Summary: This message deals with the fear of stepping out of our traditions and moving freely with the Holy Spirit.
"Changing Church" - Luke 5:35-39
by Bishop Charles Jones
In his book entitled changing church author c peter wagner states that there is a whole generation of believers in this second apostolic age who are not nearly as interested in the fine points and details of theology as past generations have been. He goes on to say that there are few people who choose their church these days because of what it believes about open theology or Calvanism or modes of baptism or church government or the pretribulation rapture or sanctififcation or predestination or the forensic theory of justification. If God is our Father and if we are saved through Jesus' blood shed on the cross and if we are daily filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, brother wagner goes on to say that he is convinced we can find a way to work together despite our theological differences. Let's not overcrowd our inner circle of theological absolutes. If we do, the exciting new streams flowing from what the Spirit is saying to the churches may pass us by.
we must deal with what i call the old wine skin mentality or denominationalism.people even in the pentecostal/charismatic background have this mindset that i am not going to change. they would rather stick to their religious heritage or tradition. we are no longer heeding the voice of the holy spirit as he speaks to us about change i have seen so much in my past 28 years of being saved that if i didnt focus more on my realationship with christ than on a church affiliation or denomination i would be lost.i believe God is calling us not to walk according to the traditions of our elders but rather form new wineskins.in mark 7:5 the pharisees once asked Jesus, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders?" in verse 9 Jesus responded " all too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition". for a time denominations were God's new wineskins. while i understand that large numbers of people will choose to remain in the old wineskins, and for many it is a good choice and God loves them and He will bless them, but the trade off is that they won't recieve new wine.church historian elwyn smith said that one of the constitutive elements of American denominationalism is "a conservative, sometimes legalistic, determination to maintain a distinctive identity in the face of change." i.e "we aren't going to change....everything else around us can but not us"
The parables are told in response to a question about fasting:
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
Luke 5:33-35, Authorized King James Version
Jesus' response continues with the two short parables. Luke has the more detailed version: