A Proximity Christian is someone who inherits the beliefs of their proximity:
- Parent's Belief
- The First Church attended
- The nearest Church
- The most popular Church in our country, area.
- The Church enforced by Law
Almost every believer out there was indoctrinated. That is, they were taught a specific understanding of Christianity.
There is no guilt, I believe, in a new believer accepting the view point of the Church they become part of. They do not know better. For many centuries believers couldn't read, and the scriptures were not held by common people. The scriptures were rare. So whatever the priest or pastor told them, they accepted. Those who did not accept were punished, even with a slow burning death.
There are many problems with accepting the teachings of your proximity Church.
- Without questioning the Canon of Scripture, you have no basis of saying what is true and what isn't, because you've not verified that these books are all from God. Some of the books in the Bible were not accepted for centuries. If your pastor is teaching Hebrews as the word of God, then he is wrong and you are wrong for believing him. If your foundation is not inspired by God, than your beliefs are not valid.
The Solution is to look at what Yahweh said about knowing which prophets are from Him and which are not. This is in the law:
"And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."
Matthew Mark and Luke have prophecy that came true.
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world..." - Jesus
After Luke we see no prophecies that have clearly come true.
This is Yahweh's Command to us on how to know who is speaking the word of the LORD.
2. Your view of God is through your teachers. There are many lenses that Proximity Christians see through when looking at God:
i. Your Pastor
ii. Famous Theologians. Like Calvin, or the Pope.
iv. False Gospel of John
For example, Western Protestant Pastors teach "Once saved always saved". This is a new term. The basis for this term came from Luther & Calvin who focused on the teachings of Paul & the false Gospel of John.
You won't find this teaching before Luke. Nor will you find Jesus teaching 'Grace'.
Solution: Jesus told us clearly that we only have one teacher.
"But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ." - Jesus
It's a shame, but if you were to ask most pastors a doctrinal question, they will usually quote someone other than Jesus. And many won't quote Jesus at all. They tend to love Paul.
Perhaps the greatest irony ever is that Paul, a Pharisee, hijacked the Gospel into "My Gospel".
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." - Jesus
NOTE: The word Hypocrisy is ὑπόκρισις. This word means someone who is acting. It is not a state of being where a person teaches or believes two opposing things.
So Jesus is saying the Pharisees are acting a part. This is a trend among religious leaders. They do not actually believe God is real, they play a part because they get something out of being an actor.
Paul was an actor.
3. Your Proximity left out God's will. God's will, as clearly stated throughout True Scripture is that those who are in covenant with him are to practice the law.