Ghandi was once asked what was the greatest barrier to Christianity in India, his answer in a word: "Christians". His entire quote I believe was "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today." I think that applies to the entire unsaved world. Hypocrisy is the greatest barrier to an unsaved person, practice [religion] as I say, not as I do! I am not innocent of this, we all do it but as with any other sin, until we admit it, repent of it and ask the Lord to change our hearts, we will continue in the sin of hypocrisy. Thereby missing opportunities, often completely unaware, to plant the seed of the truth of the Gospel and the Savior Yeshua.
Jesus greatly admonished the religious leaders of His day regarding this. Jesus WAS the the most unreligious (in today's secular parlance read that "religiously incorrect" person who ever lived.
In a recent online discussion 2 interesting questions were posed which are usually brought up by non-Christians......
Question 1: If God’s Word is inspired and Jesus not even one “jot or tittle” will fall away, why are there so many translations?
Question 2: If the Church is supposed to “be one” how come there are so many churches claiming to be the right Church?
This can be answered with one word, but I will elaborate, as always from Scripture.
The answer to both questions is quite simply fallible, sinful man. As Bible Believers, we can disagree on certain doctrinal issues (regarding Question 2), but never the redemptive work and person of the Lord Jesus Christ. THAT is the most important thing!
Q1: The jot & tiddle is referring to the smallest parts of the Hebrew alphabet’s letters, what amounts to parts the size of an apostrophe which can make a difference. A jot on the edge of a letter canges that letter entirely, such as the tail added to a ‘P’, making it an ‘R’. Therefore; all those versions of the Bible are man-made, i.e. man’s interpretation and re-interpretation of the original texts. Some of them are quite dangerous, if not Satanic! ………Which is why it’s important to stick to the versions which are closest to the original Hebrew & Greek texts…..by my research those are the KJV/MKJV, as well as the ASV1909 and the NASB which might be called the Modern ASV1909.
Q2: Again, man-made divisions. Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:12-13 ”Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”………….So setting aside cults and false teachings such as Mormonism entirely, because they are false religions maskerading as Christianity……….those “divisions” (I’m talking the mainline reformed, denominational churches Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian types of denominations) come from men deciding they needed a “new” way of worshipping which while still accepting and teaching Jesus Christ as Lord (assuming those DO, I am not an expert on denominational churches). Division were created by men who wished to do certain things differently, such as child baptism (Presbyterians), assert certain dress codes, etc. Man-made decisions and/or basing their differences on 1 or 2 verses of Scripture, often misunderstood or taken out of context entirely........NOT at all commanded or instructed in God's word, the 66 books of the Holy Bible.
Deuteronomy 4:2 says ”“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” The Jewish religious leaders did that from the OT times, adding to the burden of the people:
Jesus was the most UNreligious person to walk this earth, the religous establishment of the time (correlates to todays organized denominational church) was all about adding to God’s word, and taking away the purity and simplicity of the worship of the Living God. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 ”But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.”
Luke 11:46 Jesus said: ”“Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” Lawyers here is in the original text Greek text νομικός = nomikos an expert in the (Mosaic) law:) - i.e. the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matt 23:15 Jesus said: ”“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
Matt 16:5 Jesus said: ”“Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”” - leaven, signified sin in the OT and He was referring to all the rules (about 5000) that the Pharisees added to their laws.
Mind you Jesus WAS referring to the only religious authority of His time, the Pharisees……which frankly I see being identified more and more to our money & power-hungry so-called “evangelical” churches every day. In NT we read in James 3:1 a warning, if you’re going to teach God’s word, don’t teach falsehood, water it down, nor mix your own 'leaven' into it - because at the judgment seat of Christ you will be judged more harshly!: ”Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”
In fact, ADDING to God’s word/restrictions was aparent even before original sin, no doubt contributing to it. We see Eve, just before eating the forbidden fruit stating to the serpent in Genesis 3:2-3 ”The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from itor touch it, or you will die.’””…..God didn't say don’t touch it. What He said in Genesis 2:16-17 was ”The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.””…..notice though he said that to the man, NOT the woman, so some commentators have speculated that Adam was not doing his job as the spiritual leader of the family because he must not have correctly taught her what God had told him. But that’s another post and important subject altogether.