“GARBAGE” & “BAGGAGE”

 

I believe that every Christian has an "Achilles Heel"; or a "weakness"; or at least onefault” that he or she must become aware of and guard against.


GARBAGE

 

Some Christians deal with "carnal" problems ("sins") all of their lives - i.e. drunkenness, drugs, porn, adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, idolatry, gluttony, heresies, etc., etc. I call this the "garbage" we pick up (mostly before we got saved - though sometimes after).


BAGGAGE

 

And then there's the "baggage" (mostly "faults" - which can lead to "sin") that we (Christians) have accumulated (both before we got saved and after), which has a lot to do with our culture; our home "environment” (no training, wrong training, bad training); our "schooling" (public i.e. government, private, "Christian", etc.); and especially those "things" that appeal to our HEART - for where our heart is, there will be our "treasure" also.


Satan has a "device" for all of us and the easiest way for him to "side track”, “sideline”, or “de-rail” a saint is to exploit our weaknesses.

 
It's fairly easy to spot the "garbage" in our lives, but we may not be as readily aware of much of the "baggage" that we have accumulated along life's way, but I know that we all have some, and the only way for us to get rid of it is to study and pray and be willing to receive instruction from the Holy Spirit concerning both our faults and our sins.

 
I have observed that (generally speaking) those Christians that were saved at an early age (before their "teens") have not accumulated as much "garbage" as those who were saved later in life (the exceptions always prove the rule). But they still have to contend with the "baggage", which often times they may not even be aware of.


Conversely, those Christians that have been saved later in life often have to contend with both the "garbage" and the "baggage" they accumulated along the way.

 
Now God has provided a way for us (Christians) to lead a "victorious" life, but it entails turning away from ours sins and turning unto God and worshiping Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH (and you can't have ONE without the OTHER). This is sometimes very difficult when one has grown accustomed (it's "their bag" or “it’s my personality”) to living in sin and thinking in the way of the world (in the Western World - Humanism foremost).


How does one throw off 20 or 30 or 40 years of Humanistic thinking and reasoning?

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

 

There are many more verses but these will do. But that's not all (and this is where we King James Bible believers sometimes fall short). We must SET our "hearts" to both seek the LORD and His Truth. We must not neglect the GOD of Scripture in our pursuit of the "Truth".


It is instructive to know that in the entire Bible there is only one man of whom God said:

. . . he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. [Acts 13:22].

 

Could it possibly be that God gave this "testimony" about David because no other writer of the Bible spoke or wrote as much about GOD as David {Approximately 1,190 times out of 1066 verses}; or could it possibly be because no other writer of the Scriptures spoke or wrote as much about God's word as David (Approximately 342 times in 336 verses); or could it be because no other writer of the Bible spoke or wrote as much about the "heart" of man as David (Approximately 130 times out of 126 verses); or could it be that, in spite of David's terrible sins, that he displayed a love of God; a love of God's words; and an understanding of the "Biblical heart" that very few men before or after him have ever had?


Did you notice David's "balance"? He spoke and wrote about the God of Scripture over three times as much as he spoke about the Scriptures themselves. We King James Bible believers have to be careful, although God has placed His word above His Name, we cannot do the same. We must worship the God of Scripture in Spirit and in Truth.

 
Should Christians (although eternally secure in Christ) confess our sins; repent of our sins; turn away from our sins; and turn unto God? Of course we should! Are we any "better" than the saints of old? Of course not! Religious pride is perhaps the most dangerous of all sins for a Christian.

 

So much of the “confusion” over Scriptural Truth stems from the “baggage” that we carry at the moment we are saved. By “baggage”, I mean all of the things that we have embraced, believed, emulated, accepted or been “taught” as “truth” BEFORE God regenerated us and we became His children.


When we are “saved” (born again) God doesn’t take a “magic wand” and “erase” every false way that we may have believed, embraced, and followed before we got saved. He doesn’t take an “eraser” and erase every false doctrine that we may have accepted before we got saved. And herein lays the primary reason for most of the “differences” amongst the brethren (even amongst genuine Bible believers).

 

Just exactly WHAT is some of that BAGGAGE?

 

  • Home Environment
  • Friends
  • Neighbors - Neighborhood
  • Country, Town, City, etc.
  • Media (Television, Radio, Internet, etc.)
  • Schooling, Education (or lack thereof)
  • Avid Reader, TV Junkie, etc.
  • Physically Active, Couch Potato, etc.
  • Government Lived Under (“Democratic”, Socialist, Communist, Dictatorship, etc.)
  • Political Leanings (Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, etc.)
  • Social Leanings (Left, Right, “Independent”, etc.)
  • “Career” (a fancy name for just a “JOB”!)
  • Religious Upbringing or Teaching (or lack thereof)

All of these things do not make us who we are; but they definitely influenced us in the past, and more often than we like to admit – they often influence us still.

 

In the not too distant past in the Western world, “Religion” was the predominant influence on most people in determining their “belief system” (or “world view”). That is no longer true today. In the Western world the predominant influence on most people today is (not necessarily in order of importance): The Media; Schools; Government, and “Friends”. Religion and Family are generally secondary.


You may not be aware of it, but HUMANISM has become the undeclared and unofficialreligion” of ALL the governments (and people) of the Western world (with no exceptions!). This means (in the Western world) that most people who get “saved” today are already Humanists and have accepted and embraced much of the Humanist Philosophy BEFORE receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

 
These facts have grave consequences for those of us who genuinely believe the Holy Bible; which simply means we are going to be “marginalized” (as “kooks”, “bigots”, “racists”, “homophobes”, “Bible fanatics”, etc.) more and more as time goes by for not believing "like everybody else” does.


Even those people coming from strong “religious” backgrounds (Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, etc.) have been heavily influenced by Humanism (often without consciously being aware). What do you think the Muslims are so afraid of in the Western world? Humanism! Muslims can see the “corrupting influence” of Humanism in the Western world and want no part of it!


So you’re probably wondering by now: What’s the point? The point is that, when a person from America gets saved, he/she generally has a whole lot of “baggage (Humanism, Philosophy, Religion, cultural bias’s, etc.) that they have accumulated, and they sometimes have great difficulty “jettisoning” all of it.


The “baggage” that we have accumulated along life’s way will often determine how we “define” and understand the “meaning” of WORDS - The following presentation is just one example:

 
The word CHURCH:

  • Most people in America think of a “church” as being a “building” or a particular Denomination or Sect.
  • A Catholic thinks the word “church” means – “the one and only holy Roman Catholic Church” - to the exclusion of all others. (And that a “building” is a “church”)
  • A Protestant thinks the word “church” means – Whichever particular Sect they “belong” to. (And that a “building” is a “church”)
  • Evangelicals generally think the word “church” means – Whichever particular Sect they “belong” to. (And that a “building” is a “church”)
  • Landmark Baptists believe the word “church” means – the local Baptist church that they belong to – to the exclusion of all others. (And that a “building” is a “church”)
  • Southern Baptists (with some exceptions) think the word “church” means – The “Southern Baptist Convention”. (And that a “building” is a “church”)
  • Most Independent Baptists believe (with some exceptions) the word “church” means – a local assembly of professing Christians – (And that a “church” is made up of people – and CANNOT BE A BUILDING!)
  • Plymouth Brethren believe that the word church means (with some exceptions) – a local assembly of professing Christians and that there is a larger church - the body of Christ, which is made up of all born again believers. (And that a “church” is made up of people – and CANNOT BE A BUILDING!)
  • Many “Fundamentalist” Christians think that there is only one kind of “church” in the Bible – the “New Testament” church, but a thorough search of the scriptures reveals there are several kinds of churches.
  • The definition of the word “church” is as varied as the number of Sects, Denominations, and Cults claiming to be “Christian”. (I have given just a few examples – And there are so many “variables” within a particular "Christian" Denomination or Sect that often it is practically impossible to nail down exactly WHAT they really do believe about the word “church”!)

So, WHAT, are we, as Bible believers, to believe? Set aside the “baggage” that you may have, and forget all of the varied “opinions” and “beliefs” of others, and search the Holy Scriptures for the answers. The Bible is its own best “Dictionary” whenever it comes to any issue of spiritual importance. Let’s first look at the verses where the word “church” is used – and NOT in reference to a “New Testament church”.


The word “church” cannot be found in the Old Testament and yet Stephen spoke of the “church” in the wilderness in reference to the Nation of
Israel. [Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:] What “kind” of a “church” was this? It wasn’t a New Testament church of professing Christians – that’s for sure! Stephen’s use of the word “church” here lays the groundwork for the Biblical definition of the word.

 

In regards to the Israelites (Hebrews-Jews), they were first a FAMILY (NOT referred to as a “church”); and then a TRIBE (still NOT referred to as a “church”) and then a NATION (referred to as “the ‘church’ in the wilderness” – ONLY ONCE!) What was “peculiar” about the NATION of Israel, in the wilderness, that was not true at any other time? It is the ONLY TIME in their entire history when the ENTIRE NATION was altogether in ONE PLACE and at ONE TIME!

 
So what does that tell us about the word church? A “church” is an assembly of people gathered together in one place. Notice: The nation of
Israel at that time did not consist of only believers - just like any church today, does not necessarily consist of only believers. (Remember – the First "church" in the New Testament had “a devil” for a treasurer! There may be lost people in a "local" church – there are none in “the body of Christ”.)


In Acts we have the word “churches” used by the town clerk of Ephesus in reference to Pagan places of worship (or in the case of Ephesus: an assembly of Pagan people in a particular place to worship a “Female Deity” - Sound familiar?).

[Acts 19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.]


The only place in the Four Gospels that the word “church” is used is in the Book of Matthew (and only in two places!)

[Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.]

 

If this is a “New Testament church” – why the reference to the “heathen” man, or even more particular the reference to “a publican” - References to people, that are peculiarly “Jewish” in nature? Although there are “heathen” in the “church” today – there are nopublicans”! But there were Jewish “publicans” in Christ’s time, which were part of the culture of the Israelites. And the Jews considered all other people (even the Samaritans – part Jews) as “heathen”. And so the word “church” here again signifies an assembly of people (in this case – only Jews) not a building, and NOT A New Testament church (with born again Christians).


Matthew 18:17 is NOT “doctrine” for the New Testament church, but since the verse does not run contrary to any church doctrine taught by the Apostle Paul, I see no harm in this practice, if a New Testament church deems to employ it.


We now come to the most difficult verse in the Bible in regards to the word “church” (at least the most “difficult” for me!)

 

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

I believe that the word “church” in Matthew 16:18 is in reference to the “New Testament church” that the Lord Jesus Christ was going to build after His death burial, and resurrection - but which was not yet in existence. At this point in time in the Lord’s earthly ministry, Christ’s disciples were referred to as the “children of the bride chamber” – NOT THE BRIDE! They could not have been both! {Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34}


All of the rest of the verses in the New Testament with the words “church” or “churches” plainly indicate that a church is an assembly of professing Christians meeting in a particular place. I don't have the time or space to get into the “local” church - “universal” church debate at this time except to say:

 

 ON EARTH: God has a “church”; and He has chosen to manifest that “churchlocally – BUT, a “localchurch is not all there is to the “church of God.” [Acts 20:28]


Can you see why I say that if a person fails to “rightly divide the word of truth”, they cannot truly understand God’s word, and will in the end have to change it (somewhere) in order to make it “harmonize” with their private interpretations? This kind of “division” takes “work” and a familiarity with the Holy Scriptures – NOT just a 2-4 year
Bible School (College) or Seminary “education”.

 
Let’s look at a few more Bible words or doctrines that are misunderstood by many people or may have “multiple meanings”:

  • JESUS CHRIST (Only a man; a Prophet; a “Revolutionary” - NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • CHRIST’S BIRTH (“On December 25th.” – Not on your life! No Scriptural date is given for Christ’s birth, but you can be absolutely sure that the Lord Jesus Christ’s virgin birth did NOT occur on the SAME DAY AS THE PAGAN SUN GOD!
  • CHRIST’S EARTHLY MINISTRY (“Was directed to the Gentiles Also” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • CHRIST’S DEATH (“Christ died on a Friday” – NOT SO According to Scripture. The Lord died on Wednesday – NOT “Friday” - a Catholic “myth”)
  • CHRIST’S RESURRECTED BODY (“Only a ‘spirit’ not Physical” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • CHRIST’S BLOOD (no “different” than anybody else’s - NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The LAW (“Applicable to Christians also” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • OLD TESTAMENT JEWISH PROPHETS (“Wrote to and about the church” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The Kingdom of heaven & the Kingdom of God (“Are the same” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The GOSPEL (There is Only One “Gospel” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • FAITH (Always the same since Adam – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • SALVATION (“Always the ‘same’, under every covenant” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The SAINTS (“Only Christians” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • BAPTISM (“Only One Kind = Water” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (The Evidence = “Tongues” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • SHEEP (“Only Christians” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The BIBLE (“Only ‘Original Manuscripts’ – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • GLASS (“Always a Mirror” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • FACE TO FACE (“Not always the same” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • “CHARITY” (“Always the Same as love” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The CREATION (“Self creating, without God” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The HEART (“Equated with the physical brain” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The MIND (“Equated with the physical brain” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The CONSCIENCE (“Equated with the physical brain” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The SPIRIT (Not accepted by most “educated” people, or else “multiple meaningless definitions” – NOT SO According to Scripture)
  • The SOUL (Not accepted by most “educated” people, or else “multiple meaningless definitions” – NOT SO According to Scripture)

We could do the same kind of study and comparison on each of these subjects as I have just presented concerning the word “church”.


Now - can you not see that “rightly dividing the word of truth” takes work? There is only one verse in the entire Bible that commands us to STUDY and along with that command, the “method” or “way” we are to study is clearly laid out for any sincere Bible believer to get a hold of (“schooling” is not necessary or required to “rightly divide” – a sincere and honest heart is the only prerequisite). [2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.]. We are NOT told to HARMONIZE the word of truth – we are COMMANDED to: “rightly DIVIDE the word of truth.” {Not just the Old & New Testaments and NOT just the individual Books of the Bible.}


I have gone into more depth on how to “rightly divide” the word of God elsewhere, but the information I have listed above should demonstrate to any honest person that Bible study is not something that can be “mastered” in a 2 or 3 or 4 year Bible Institute or Seminary. I have been a Christian for over 51 years and have been engaged in serious Bible study for over 41 years and I am still learning.

 

There is so much leaven & false doctrine, and so many false teachers & false brethren out in the world today that it has become wearisome, and sometimes discouraging having to deal with it all. BUT, deal with it we must. There are so many Christians today with no FINAL AUTHORITY other than someone’s opinion as to what God’s word “MEANS”, rather than what it “SAYS”, that it sometimes appears to be a nearly hopeless exercise in futility to confront it all.

 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 

psychiatry & psychology { Pseudo Science & Mythological Medicine }

 

I am dead set against the psychologizing of Christianity and the perverse influence that Humanistic Psychiatry & Psychology has had on the churches of God in the last 50 years. What did Christians do before Freud? How did we ever learn to "cope" before Jung or Adler? How did we live holy lives before Maslow, Fromm, and Rogers?

 

I have no problem with the idea that Christians can become sad, disappointed, and sometimes brokenhearted; or that they can despair of even living. But this is NOT the same as "clinical depression" (as defined by Psychiatrists & Psychologists) or any of the other 450 psychiatric "excuses" now supplied to mankind for not taking personal responsibility for their actions or for Christians for not living an "overcoming life" through the spirit [Romans 8:1-4; Galatians 5:16, 25].


The godless religion of Humanism is the very foundation of Psychiatry & Psychology - How can we suppose that it has anything of spiritual “value” to offer those of us who truly believe the Bible? [Galatians 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.]


Please read "Psycho Heresy" and "The End of 'Christian' Psychology" by Martin and Deidre Bobgan; or “Psychology and the Church”, or any of the numerous articles and books by Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon on this subject; or "House of Cards" by Robyn M. Dawes (secular University Professor and "psychological researcher") or "Manufacturing Victims" written by Dr. Tana Dineen (secular "psychological researcher").


The perverse influence of psychiatry & psychology on Christian churches in the last 50 years is incalculable. The damage that "Christian Counseling" (along psychiatric & psychological lines) has done to Christian lives is unbelievable. The destructive effect that Psychiatry & Psychology has on Bible understanding is such that most Christians (today) have no idea as to WHAT the truth is or WHERE to find it.


Today, when a person (man or woman) gets saved (born of the Spirit of God through the written word of God) they bring along a lot of "baggage" with them. And the older they are the more "baggage" they have. In the Western world most of that "baggage" is godless Humanism - taught and accepted in the home, schools, colleges, media (print, radio, television), government (executive, legislature, and especially the courts).

 

When we get saved we just don't deposit the "garbage" in the garbage can and we suddenly know everything there is to know about God, the church, the Bible, spiritual issues, marriage, etc. We are commanded (by God) to "study": Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2 Timothy 2:15]

 

Notice: we are to study "the word of truth", which simply means that if we have a "problem" in our life over an “issue” (ANY & ALL problems - ANY & ALL issues.) we are to look to God and his Holy words for our answers - NOT some godless "Doctor" or some reprobate "Christian Counselor"! Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

I do not judge Christians that use psychological terms, but I do try to warn them about the leavening effect these Humanistic words and terms have on us.

I have a Scriptural reason why I try to avoid using psychological terms and why I try real hard not to think with “psychological reasoning"; which is based on Humanism or the Humanistic Philosophy.

The word “depression” (as used by psychiatrists and psychologists) is a "catchall" word that covers many conditions of the heart and mind (some of which may be scriptural). But it is not specific, and the way it is used by psychiatrists and psychologists it is often used as an excuse for not living for the Lord, or for bad or for even evil behavior.

I shall try to demonstrate by using some words from the Scriptures that could fall under the heading of "depression": {The numerical numbers = the number of verses (with the particular word) found in the entire Bible - Swordsearcher Results}

 

Discontent (1 verse); distress (33 verses); distressed (11 verses); derision (15 verses); displeasure (5 verses); fearful (15 verses); grief (27 verses); heavy (39 verses - some); heaviness (14 verses); sad (10 verses); sadly (1 verse); sadness (1 verse); sorrow (65); sorrowful (18); travail (30 verses); troubled (68 verses); troubles (13 verses); weary (41 verses); weariness (3 verses); vex (15 verses); and vexed (22 verses).

 

There are more examples, but a genuine Bible believer should get my point. The point is, if there is some specific problem that is troubling an individual, or a husband, or a wife - if you "search the Scriptures" you can identify the specific problem and  deal with it (according to the Scriptures, of course!).

On the other hand, if we just label the problem as "depression" and then go to a psychiatrist or a psychologist for the solution - we are going to get a Humanistic point of view (i.e. "OPINION") that will not solve the problem (but it may make you "feel good” for awhile).

There is another "dimension" to this subject - that is spiritual in nature. [Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.] I do not have much "discernment" in this area, but I believe a study of King Saul in the Book of 1 Samuel (the entire Book) will give us an idea of what “spiritual oppression" is and a person’s behavior when under it.

I hope this short explanation will give you some idea why I am so adamant in my opposition to Psychiatry and Psychology.

Psalm 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?