You say that the statutes of Jesus, Mary and other saints placed in the
church are not for worship but to show the emblance of Mary, Jesus and
other saints to people. However, this is only your opinion and not the
Truth: The truth is, "Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near
unto the altar of the Lord thy God which thou shalt make thee. Neither
shalt thou set thee up any image which the Lord thy God hateth."(Deut 16:21-22) (KJV).
Opinion: How can one believe without the Holy Spirit acting within him?
Therefore, one could have received the Holy Spirit the moment he
believes in Jesus. This is your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: The truth is that the Samaritans believed in Jesus and were
baptized but none of them had received the Holy Spirit. They received
the Holy Spirit only when the apostles, knowing that the Samaritans had
heard God's Word came from Jerusalem, prayed and laid their hands on
them (Acts 8:12-18).
Opinion: Is not a child under the complete influence and control of the
mother? Therefore we Mary can intercede with Jesus on our behalf.
Again, this is your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: Let's check this human opinion with God's holy will. For example,
there is a clear account of hapennings at the wedding in Cana of
Galilee to which Jesus and His mother were invited. John 2:3-4 reads:
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, "They
have no wine". Jesus saith unto her, "What have I to do with thee?
mine hour is not yet come". In this incident, Mary's intercession did not
find favor with the Lord. The Lord acted only at His appointed time.
Opinion: It has been pointed out in Acts 16:33, that the jailor and his
family were baptized immediately after they believed. It is possible that
his family could have included children and therefore it is not wrong to
baptize children. Now, this is only your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: The family that was baptized might also have pregnant women
among them and therefore it could be implied that the child in the womb
was also baptized with the mother. Thus one may let loose a
preposterous doctrine that if the mother is baptized, it is not necessary
for the child also to receive baptism separately.
To obtain salvation, one should repent of his sins, believe,
and for the remission and cleansing of sins, obtain baptism from a man
sent of God (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Ephes 5:26). This
is the truth. Children can neither believe nor repent of their sins.
Therefore baptism to children is not necessary.
Opinion: The robber on the cross did not receive baptism, yet he went
to paradise. Therefore, we too may go to paradise without baptism.
Once again, this is your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: The truth is that Jesus took baptism in order to fulfill
righteousness (Matt 3:15-16). Christ has left an example for us to
follow His footsteps (I Pet 2:21). Don't follow in the footsteps of the
robber and become a robber yourself.
Opinion: The experience of speaking in tongues belongs to the past
and cannot be seen anywhere today. This is your opinion and not the
Truth: The truth is: With stammering lips and another tongue will He
speak unto this people to whom He said, "This is the rest and the
refreshing, yet they would not hear" (Isaiah 28:11-12; 1 Cor 14:39).
These are prophetic words which are being fulfilled in you today. As
mentioned above, you are fulfilling this prophesy by not listening to
God's Word which exhorts, "This is the rest wherewith you may cause
the weary to rest and this is the refreshing. Woe unto you! ". For the
gifts and calling of God are without irrevocable (Rom 11:29).
Opinion: Washing one another's feet is only a symbolic gesture of
expressing one's humility. Therefore it is not necessary to wash one
another's feet. This is your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: The truth is: "....You also ought to wash one another's feet.
For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to
you...Happy are you if you do them." (John 13:14-17).
Opinion: Numerous persons turn to Christ through the preaching of
women preachers. Therefore women can be involved in ministry which
may include preaching, holding positions of authority in the church, and
leading the church. This is once again your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: "Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under
obedience, as also saith the law (1 Cor 14:34-35). Let the women learn
in silence with all subjection. But Isuffer not a woman to teach nor to
usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." This is the truth.
Opinion: Believe in Jesus Christ. Confess all your sins to Jesus in your
prayers. Believe that your sins are forgiven and you are saved at once.
This also is your opinion and not the truth.
Truth: Salvation is the remission of sins (Luke 1:77). He that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16). Necessarily, one should
confess his sins before the man of God who baptizes. Then he would
be cleansed of his sins by being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38;
Mark 1:4-5; Acts 22:16). If a person commits any sin after
baptism, it should be confessed in the church or before the elder of the
church and thus get cleansed from time to time (Matt 18:18; James 5:14-17;
John 13:10). Jesus has given authority to the ministers sent by
Him to forgive the sins of the congregation (John 20:21-23). Some point
to the verse 9 and conclude that one can directly confess sins
to the Lord. This is similar to saying that you will not give your
offering to ministers, but only to God directly, since He has said "Give
and it shall be given unto you". Is this realistic?
A certain government official had been accepting bribes openly. When
his friends advised him against this practise, he retorted that he didn't
understand why he alone should refrain from accepting bribes when his
superiors, policemen and judges were accepting bribes, and even the
ministers were no exception to this. His good grandfather advised him
that accepting bribes is an unlawful practise to which he replied, "I
don't see anything wrong in that. After all I don't demand from the poor, but
only accept a little gift from those who have plenty". His wife warned
him that if he gets caught he will be in serious trouble. He brushed
aside her objection saying he could not afford expensive purchases if
he listens to her advice. When his activities aroused the suspicion of
the anti-corruption enforcement officials, he was caught red-handed in a
surprise check. He was brought before the judge who found him guilty
and sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment according to
the law. All the explanations he offered to his friends, grandfather and
his wife were of no avail in front of judge (before law). When a worldly
judge who is imperfect can judge rightly based on the law, how much
more judicious God's judement will be on the basis of the immutable
Word of God, the Bible. God is not going to be persuaded by your
explanations such as: "Oh, I had been thinking differently; this is how
my pastor explained it to me" or "I acted according to the instructions of
my ancestors". The Lord said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth
not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken,
the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). The word of God
is the truth. The judgement of God will be on the basis of truth and
certainly not on the basis of your opinions. Turn! Stop leaning on your
opinions and turn to the truth. If any man speak, let him speak as the
oracles of God (I Pet 4:11). For our gospel came not unto you in word
only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance
(1 Thes 1:5).
"But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men (Matt 15:9).