Rev Thomas Littleton 4/27/2019
Earlier in the Spring of 2019 The LGBT activist organization Revoice announced its new conference speakers and rolled out its statement of faith. The statement sites and links the organization founded by John Stott .
” As an evangelical organization that cooperates with Christians from a variety of churches, denominations, and traditions, Revoice gladly adopts the following statement of faith from Langham Partnership, an interdenominational coalition of Christians from around the globe.”
In today’s activist charged climate and “social justice “push of issues like Racism and LGBT in the church, it has become very common to link the new language and movements to other trusted historic names ,ministries ,legacies and people for legitimization. Although for some John Stott would be considered an anchor for gaining trust and access to evangelicals with the REVISIONIST message-in reality Stott and his problematic stance on homosexuality fails to provide the kind of cover this effort appears to be seeking .
SAM ALLBERRY IS LINKED AS WELL TO A FRESH EFFORT TO BRING THE STOTT LEGACY TO BEAR ON CURRENT LGBT
The book linked below and endorsed by Allberry is a republication with “revised- updated – expanded” materials on SSA/ homosexuality and the evangelical church.
Same Sex Relationships
Classic wisdom from John Stott
“What does the Bible say about same-sex relationships? How should Christians think about this divisive and heartfelt issue? And what of those who are caught in the crossfire: the brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction, but are committed to being faithful to the teaching of scripture and resisting it?”
“In this revised, updated and extended edition of the classic chapter from Issues Facing Christians Today, the late John Stott lays out the biblical position on same-sex relationships with care, wisdom and compassion.”
“In addition to Dr Stott’s timeless Biblical wisdom, there are forewords by Dr John Sentamu, (the Archbishop of York) and Dr Mark Labberton (President of Fuller Theological Seminary), a helpful preface by the editor, Sean Doherty, testimonies from same-sex attracted Christians and questions for reflection and discussion.”
The repubication and it’s timing appear to be an effort to add validation and historic context to the modern day / Allberry/ Revoice / Gospel Coalition / LGBT+ Christianity collective . Yet Stott in fact looks to be cause for even further concern as to how long these troubling views have been seeking way into the mainstream of Christian thinking.
by Sean Doherty”
“It’s a daunting privilege for any scholar to be asked to edit
an essay by so distinguished and justly admired a figure as
John Stott. In my case, there was an additional reason why it
felt especially so.
As a new Christian, I came to realise in my late teens that I
was gay; and, not quite ready to tell anyone else yet, I wanted to
know what my new-found faith said about my sexuality. Almost
at random in a local Christian bookshop, I picked up a copy of
Authentic Christianity, an anthology of Stott’s writings covering
a wide variety of topics.1
I looked up homosexuality, and found
an excerpt which I now know to be from the chapter on samesex relationships in Stott’s book Issues Facing Christians Today,
which forms the basis for this book. Here is what I read:
phenomenon as “a homosexual”. There are only people,
human persons, made in the image and likeness of God,
yet fallen … However strongly we may disapprove of
homosexual practices, we have no liberty to dehumanise
those who engage in them.”
PRESIDENT OF FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
thoughtful Christians must continue to wrestle over such
profound and intimate issues in order to allow our obedience
to Christ and our faithfulness to Scripture to direct us.
Read this reflection from John Stott slowly and carefully.
Breathe deeply of this oxygen of faithfulness, compassion, and
truth, and then live wisely and humbly in a church and world
that needs such truth and grace.”
1. We have a mandate to speak the truth, but we are called to speak the truth in love.
2. As far as the Bible is concerned, there is no such phenomenon as “a homosexual” or “a heterosexual”: there are only people made in the image of God. We all share in the glory and tragedy of being human and we share it in our sexuality as well as other areas of our lives.
3. Since God is love, and has made us in his own likeness, he has given us a capacity to love and be loved. He intends us to live in community, not in solitude.
4. The person who cannot marry and who is living a celibate and chaste life, whatever his or her sexual orientation, is living a life which is pleasing to God.
5. We should not deny that homosexual relationships can be loving. But [true] love is concerned for the highest welfare of the beloved. And our highest human welfare is found in obedience to God’s law and purpose, not in revolt against them.
6. God does indeed accept us “just as we are”, and we do not have to make ourselves good first; indeed we cannot. But his “acceptance” means that he fully and freely forgives all who repent and believe, not that he condones our continuance in sin. Again, it is true that we are called to accept one another, but as fellow penitents and fellow pilgrims, not as fellow sinners who are resolved to persist in our sinning.
7. [Jesus’] offer of friendship to sinners like us is truly wonderful. But he welcomes us in order to redeem and transform us, not to leave us alone in our sins.
8. The yoke of Christ brings rest, not turmoil; conflict comes only to those who resist it.
9. Sexual experience is not essential to human fulfilment. To be sure, it is a good gift of God, but it is not given to all, and it is not indispensable to humanness. … Jesus Christ was single, yet perfect in his humanity. So it is possible to be single and human at the same time!
10. Abstinence is not only good, if God calls us to celibacy; it is also possible.
11. The Christian’s horizons are not bounded by this world. Jesus Christ is coming again; our bodies are going to be redeemed; sin, pain and death are going to be abolished; and both we and the universe are going to be transformed.
12. At present we are living “in between times”, between the grace which we grasp by faith and the glory which we anticipate in hope. Between them lies love. Yet love is just what the church has generally failed to show to homosexual people.
13. It is sad that our Western culture inhibits the development of rich same-sex friendships by engendering the fear of being ridiculed or rejected for being gay on the one hand, or by assuming that same-sex intimacy is necessarily sexual on the other.
14. Perplexing and painful as the homosexual Christian’s dilemma is, Jesus Christ offers him or her—indeed, all of us—faith, hope and love: the faith to accept both his standards and his grace to maintain them, the hope to look beyond present suffering to future glory, and the love to care for and support one another. “But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Same Sex Relationships by John Stott, with forewords by Dr John Sentamu (The Archbishop of York) and Dr Mark Labberton (President of Fuller Theological Seminary), is available to pre-order now.
First note that in #14 Stott affirms “homosexual Christian” as a description for believers. In # 13 as echoed by Revoice and Living Out ,Stott is promoting Same Sex Intimate -non sexual relationships . The language of #12 is in essence the workshop of the 2019 conference scheduled for one of the Revoice officers to to present this coming June.In #10 he is advocating for celibacy as the answer because in #4 Stott affirms “homosexual orientation ” which brings with it the assumption that orientation is not changed by the Gospel. In #2 Stott is denying biblical heterosexuality . In the context of these same talking points Stott advocates for all these to be living in “community ” doing a subtle shuffle for homosexuals as Christians to be included in church congregational membership.(more on that later)
KINSEY AND STOTT – MORE BACKGROUND ON JOHN STOTT AND THE HOMOSEXUAL ISSUE
John Stott promotes the work of disgraced and perverted “sexologist ” Alfred Kinsey who died while under Federal Indictment for his research materials and how some were obtained. In Stotts 1990 book “Issues Facing Christians Today” in the chapter ” on homosexual partnerships” . The chapter is reproduced in the 1998 book “Same-Sex Partnerships? A Christian contribution to contemporary debate”.
Kinsey’s star faded quickly. By his death in 1956 Kinsey’s research was under serious scrutiny and he died under FBI investigation. Those FBI reports can be seen at the link below.
By 2004 not even the New York Times was comfortable whitewashing Kinsey’s legacy and published an article entitled-
Alfred Kinsey: Liberator or Pervert?
Yet John Stott quotes from Kinsey and his research in this piece first written in 1990
“First, ‘we are all human beings. That is to say, there is no such phenomenon as “a homosexual”. There are only people, human persons, made in the image and likeness of God, yet fallen, with all the glory and the tragedy which that paradox implies, including sexual potential and sexual problems.’ (p336)
‘Secondly, we are all sexual beings. Our sexuality, according to both Scripture and experience, is basic to our humanness… Moreover, not only are we all sexual beings, but we all have a particular sexual orientation. The American zoologist Alfred Kinsey’s famous investigation into human sexuality led him to place every human being somewhere ona spectrum from 0 (an exclusively heterosexual bias, attracted only to the opposite sex) to 6 (an exclusively homosexual bias, attracted only to the same sex, whether homosexual males or “lesbians”, as homosexual females are usually called). In between these poles Dr Kinsey plotted varying degrees of bisexuality, referring to people whose sexual orientation is either dual or indeterminate or fluctuating.’ His researches led him to conclude that 4% of men (at least of white American men) are exclusively homosexual throughout their lives, that 10% are for up to three years, and that as many as 37% have some kind of homosexual experience between adolescence and old age. The percentage of homosexual women he found to be lower, although it rises to 4 between the ages of 20 and 35. The numbers are high enough to warrant Dr D. J. West’s comment that ‘homosexuality is an extremely common condition.’ (p336
“We have grown accustomed to distinguish between a homosexual orientation or “inversion” (for which people are not responsible) and homosexual physical practices (for which they are). The importance of this distinction goes beyond the attribution of responsibility to the attribution of guilt. We may not blame people for what they are, though we may for what they do. And in every discussion about homosexuality we must be rigorous in differentiating between this “being” and “doing”, that is between a person’s identity and activity, sexual preference and sexual practice, constitution and conduct.” (p337-38)
‘Thirdly, we are all sinners, indeed (among other things) sexual sinners.’
‘Fourth, in addition to being human, sexual and sinful creatures, I take it that we are all Christians. At least the readers I have in mind in this chapter are not people who reject the lordship of Jesus Christ…’ (p337)
Perhaps among the most puzzling of Stotts comments is that he ask the question below and then refers the answer to it and other questions to the work of Donald J West who researched pedophilia .
‘Whether homosexual partnerships – lifelong and loving – are a Christian option… In particular, can the Bible be shown to sanction homosexual partnerships, or at least not to condemn them?’ (p338)
Donald West is quoted as having asserted that ” child sexual abuse was sometimes ‘beneficial’, referred to child abusers as ‘lovers’, and referred to a child being abused by an adult as a ‘relationship”.
Dr. Donald West
“‘Admittedly, pedophiliac relationships do sometimes seem beneficial. A child may learn much from a consistent and caring adult lover and come to cherish him as a friend long after the period of erotic attachment has passed.” [p.255, Adult Sexual Interest in Children: Implications for Social Control, by D.J. West (Institute of Criminology, Cambridge, England), from Adult Sexual Interest in Children, edited by Mark Cook and Kevin Howells, Academic Press, 1981]
More of Stott statements referred to Donald West for answers
‘Others argue that homosexual behaviour is “natural” (a) because in many primitive societies it is fairly acceptable, (b) because in some advanced civilizations (ancient Greece, for example) it was even idealized, and (c) because it is quite widespread in animals. Dr DJ West, who reports this, goes on to quote Dr FA Beach, an expert on animal sexuality, who because of animal homosexual behaviour says that to describe human homosexual behaviour as “unnatural” is to “depart from strict accuracy”.’ (p348)
“‘No known method of treatment or punishment,’ writes D J West, ‘offers hope of making any substantial reduction in the vast army of adults practising homosexuality’; it would be ‘more realistic to find room for them in society’. He pleads for ‘tolerance’, though not for ‘encouragement’, of homosexual behaviour. Other psychologists go further and declare that homosexuality is no longer to be regarded as a pathological condition; it is therefore to be accepted not cured. In 1973 the trustees of the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the category of mental illness.”
Source – http://www.therealjohnstott.com/?page_id=225
MORE ON LAUSANNE MOVEMENT /JOHN STOTT /THE SAME SEX ATTRACTED LANGUAGE OF ALLBERRY AND REVOICE
Capetown South Africa 2010 meetings for Lausanne brought much of the new language and the assertions of fixed homosexual orientation into the mainstream evangelical community
Lausanne presents the 2% of the world population as an unreached people group and sets out to instruct the church on reaching homosexuals . (The problem with this approach vs the Gospel approach to reaching sinners should be glaring to any Biblically anchored Christian. A specific sin does not qualify as an identity individually or as a “people group”)
- The number of people who identify as gay or lesbian, and the proportion of people who have same-sex sexual experiences, are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, studies in several countries by credible research institutes and universities have consistently shown that less than 3% and perhaps less than 2% of males are homosexually active in a given year. Female homosexuality is estimated to be approximately half or less than the male rates and appears to characterize less than 2% of the female population. Exceptions can be found in particular groups and countries. Reference: Hughes, John R. (2006). A general review of recent reports on homosexuality and lesbianism. Sexuality and Disability, 24, 195-205. The figure of 155 million people is an estimate derived by calculating 2% of the world’s population.”
LAUSANNE’S POSITION ON HOMOSEXUALS AND THE CHURCH IN 2010
Homosexuality and the Church: Why the Church Must Speak Into the Lives of Those Impacted by Homosexuality
Editor’s Note: This Cape Town 2010 Advance Paper was written by Mike Goeke as an overview of the topic to be discussed at the related session the Cape Town 2010 Congress “Sexuality: Creation, Brokenness, Truth and Grace.” Responses to this paper through the Lausanne Global Conversation were fed back to the author and others to help shape their final presentations at the Congress.
Homosexuality is a Worldwide, Cross-cultural Issue
“Christianity does not immunize people from sexual issues and struggles. This may seem like an obvious statement. But the church’s response to sexuality, and specifically homosexuality, indicates that, at least at some level, many in the church do not see ministry to those struggling with same-sex attraction, or those who fully embrace a gay identity, as viable targets for ministry and/or evangelism. The truth is that homosexuality impacts the entire world. Every culture, every religion, every society and every country are impacted by homosexuality. And each of those persons is in need of the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Christianity Does Not Prevent Homosexuality”
“All over the globe, people are ‘coming out’ of the closet and openly admitting and affirming their homosexuality. In the last few years, many of these have been prominent Christians. Some are exposed in a double life, and others come out on their own accord.”
“The church can learn something from the fact that so many prominent gay activists and personalities share a common upbringing in the church. Their struggles began, in some way, in the church. As you read their stories and memoirs and autobiographies, many express clearly the way their Christian upbringing impacted them as they dealt with burgeoning, growing attractions to their same gender. For most, they heard nothing that gave them hope as they wrestled with their sexuality. They heard condemnation, and they heard warning, and they heard fear. But they did not hear hope for people like them.”
“As these people share their stories, it is clear that condemnation, warning and fear can work to restrain someone dealing with same-sex attraction for a time. At some point, however, these tools no longer work. Christian rules, Christian regimens, and Christian tradition will only go so far. ”
“The reality is that the church did not speak into the lives of many of the people we see moving from an identity based on their Christianity and into an identity based on their homosexuality. And, ultimately, most walked away from the church of their youth in search of anyone who WOULD speak to them. And they found that in the gay community.”
“Ministering to Those Struggling Within the Church”
“Every ‘gay identified Christian’ most likely began as a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction. These are two different things and represent different places in a timeline of sexual development. The beginning struggle with sexual feelings is like any other struggle or temptation. A struggle with same-sex attraction does not mean someone identifies as ‘gay.’ Once a person openly identifies as gay or homosexual, they have usually gone through a process that gets them to a place of some level of acceptance of their sexuality.”
“Everyone, both Christians and those with a secular world view, who deals with same-sex attraction has likely gone through some form of inner conflict about their sexuality. But the Christian person dealing with same-sex attraction has an added component of conflict. For someone who is not a Christian, their sexual identity has potential practical, familial, and relational ramifications for their lives. The Christian faces all of these issues, but faces spiritual implications as well. And for the vast majority of struggling Christians, their churches were not safe places to share their struggle.”
(NOTE THE NARRATIVE IN 2010 THAT THE CHURCH IS NOT A SAFE SPACE FOR PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE ,ACCORDING TO LAUSANNE SO IT IS THE CHURCH WHO IS CAUSING THE PROBLEM LEADING TO SSA LEAVING AND JOINING THE GAY COMMUNITY” )
“If the struggle with same-sex attraction were to lose its stigma in the church it could be addressed early, before roots of identity entrench themselves in the fertile soil of young hearts and minds. If men and women struggling with same-sex attraction were free to express the struggle, then they could get help for the struggle while it is still a struggle and before it becomes an identity.”
(The above talking points about addressing the issues by removing the “stigma ” was preceded by the assertions that most develop SSA in their youth . This has given rise to the focus on youth groups, and teens by the LGBT+ Christian lobby. Who will have access to our teens in church with their message first? Will it be sound biblical teaching on sexuality or the Lausanne / APA/ Living Out / Revoice / Yarhouse / fixed orientation SSA ideology?)
“The Church’s Place in the Process”
“The church is often reactive with social and cultural issues. Instead, the church must assume its true place in the process. The church can lead out, rather than react, by speaking to the issues first. The church must speak to the person impacted by same sex attraction first, before the world gets its chance. Perhaps, when that starts happening, the stories we hear will be stories of the church being part of the solution, instead of more and more stories where the church is described as the source of the problem.”
LAUSANNE 2010 WHITEPAPERS ON SAME SEX ATTRACTION /HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH.
Some other papers and materials on SSA and Homosexuality for Lausanne 2010 can be found here;
JOHN STOTTS CONCLUSIONS ON HOMOSEXUALITY AND CHRISTIAN FAITH
“‘The great majority of homosexual people are not responsible for their condition (though they are of course, for their conduct). Since they are not deliberate perverts, they deserve our understanding and compassion, not our rejection… At the heart of the homosexual condition is a deep loneliness, the natural human hunger for mutual love, a search for identity, and a longing for completeness. If homosexual people cannot find these things in the local ‘church family’, we have no business to go on using that expression. The alternative is not between the warm physical relationship of homosexual intercourse and the pain of isolation in the cold. There is a third option, namely a Christian environment of love, understanding, acceptance and support.’ (p360)”
ALLBERRY AND THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB REVOICE BAND.
We are watching and hearing more every day of these LGBT+ “Christian” narratives in the echo chambers of TGC/ the Southern Baptist ERLC ,and by leaders like Tim Keller of the PCA . This movement and its revoicing- rethinking – reimagining – and forcing “conversations ” on -in-around-and about the church on LGBT+ issues is not distinct from the same forced movement in the global culture. Rather it is part of it . The focus on the church and LGBT+ is often coming from the same funding into the think tanks lobbying public policy makers and advocating for change in the church. Those like John Stott and the leaders like Tim Keller and his Gospel Coalition who have been driving the narratives since 2010 have only increased them to forced pressure for social change and “sexual justice” for LGBT (a.k.a. sexual minorities in the church ) who are asserted over and over to have incurred some harm from the church and its past and current “attitudes ” toward LGBT persons . We are told the church has a “compassion problem ” and that WE are “hurting LGBT people”.
NO EX-GAYS ARE ALLOWED TO EXIST IN THE WORLD OF STOTT /ALLBERRY /TGC
Not once do these talking points vist the harm that homosexuality does to people and families and worst of all the TGC/Allberry / Revoice narrative does not even allow for the true life testimonies of thousands of people who have come to faith and been fully delivered from homosexuality like Dennis Jernigan, Stephen Black of Robert Lopez.
Since 2013 these narratives have escalated as TGC commissioned fellow Church of England and gay priest Sam Allberry to be it’s editor on all things LGBT and SSA. By 2018 Allberry and Keller were introducing a “Biblical Church Inclusion Audit” for LGBT+
The audit requires for Churches to comply as they are reviewed by Allberry’s ministry. “Living Out is delighted to bring you this day of training in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance. We ask that all who attend assent to the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith and its biblical and pastoral position with respect to homosexuality, summarised in these affirmations.”
Those Evangelical Alliance affirmations include #10
“10. We encourage evangelical congregations to welcome and accept sexually active lesbians and gay men. However, they should do so in the expectation that they, like all of us who are living outside God’s purposes, will come in due course to see the need to be transformed ..”
FOOLISH MEANS OF EVANGELISM -“INCLUSION ” OF SINFUL IDENTITY
This means church membership is to be extended as a means of evangelism -which in fact shows extreme ignorance on the part of the EA leaders on new birth and how a person is converted and made a part of the Body of Christ.
EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE CLOSE BONDS WITH JOHN STOTT
Stott died in 2012 . Tim Keller was asked to do his Stateside memorial service after the funeral at ST Pauls in London. Evangelical Alliance staff were in attendance and acknowledge Stotts contribution to Christianity
“Staff from the Evangelical Alliance, including General Director Steve Clifford, were among 2,000 people who joined Rev Stott’s closest friends and colleagues, as well as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishop of London, at the memorial service.”
“Born in 1921 in London, John Stott was a member of All Souls Church, Langham Place, all his life. Among his most celebrated writings were Basic Christianity and The Radical Disciple. He served as one of the Queen’s Chaplains and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2005 – the same year he was named in Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people.”
“Paying tribute, Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, said: “Although many of the 600 million evangelical Christians may never have heard of John Stott, almost without exception they will have been unconsciously influenced through what they or their pastors have read from his pen. The whole of the leadership of the WEA acknowledges with great thankfulness to God the legacy that John Stott has left behind to encourage and guide us.”
TGC SOCIAL JUSTICE AND JOHN STOTT- PART OF THE MUCH LARGER PROBLEM
In 2013 TGC and Trevin Wax were using the John Stott legacy in early efforts to promote the TGC social Justice narrative
Most Christians who follow any mainstream news in the church today know of the problem the “social gospel” which is manifested in its new clothing of “Social Justice ” is causing in the seminaries and churches. These concerns led to the Dallas Statement condemning Social Justice as a Gospel cause. Generally this problem is understood by a growing number of concerned believers to be originating from The Gospel Coalition and it’s affiliates . In fact John Stott was decades ahead of the curve on this crippling agenda being embraced by the church.
In 1966 Stott affirmed
““The commission of the Church, therefore, is not to reform society, but to preach the Gospel… the primary task of the members of Christ’s Church is to be Gospel heralds, not social reformers.”
“It is the offer of forgiveness to sinful men and women on the ground of the Name of the crucified and risen Christ. There is no other message but the offer of forgiveness, and no other ground but the name of Christ. This is the good news we are commissioned to herald. It is the Gospel according to the Scriptures. This Gospel will never change.” Stott’s message was clear: “According to this commission, which is still addressed to us today, our primary duty is to be neither reformers of society nor healers of the sick, but rather preachers of the Gospel.”
“the cumulative emphasis seems clear… the mission of the church, according to the specification of the risen Lord is exclusively a preaching, converting and teaching mission.”
But by 1974 and the launch of Lausanne – Stott had changed his tune
“Christ sends us into the world to serve. For he came to serve. Not just to seek and to save, not just to preach, but more generally to serve… Now he tells us that as the Father sent him into the world, so he sends us. Our mission, like his, is to be one of service” (Stott’s emphasis). He argued that it was in a servant role “that we find the right synthesis of evangelism and social action.” In an attempt to reconcile the concept of ‘mission as service’ with the Great Commission, Stott said: “I venture to say that we give it [that is, the Great Commission] too prominent a place in our Christian thinking.”
““we express penitence both for our neglect of our Christian social responsibility and for our naive polarization in having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive… we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty.”
““It is our duty to be involved in socio-political action; that is, both in social action (caring for society’s casualties) and in political action (concerned for the structures of society itself).”
As Stotts resolve weakened or his influences broadened- he was willing to surrender the Great Commission to the “social gospel” . His views on Homosexuality certainly position it to be heralded as one of the great causes for social justice . Now we see those who are pushing for just such LGBT+ “justice” in the church are clinging to the Stott legacy . It is a popular yet troubling legacy indeed.
CHRISTIAN FAMILY:THE FINAL FRONTIER AND THE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE
By late 2018 Allberry and the entire heard of LGBT activist inside the evangelical circles in the US were fully attacking the nuclear family as an idol and advocating for SSA adoption and foster care.These same narratives are echoed by Revoice and by most in TGC who come from the SSA camp including Rosaria Butterfield .
Where will it end?
It will not !
These are highly organized and coordinated efforts for social change in the church in order to bring about the long range goals of acceptance and affirmation of homosexuality in the church. This effort goes up the ladder to the highest levels of- to some of the most trusted men in Christian leadership.
“Just say no” to this insane in house activism -and choose the timeless Word of God instead.
Colossians 2 “18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has [l]not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.