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The Roman Bypass

I had a teacher in college that said it this way. “In order to bypass Rome, we often miss Jerusalem.” Often the church, and preachers in particular, are in “catch up” mode. We seem to react to what the world does in some moral decision. We often teach by reaction to what other religious groups do and teach.


Some examples:

  1. Once saved, Always saved – TO – You can't ever be sure of your salvation. We have so emphasized the possibility that many live with the probability of being lost. Many live and die without any knowledge or comfort of their salvation.

  2. Baptism is not Essential – TO – Baptism is THE test for our status as a Christian. We have often used baptism as THE test for one being or not being a Christian. "They never attended church, but they were baptized at age 14," I was told at the funeral of an elderly man.

  3. Pope, Pastor – TO – Elders don't have any authority except to lead by example. There is a view held my some that elders don't have any authority or power, except the power of their example.

  4. Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit – TO – Avoid any discussion about the Holy Spirit or you will be considered to be Pentecostal. We have become so opposed to the tongue speaking claims and faith healing claims by some that we are afraid to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit does anything today.

  5. Transubstantiation – TO – Don't talk about the bread BEING Jesus' body or the fruit of the vine BEING His blood. While Jesus was using a common metaphor, many today are afraid it might imply that we believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation.

  6. Communion Quarterly – TO – Communion is the most important part of worship. We have taught the importance of weekly observance of communion. Many now see it as the only thing. If they show up and partake of communion, they can leave and be satisfied that they have worshiped God.

It is true that we must oppose false doctrine. We must teach truth and only truth. But we must be careful that we don't go to the other end of the pendulum swing. Amos warned that we might try to flee the lion and meet a bear in the way. (Amos 5:19)


In our current study of Communion –

  1. It is proper to say, “This bread IS the body of Christ.” It is OK to say, “This fruit of the vine IS the blood of Christ.”

  2. But, we must make sure that everyone understands that we are using a figure of speech.

  3. We must make sure that these statements are not taken as literal.

  4. While there must be caution to make sure everyone understands these statements as figures of speech, it is not wrong to make them.


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