Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
There is no rite that religious men practice that does not, at some point, lead to contention. For just one example, how many controversies have arisen among well-meaning people over the rite of water baptism? Who is to receive it? Who is to administer it? Where is it to be done? Does baptism mean to sprinkle or to immerse? What does it accomplish? Does it wash sins away or is it just “an outward expression of an inner experience”?
We could demonstrate the same conflicts associated with the Christian rite of “communion”, or “joining a church”, or a dozen other rites.
The reason that ceremonies lead to conflict is that none of them are of God. That was His method in the Old Testament; that is not His way in this New Testament. This is a testament of “spirit and life”. But because of the flesh’s love of showy display of religious devotion, only a few ever find the simple way of the Spirit.
Beware that you do not become one of those who make the outside of the cup clean, yet leave the inward parts dirty. Jesus found many in that condition when he lived on earth, and he condemned them all for their hypocrisy and unwillingness to submit to the simple goodness of God.