Keeping God at a Distance!

by: Wayne Schatzle


       It must be a quirk of human nature, but we want to keep out of the view of authority. Beginning with the mischievous child hiding from his parents, to an adult ducking a traffic cop.

       Israel of old had the opportunity to actually have God deal with them on a personal basis but insisted that Moses talk with God and relay information to them (Exodus 20:19). God honored their wishes and let Moses be the mediator for them Later, after God had appointed a system of judges with God being the king over them, they insisted on having a human king reign over them like the nations around them

       (1 Samuel 8). And so it was until the Word was made flesh, when Jesus became the one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

       Once again access is available directly to God through Jesus Christ. What an opportunity! Sadly the concept of going directly to God is somehow blocked in the minds of many. Tens of thousands of folks believe they should go through a human to be heard by God. I was shocked to hear recently that some pray to Mary, the human mother of Jesus as a mediatrix between God and man. According to their literature, "she occupies a middle position in the hierarchy of beings between the Creator and his creatures" and because she suffered as her son was killed, "We may rightly say that she redeemed the human race together with Christ" (Catholic encyclopedia, Mary, blessed Virgin pg. 360).

       Many other churches unthinkingly grant the titles reserved for God on their human leaders. In spite of clear instruction not to call any man "father", some do it anyway (Matthew 23). Some even use the term, vicar, meaning they are in place of God. Another often used term is reverend, which we find occurring just once in the entire Bible, "holy and reverend is his name" (Psalm 111:9). Some even abuse the title further by adding right or most reverend. Occasionally I will see a sign advertising some church and the pastor's name will actually be in larger letters than the rest of the information. In larger churches, a minister's salary will be more than anyone in the congregation, and he will wield the most power and control all teaching.

       Okay, why the big deal over going through a human, possibly a very good and dedicated person to Christ and salvation? Just this, when you set a human over you and see him as the door to God and the source of truth, the fertile ground for deception has been prepared. Remember, God said he will lead you into all truth (Psalm 119:105). The scriptures make one wise for salvation

       (2 Timothy 3:15). Putting faith in a man in these times can be a disaster. Consider that there are thousands of religions and sects today, each believing they are the correct way -- proof deception is the norm rather than the exception.

       Jesus said "beware of men". Beware. Do not trust anyone to lead you to the kingdom. Work out. your own salvation. Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many will go that way. Listen, sincere Christians today are very in tune to the world events, looking for wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and signs in the heavens, yet drop their guard on the single most often warning the scriptures give us - deception.

      The reasons man put a man between himself and God are manifold: fear, lack of faith, providing an easier way, or maybe it is just plain laziness that they do not want to do the study to find the will of God. Whatever the reason, we should realize the stakes are very high for failure to be on the right path.

(Written by Wayne Schatzle,
director, Freedom Biblical Information Center
P.O. Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071)