us, “The two words ‘serve’ and ‘masters’ refer to a slave's relationship to a slave-owner.”D This detail cannot be missed, nor subordinated to the other point concerning mammon. It is astonishing that the money detail carries a disproportionate weight of interpretation in many, many commentaries. E

One can only wonder why the master-slave context of this verse has apparently been glossed over. Slave has become a dirty, evil word in our day. Christians consider themselves very much a part of “mankind”: the milieu of general society and human existence. And thus, we, more often than not, reflect society’s sensitivities. Since abolition, the word slavery carries a stigma and curse, so much so that it can’t be referenced without a subconscious undercurrent of denial and strickenness rising up to slam any door that could be opened on meaningful understanding from biblical references to the topic. As an example of this palpable reticence, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary clearly avoids articulation on the connection between master and slave in its “definition” of master.F

I observed this common aversion in another piece I wrote: Chapter 4 - A Kingdom of Bond-Servants. Other authors have also taken notice of this inclination—prompting books like Slaves of Christ, by Murray J. Harris and Slavery as Salvation by Dale. B. Martin. Both authors hope to remind us of the exquisiteness and purpose of servile terminology in the New Testament. The need is to restore a rightful understanding and application of the imagery of slavery unhindered by the popularized misinformation that the culture of our day has sought to rendition us with.

Matthew’s verse starts by noting two masters… What is a master?

A master in the time and context of the text’s authorship was (and still is) a person who owned slaves. Slavery was about being completely occupied in one’s existence to the allowance of whoever owned you for the purpose of doing work that did not profit you. A slave had no sense of self other than mere existence. Murray J. Harris noted, “…the slave's alienation from family and tribe, including communal religion, so that his focus of attachment became his master; his identity became so inseparable from his master.”

Today, how many things occupy our minds about the existence in this world and all the choices ostensibly forced upon us in our modern situation? How many of the factors in our existence limit our choices? How many of these things foster a sense of belonging and identity that in turn require our cooperation?

Few church people can see past the political and temporal reality around us. More importantly, they are totally owned by this reality. Being a Christian, to most, is just another of 20 things to which we are connected rather than following Christ owning us and everything in life being trimmed and defined by that Master-slave relationship. We allow the world order and temporal existence to own us, but not God. Christ was addressing this unfortunate reality in the Sermon on the Mount; most pointedly in Matthew 6:24.

Christians correctly expose the Evolutionists’ interpretations of what they observe when the Christian says something like, “You (Evolutionists) interpret what you see in the strata according to an explanation in which you’ve attached subjective meaning.” Point being—made by the Christian exposé—is that this self-serving understanding only confirms the Evolutionists’ theory as being legitimate. Yet, Christians do almost the exact same thing regarding politics, society, life and existence. Christians see a reality around them and then use it to interpret the Bible. This approach only supports the course of the world as it is. G The Bible was never meant to be interpreted by history or current events or the way things seem at one point or another. The Bible transcends all that. Instead, the Bible tells us how to understand what we see while we maintain God’s purpose and direction.

The highest number of Christians will fight the notion that anything is their master other than God. They’ve been taught by the institutional church to excuse various details as a reality of the world we live in, in spite of NT teaching. Yet, their dependence on and abdication to the temporal order; its divisiveness, its logic and direction tells us that indeed that the highest number Christians are owned by the temporal order. They see no other way to be present for God in the context of the world order other than to play its games. Jacques Ellul noted this poor trend by saying, “Other pronouncements show that the moment one speaks of ‘presence to the world’ Christians translate this as political presence. It would seem that there is absolutely no other way to be present to the world other than to engage in politics.”H

Christians cannot conceive of another means to engage an unbelieving society. They send missionaries to other cultures, nations, and places to engage those groups of unbelieving people with the truth of the Bible. Yet, “here at home”—a notion utterly foreign to the NT teaching for the follower of Christ—they set aside the NT and stay entrenched in society as a co-owners and benefactors of the state.

What’s wrong with that picture?

Ultimately, the tale of two masters is the story of the master of the temporal order and the master of the eternal now-reality order of the Kingdom of God (KOG). There are only two realities. Yet, for the last 1700 years, the organized church has sold believers the false idea that we—as the collective body of Christ—are NOT the KOG amongst the kingdoms of men. The KOG has been spiritualized into meaninglessness by turning it in to mere metaphor and/or pushing its reality into next life.

This is clearly in spite of what the NT teaches, where most references to the KOG are in the now-reality tense. For example, Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first”—what—“the Kingdom of God.” Then it says, “and all these things will be added to you,” speaking of material/temporal things. Let’s consider a couple of questions:

When is the seeking—and finding—of the KOG to occur? Now or in the next life?
And when will everything be added to us in having sought the KOG? In this life or the next?

Clearly, this text is speaking of a now-reality, why? Simple! Of what need or use would all these things—what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear,—mean to us in the next life? This is just one of 40+ such now-reality texts concerning the KOG. What was Jesus doing, teaching about the KOG if it were only a hereafter reality? It is in fact that the KOG is a now-reality that was the basis for which Christ spent so much time teaching about it.

The state, in Christ’s day, meant enslavement to all in the realm to the reigning actuary of the day. The state was about belonging, identity, and protection. Today is no different. Today, people—to include Christians—are just as enslaved to the state in order to keep the freedoms it offers and to protect the way of life they have come to enjoy in this country from it’s enemies foreign and domestic… The KOG in Christ’s day meant real freedom, real love, and a transcendent reality outside the manipulation of the state. Serving God meant real, palpable reward in this life as well as the next, see: Mark 10:29-30. The order of the KOG was the antithesis of the world order, and still is.

Today, many believers foolishly look upon modern society as good, as ascending, and as improving… The world order has abolished many “evils.“ But has it brought anyone closer to God? It offers “rights”, “freedoms” and the establishment of a reality where mankind seems to becoming better all the time.I The unregenerate or mankind proposes “social justice”, “egalitarianism”, “social equity”, and “gender equality” J as basic human rights. Not only this, but also these “rights” are part of ever widening the array of what “inclusiveness” and “identity” can mean. There is serious expectation of these “improvements” and hell to pay from the masses if it were ever exposed that such are just political footballs, not a reality of an accomplished continuum.

The list of inclusions, under the leadership of the unregenerate world order, has grown to the point where many Christians can’t agree biblically on these “acceptable paths,” i.e. transgenderism, the normalization of homosexual choices and even the move to normalize pedophilia.K These latest moves of the temporal order threaten “the church” because it depends on the state for inclusion, identity and belonging within the state’s order, as well as protection. Yet, the state requires a price for such, which the religious community is finally beginning to wake up to.

The tale of two masters is a tremendously sad story. It is indeed about two competing kingdoms. Unfortunately, it has become a history of treachery. The followers of Christ have been offered and awarded a reality beyond compare in this life. However, the response of most Christians historically has been to minimize the now-reality of eternal order in favor of the temporal order; expecting to benefit from the latter and enjoy it for all its worth. They don’t realize they’ve sold their birthright for a bowl of soup like someone else we ought to have learned from.

Jesus lived the KOG, which contrasted the reality of the world order of His time; and people flocked to Him even though they had to give up everything to follow Him, see: Matt. 19:27. We’ve deceived ourselves into thinking that the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t say what it does… We’ve shoveled what “master” and “slave” mean under a rug as far as the KOG. And thus the kingdom of the world, the order run by the enemy of God, has nothing to contrast it. If the Christians won’t live the KOG, in keeping with Christ, how is anyone to see that the world order is a fraud and grandiose failure? Without the KOG, the temporal order can appear credible in its attempts to prove God wrong about mankind: humanity is not utterly evil, right?

The gospel—the good news—of the kingdom of God is that the KOG is something utterly different, but every bit as real as the order of the world. The KOG offered something the world order could not and would not offer people. The KOG is an exclusive reality with a high price that even the poorest of the poor in the world order can afford.

Christians have reduced what it means to follow Jesus into thinking that “engaging the world” is holding to a different belief in a belief in one’s head, staying aloof in religious clubs so as not to be surrounded by evil, and then going out and manipulating public policy with their esoteric ideals so they can feel comfortable as they wait for the grave where everything will be the betterment of the KOG in the hereafter. They have no realization that one can be MORE present in the world and utterly contrast it by being the KOG amongst the kingdoms of men in the everyday living within the world, by being slaves of Another.

What is the KOG amongst the kingdoms of men?

It’s letting the world be as it is, as most missionaries do, yet living and being a contrast within a foreign order. If the world order is air, we are perfume. Its air carries us, but it is not us. The KOG is about being truth, love and justice in our dealing with one-another. It’s about offering what we are to the people we meet and interact with. The KOG is about being a contrasting reality within the temporality of the world. But it is not a continuum that is a dependable benefit to the world. The KOG isn’t about fixing the world or changing it. Mud is mud and we need to get over that fact and allow it to be as it is.

The KOG is about doing the will of our Father in Heaven. It’s about doing only what He shows us to do… So many of us do what we think is best and offer our best efforts. But this so misses direct guidance; say nothing of obedience. The problem with Christians is that they have gagged God, theologically. They’ve limited themselves to trying to figure out a book, while not being concerned that Jesus sits in heaven with a proverbial sock in His mouth. It wouldn’t matter if He could speak because nobody is listening for direct guidance. Christians continue to listen to Constantine, that the church and the state can rule together and affect change in the world. Yet, they have failed to realize that putting their lamp under the basket of the state has hidden (obscured) their light.

In these latter days, God is going to purify His Bride. The state will continue to pressure change in the way of perversions, counterfeit progress and other political footballs to keep the simpleminded pre-occupied. What calls itself church will be forced to either throw out Constantine—and our belonging and identity with him—or continue as the state’s pet and perish in God’s confrontation of the order of the world. If believers do what is right, following Jesus will once again become a persecuted involvement. In this renewed outlook, we will not allow the state to tell us what we will and won’t do as far as the application of scripture. We will become uncompliant with the state’s progressive developments. We will disband our huge institutional edifices and take up action in our homes through functional relationships; utterly depending on God to meet, to minister, and to exist.

So! The question is:

When won’t there be the tale of two masters in your life? As a follower of Jesus, when are you going to take God serious as your master and throw out the impostor of the state and quit trying to belong to it? Christians continually look for allowable options, but Jesus’ gospel is a very narrow way. God is listening and seeking repentance from His followers who have not realized that He is seeking differentiation between the order of the world and His order (KOG). God’s word is clear, if you have not been taught to miss it.

 End Notes

B. Bible Hub Commentaries: Matthew 6:24

C. CriVoice: Matthew 6

D. Ibid

E. The following sources park the chief meaning of Matt. 6:24 at dealing with money and little else. Few of these do not deal with “serve two masters” other than to say that money is the one master this verse is talking about: Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, Pulpit Commentary (Joseph Exell), Expositor's Greek Testament, Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament, Matthew Poole's Commentary, Adam Clarke’s Commentary, John Lightfoot Commentary, Wesley's Explanatory Notes, John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible, Phillip Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament, Greek Testament, Critical Exegetical Commentary, F.B. Meyers’ Through The Bible Commentary, Chuck Smith Bible Commentary, E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible Notes

F. Merriam-Webster Dictionary - this dictionary goes as far as to deemphasize “a servant” as being nothing more than being “managed” instead of owned in reference to servants.

G. I noted this reality in my first book, The Diluted Church: Calling Believers to Live out of their True Heritage, pg. 23

H. False Presence of the Kingdom, Seabury Press 1972 Congress Catalog Card Number 77-163369-736-272-C-6 pg. 96

I. Hawk and the Eagle, by John Denver. In the lyrics Denver writes this notion of human perfectability, “and reach for the heavens and hope for the future, and all that we can be and not what we are.”

J. Social justice, egalitarianism, social equity, and gender equality are knock offs of what the earliest of church lived, which embodied the KOG as a now-reality. These new articulations are strictly humanistic attempts to make mankind appear better and transcending his old self…

K. Salon Magazine has published three articles in the last two years concerning a pedophile who wants you to empathize with him, that is see life through his eyes… Some admit this is a move to start normalizing pedophilia: "I'm a Pedophile, but Not a Monster," "I'm a Pedophile and You're the Monster: My Week Inside the Vile Right Wing Hate Machine," and "The Pedophile I Could Not Help, but He Was Not a Monster."


Christiane said...

"It is Christ in us who is our hope of true goodness."

I agree with this thought, yes.

But I could never see anything in the Alt-Right thinking that is even remotely 'of Christ', no.

Aussie John said...

I hope the book will be published!

Peter was concerned that his brethren understood that having been born again they were indeed strangers, and even alien, to the world in which they were naturally born (1Pet. 2:11).

Paul reminded his hearers that they were now citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:7)and indeed "..has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,.." Colossians 1:13.

No dual citizenship!

Christiane said...

I need to ask out of what origin does this teaching come?

" What is the KOG amongst the kingdoms of men?

It’s letting the world be as it is, as most missionaries do, yet living and being a contrast within a foreign order. If the world order is air, we are perfume. Its air carries us, but it is not us. The KOG is about being truth, love and justice in our dealing with one-another. It’s about offering what we are to the people we meet and interact with. The KOG is about being a contrasting reality within the temporality of the world. But it is not a continuum that is a dependable benefit to the world. The KOG isn’t about fixing the world or changing it. Mud is mud and we need to get over that fact and allow it to be as it is."

The REASON I ask is because this teaching seems to draw something from the strict dichotomy between the spiritual realm and the material 'world' we inhabit, which was done in the days of the Gnostics and later, the Cathars, but was never accepted among the orthodox Church.

Either God is the God of the natural and the supernatural world, and holds ALL that exists in existence, or He is not. I do think that any teaching that looks at our natural world as not within His keeping is a teaching that is not well thought out. What I do know is that Creation awaits its renewal by God, and this is an orthodox Christian belief from time immemorial.


Rex Ray said...


It took two naps to get me through these 7 pages, but I was determined. :)

Basically, Price is saying Christians have gone to the ‘dogs’ by giving into the world.

His saying, “In these later days, God is going to purify His Bride” means the church has been tricked by the devil.

What does Price do with, “…I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Price sprinkles enough truth in this capture to make it look good. It’s like a fish seeing a worm without knowing there’s a hook.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane and Rex,

Two good thoughts and questions - which I can't answer. If Tim reads this, I believe he will respond.

Thanks for commenting.

Aussie John said...


Jn 17:14 is a good starting point,"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

No dichotomy there! No impugning of God's sovereignty there.He is God of ALL creation!

Chris Riley said...

"Slavery was about being completely occupied in one’s existence to the allowance of whoever owned you for the purpose of doing work that did not profit you."

This definition alone will preach to/should convict Christians in the USA. We seek churches that "profit" us, ministers who "profit" us, and endeavors that "profit" us. Yet, the church is stagnant in movement and power in America. Yet, in other parts of the world, we are being told the 5th Great Awakening is happening. We are missing it, I believe, due in part to our "consumerism" mentality in regards to accepting/presenting the Gospel.

TimPrice said...

To Christiane and Rex... First thanks for your observations and questions.

Rex, Indeed Christ is building His church. But His church is not the ones on the corner we commonly call church. It is actual believers who follow Him, even when tough times come (presecutions, imprisonments, torture... They stay standing instead of caving into the order of the day. You'd recall people like Corrie Ten Boom as one such person. There are many more of course that are not well-known. God is into a remenent, who has not bowed the knee, not the masses that say "Lord, Lord". In every era in history there have been many who have not bowed the knee. Yet, this is overshadowed by those who DID bow the knee...

I am encouraged by the stories of Bruchko, Mabel Frances, Count Zinzendorf, Richard Wurmbrand. These are who we need to learn from.

TimPrice said...

Christiane, I think you misunderstand what the Gnostics (later Cathars) were doing in comparison to the early church. The Gnostics as you said, drew up a false dichotomy between a spiritual reality and a physical reality... But Jesus wasn't. Jesus lived an eternal reality within a physical world. Jesus didn't seem to care at all about what was going on political, social, or ethically in the community surrounding Him. He didn't read the Jerusalem Sun Times about what Rome was doing, or about how He was being reported. It was almost as if He were oblivious to the order of mankind, other than the real people He came in contact with and meeting the needs He found on a personal level. Where can we find Jesus attempting to "fix" the social order? That's part of the dead burying the dead detail He warned His disciples about. Where do we find Paul or Peter or James attempting to "make the world a better place"? We can't find it. We only can find Humanist thinking, like Abraham Kuyper or Eramus, trying to improve mankind or improve conditions around mankind so has he can be the better person that we can be... The bible tells us that the heart of mankind is EVIL beyond words. That is not likely to change unless God transforms a person.

My teaching and understanding comes from the earliest of the early church, before Constantine. There have been groups historically speaking who have rediscovered that same understanding of the non-Constantinian church, i.e. Waldensians, Moravians, Hussites, Ultraquist, Donatist, and some of the early Anabaptists. Were they perfect? No... Where they biblical? Absolutely! All of these groups were exceptionally persecuted. All of them were exceptionally missionary oriented. All of them rejected a relationship between church and state. To these groups church wasn't a brick in the wall of life. To them church was the brick wall of life, it was who they were. Church today is footnote in most people's week, if that. Their sold to 15 different things and the love God less because of it.

The Waldensians were the first group of people to translate the bible into the common tongue of the people in 1170AD. William Tyndale was 360 years late to that party. And for this act of translation, the Catholics unleashed a reign of terror and annihilation against the Waldensians for the next 400 years. It was said by their inquisotors that there is not a region in the world where their presense wasn't known... That's before William Carey and the great missionary focus of the 1800s. The Moravians were every bit the equal to the Waldensians.

More in a second post...

TimPrice said...

I would challenge you to do a little more reading. Check out The Waldensian Dissent: Persecution and Survival, by Gabriel Audisio. Eye opening! But the mother lode is in a book titled, The Reformers and their Stepchildren, by Leonard Verduin. This book should be must reading for any real believer. Verduin uncovers a lie that church in the boardest sense to this day has not dealt with other than in persecuted places. Most Christians are tremendously ignorant of church history. They think they know who Calvin is, as well as Luther, Wesley, Spurgeon, and Augustine. Some might even know Melancthon or Zwingli... But I could go to twenty evangelical churches in Omaha and NO ONE could tell me a tittle about the Waldensians, not even pastors. We've been taught a populist history that contains a lie concerning the adultery of church with the state. And that includes evangelicals, fundamentalists and Charismatic groups.* The highest degree have bought the lie of inclusion and protection from the state. And depending on who's theology one's believes, most church people are going to be savagely confronted with a reality they don't have the slightest idea how to deal with. I think God would have us be wiser and live in a way that is in most ways impervious to such attacks. I think God wants better representation than Sunday going to meeting and once in awhile outreaches. I think God wants the gospel of the Kingdom taught rather than religious infused Humanism. As a contrast between the two, please find a recording or downloadable PDF called Ten Shekels and A Shirt, by Paris Reidhead.

*Note: Does this mean that believers in these groups are lost or going to hell? Nope! But they are wide open to caving in and are given teaching that opens them up for deception and bowing the knee in the ultimate sense.

I hope I have answered your questions and given some perspective on where I am coming from.

Gordon said...

Many have become slaves to their inherited theology, and are very reluctant to question the historical origin or Biblical veracity of their beliefs. However, the social and cultural instability that has arisen worldwide during the digital age has created a big opening for both seekers and propagators of truth to enter a new age of enlightenment.

Two such paradigm shifting Bible teachings are: the theology of the New Covenant, and the nature of the church. Once you have seen and accepted the plain Biblical interpretation of these doctrines, you can never 'unsee' them.

Together with Leonard Verduin's excellent book you recommend, I would also suggest his book 'The Anatomy of a Hybrid' which deals with the State-Church relationships. Another book of great value , dealing with the sufferings of faithful KOG believers, is by Josef Ton, 'Suffering, Martyrdom, and Rewards in Heaven'. All these are available from popular internet sellers of new and good used copies.

Thanks to Wade and Tim.... 21 century enlightenment leaders.....500 years after Luther !

Rex Ray said...

Tim Price,

Thanks for your reply.

You are right that “His church is not the ones on the corner…It is actual believers…”

The rest of that sentence I don’t agree. (“…who follow Him”)

If a believer doesn’t follow Jesus, they never were a believer. I’m not saying a believer never sins, “…all our righteousness are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)

“…who follow Him” is the same as James saying, “Faith without works is dead.”

The definition of “faith” is works, so James unknowingly was saying ‘works without works is dead’.

James was so ‘overboard on works’ he didn’t think that believing in Jesus was enough but obeying the law of works was:

“…you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” (James 2:12, 13)

Since James was first a scoffer of Jesus and missed three years of ‘college’ that apostles obtained, why wasn’t one of them chosen as pastor of the Jerusalem church?


Besides being the brother of Jesus, James was the most ‘important’ person in Israel. “Foxes Book of Martyrs” (1516-1587): Page nine;

“James drank no wine…or eat any animal food; the razor never came upon his him only was it lawful to enter into the holy place…asked remission for the people…called ‘The Just’ and ‘the safeguard of the people.”

Upon his murder there was such a cry from the people, that the King ordered the firing of the priest that ordered his execution.

More later on James and how the roots of Catholic and non-Catholic started with his “JUDGMENT” at the first church counsel in Acts 15.

Christiane said...

I thank you for your response. And I did find this about a modern-day encounter between a pope and a Waldensian community:

I suspect the good people of this faith community are better known to Catholics than to other evangelical people, especially in this country. The Pope got to know the Waldensian faith communities when he was in Argentina before he became Pope.

I appreciate your references, and will take some time to research. God Bless!

Rex Ray said...

Tim Price,

To set the stage for the first church counsel, this is how much influence James had upon Peter before Paul got him straightened out:

“When Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. When I saw they were not following the truth of the Gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others…” (Galatians 2:11-14)

Paul explained why they were wrong in the next seven verses concluding with: “If keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” (Galatians 2:21)

This is also mentioned in (Acts 15:1). “While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea [Jerusalem Church was in middle of Judea] arrived and began to teach the believers; Unless you are circumcised…you cannot be saved.”

The topic of the Counsel was to decide how Gentiles could be saved, but confusion started when James’ “JUDGEMENT” changed the topic to what Gentiles had to do to be accepted by Christian Jews.

But I’m getting ahead of the event. There were opposing views:

“…some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the Law of Moses.” (Acts 15:5)

“So the apostles and elders [I’m sure this included pastor James] met together to resolve this issue.” (verse 6)

I believe James did not mention his thoughts but waited to express his “JUDGMENT” when he would have backing of Christian Pharisees.

I believe Peter summarized the conclusion of their private meeting:

“We [private meeting] believe that we are all saved the same way, by the underserved grace of the Lord Jesus. EVERYONE listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.” (Acts 15:11, 12)


Rex Ray said...


“…James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me…my JUDGMENT is…tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” (Acts 15:13-20)

James didn’t know Jesus said it was NOT what went into the stomach of man that defiled him but what came out of his mouth. (Matthew 15:11)

James based his JUDGMENT on TRADITION:

“For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city of ever Sabbath for many generations.” (Acts 15:21)

The Catholic Church granted tradition equal authority with the Bible in 1545.

Paul based his belief on: “I received my message from…Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:12)

Paul spent the rest of his life preaching against James’ JUDGMENT:

“I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat…” (Romans 14:14)

“…Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the Law of Moses? Of course not!” (Galatians 3:2)

“…he died to annul that whole system of Jewish laws….” (Ephesians 2:15 Living)

“…the old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death…” (2 Corinthians 3:6 Living)

I believe those who followed James’ JUDGMENT became the roots of Catholics. They started baptizing babies for salvation in 251 AD.
“No one ought to be hindered from baptism...we think is to be even more observed in respect of infants and newly-born persons…" Cyprian, To Fidus, Epistle 58(64):2, 6 (A.D. 251)

TimPrice said...

Christiane, Thank you... Actually, the Waldensians dumped a lot of their "catholic" background as did Luther. Luther was skeptical of them early on, but stated "that we all are Waldensian" because they preceded the Reformation and pointed the way. Had it not been for the Waldensians, the Hussites, Moravians and such; likely there would not have been a Reformation in 1500.

The Waldensian impact slowly subsided when their persecution stopped or subsided. Up until the 1500s they were the largest target of Catholic inquisitions. After the Reformation the target and tactics of the Catholic church changed significantly. Waldensians became more like what we'd know as Methodist. Waldensians are quite well known in other part of the world Europe, South America mainly. Today, they are but a hollow image of their past.

In the very early years they focused on the trades, organizing guilds and establishing standards. Many were involved in the earliest of medical practice. The practiced the priesthood of all believers. They had a sodality and modality to their existence. They had what they called "perfects" who were attended by a young protege. These went from place to place teaching and preaching. They were clandestine. They appeared, presented and disappeared on to the next enclave. They had entire communities high in the Alps, and they have infiltrators in normal cities everywhere. They saw themselves as "set apart" and the communities of normal people often helped keep it that way. Their appeal and value was that they could do things for the worldly people of society: medicine, veterinary care, trades... And these became their means of being ever present to the world.

Their early history is fascinating. Most material written about their earliest of history is written by their critics and inquisitors. And when they can't find anything really egregious with what you are doing, you're doing something right.

TimPrice said...

Gordon, Thanks for your reference and thoughts. I read Anatomy of a Hybrid. Good book! I will have to look into the other book as I've not heard of it.

Indeed we are in a time of great change. Perhaps another awakening, perhaps another Reformation. You are right, most folks have a relationship with their theology and belief, both of which have been handed to them, neither of which they know the origins of and all of which puts them in a very dangerous spot. We need to know God. We need to know what has been taught historically and we need God to enlighten us about how He wants us to apply scripture.

I write mostly about the KOG as it has become my passion. I've read 32+ volumes on the subject to find out what occupies thought on the phrase Kingdom of God. From there I simply read the New Testament an ask questions both of people and leaders and of God and the text. What I have found is unbelievable. If you are interested you can see the initial chapters of the book I am writing on the subject here:

Thanks for your encouragement.