No one by nature wants to lose control of any of their responsibilities, possessions or privileges, whether as a parent, a supervisor, a worker, an associate, and the list goes on.  Yet, they want to be accepted by all those with whom they have to do. This must be accomplished by the difficult task of diplomacy, negotiations, concessions, promises and bargains. And all the while without losing  control.

            The natural man must hold control or lose credibility; the Christian, born anew, gives his control to his Lord and gains atonement, the highest form of acceptance. The Christian’s life is made free by the truth that man has no power in eternal judgment, only God who has already judged him/her as righteous by the blood of His only begotten Son, applied at his/her new birth into the Kingdom of God.

            The natural man not only wants to hold control, but also have a form of religion that will support his power to control. The extreme of this arrangement is seen in the life of Hitler, a religious fanatic empowered to control by the acceptance of his followers. There are many others of lesser import, such as David Koresch and Jim Jones. The most numerous of controlled and controlling personalities are the average religious church members. It is this  group that has gotten our attention for this subject.

            There is a lot of demanded interplay in control situations. Because Mom tells Junior that he must do this before he can have that, Mom becomes hateful in Junior‘s judgment. Junior will tell you that Mom is  bad because she is hateful. Taking this farther, the employee hates the boss, and then because of his religion must confess to his Confessor that he has sinned. The Confessor assures him through absolution that all is forgiven. With this assurance, sin is no problem because everyone does it, and absolution is readily available. This is the typical Catholic mindset, especially Roman and Anglican.

            To see more clearly how the system works, note the following scenario: In the Anglican Communion Service, first there is the reciting of the law, next a prayer that God would sanctify us to keep His laws forever so that we would be preserved in body and soul through Jesus Christ. Then comes the creed followed by the offering and a prayer for the whole state of Christ’s church, including world and church leaders, the people of God, the sick and needy, also for the departed, that God would grant them continual growth, and for us, grace to follow their good example so that we will partake of the Heavenly kingdom. Next is an invitation to those receiving  communion, that they must desire to walk in God’s holy commandments. After this comes the General Confession, devoutly kneeling, “We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings, the remembrance of them is grievous unto us; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us .......”, then, the asking for forgiveness of all that is past, and the request for service in newness of life. After this, the absolution, or assurance of forgiveness for those who heartily repent with true faith.

            Then comes the preparation of the elements of the Communion, reviewing the Lord’s instruction to remember His death and resurrection, and a prayer of consecration of the elements. This is followed by the “oblation”, a glorying of Christ’s passion and ascension, after which is the “invocation”, a prayer for a blessing on the communicants to be “partakers of  his most blessed Body and Blood.”, then continuing with a prayer that the communion be worthily received to be made one body with Him and to dwell, Him with us and we with Him.

            In the midst of this prayer, we find these curious words, “And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; .....” (After the offering, the General Confession and the assurance of forgiveness, we are sinners once more. Did God not cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, to be remembered no more against us? Why then this statement?)

            The next part of the service is the receiving of the Communion, after which a prayer of thanks is offered, part of which reads, “.....that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son .....and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom by the merits of his most precious death and passion. .............”  Then a song of praise is sung to glorify the trinity of God, and after a pronouncement of peace by the priest.

            Then on certain days including most Sundays the service is performed again. Why? Because there apparently was no lasting benefit from the last service which clearly related to the blood sacrifice Christ made for our sin. We see here the same strain of denying the power of the blood of Christ as the power unto eternal righteousness. This is a very ceremonial religious service that accomplishes nothing more than to keep the parishioners under the bondage of assumed sin, meaning that there is no hope without the continual services to clean up the sins of the week. Therefore, it is expected that all are sinning every day, therefore many do, and think that their continual coming to the table cleanses them without a personal ‘born again’ experience.

            It is falsely understood in religious circles that no one is “perfect” (see Hebrews 10:14), so all are sinners and must confess their sins on a regular basis to maintain the acceptance of the fellowship. Without confessing supposed sin continually and showing a proper humility before those in control, there is no religious satisfaction. If a member fails to attend, he has qualms of guilt, especially when asked for a reason for his absence. This kind of control is bondage of soul and spirit through the weakness of the flesh.

            We must be under a control, but not of religion, not of politics, not of secret organizations or any individual, but of our Lord and God only. When He controls us, we are loving parents, workers, Christians and friends, as was our Lord, Jesus Christ. Not only that, but we are holy, without spot, wrinkle, blemish, or any such thing, not as the religious say, “unworthy miserable sinners”.

            If you are in this controlled bondage, Jesus will make you free through repentance of your sinful life. Admit your lost condition due to sin, Accept His forgiveness and purposely turn away from your old life to the new life He will give you. Accept His shed blood for the payment of your sin; ask for His Holy Spirit to help your new walk with Him, and find other born again Saints with whom to fellowship. You now have eternal life, not the death promised for sinners. (Romans 6:23)

                                                                                                WTL -            12/18/01