Monday, May 20, 2013

Modern Day Pharisee

Modern Day Pharisee

A Pharisee was someone mentioned in the New Testament as a religious leader of the Jews Law of Moses or definition as A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form.  They were also recognized by Jesus as being hypocritical and self-righteous people.

What does that mean? It means they cared more about the letter of the law than than freedom of the law.  It means they worried more about the law than people and it also meant they used this type of attitude for their advantage to gain wealth, power, and become corrupt. 

We have people like that today in our churches and who claim to be christians.  They care more about their opinions, their doctrines, and their denominations than they do people or God. Sure, they use God and the bible, but for their own personal agendas and benefits.  It makes no sense to me?   People would rather be right than righteous, they find more satisfaction in arguing or belittling someone who disagrees with them, than loving them or finding common grounds, and they also would rather divide and conquer than unite and work together.

I call them modern day pharisees.  They worship denominations, pastors, traditions, and are legalistic in thinking and practice.  They focus on things that don't matter to God, but matter to them.  Things like bible versions, church names, church music, clothes you war, church buildings, names on the door, and other beliefs and interpretations of spiritual or religious topics and I dare you to disagree with them, because if you do they will judge you to hell and label you names such as reprobate, a pagan, a liberal, a whore monger,  soft, watered-down, weak, ignorant, foolish, stupid, dumb, false prophet, idiot, and sinner to name a few.  

Yet, they speak with no authority or approval from God.  They preach, teach, yell, and scream their own agenda that was handed down from generations of legalism, religious traditions, and just plain ignorance.  Just because we claim to speak for God doesn't mean we do and just because we spout scriptures or argue and debate loudly doesn't make us any more right, more spiritual, or closer to God.

If you have to put someone down to make yourself better, if you have argue, debate, yell, scream, and belittle in order to make a point, my friend you are wrong no matter how right your point.  You see the Pharisees did a lot of things right in the New Testament, they dressed the part, they looked the part, and they dotted their "I's" and crossed every "t", and memorized and kept all the laws to the letter, yet they lacked grace, mercy, compassion, and common sense.  In order to keep their "way of living" they had to put others down, try and force others to be like them, think like them, and if you have to force, bully, or make people live the way you say, then that is slavery not freedom and that is not faith.

God is the one who saves, not me or you.  God is the one who wrote the Bible not me or you.  God has a Holy Spirit who's job it is to convict and guide others to truth not me or you.  We need to let God speak, let His Word Speak, and Let His Holy Spirit speak, and stop trying to put words in God's mouth, spot taking His Word out of context, and stop playing religious police trying to police christians and let the Holy Spirit do it's job.

I know it may never happen, but I would love to see an end to modern day pharisees. If only they would put that zeal, passion, and zest to work and practice in the right ways with the right attitudes imagine how different our churches and world would be?   Most modern day pharisees are in denial of being one, they think they are doing God a favor, and they are not "legalistic" or "phariseeical" but are God's watch dog, bull dog, and guard dogs.  I don't remember reading anywhere where God needed or wanted dogs to do his work?  He does want followers, disciples, and servants, who practice love, unity, grace, mercy, peace, commitment, and who encourage, pray, build up, and edify the body of Christ? There is a stark difference between a committed follower of Jesus Christ and a modern-day pharisee.

Which are you? Will you stop following traditions? Will you stop being so "dogmatic" and "Hounding" people and start allowing God to use you for His glory and not your own or your church group?  Will you read God's Word with an open mind, use it in context, and allow the Holy Spirit to influence and use you?

Jesus wasn't very kind to Pharisees he called them vipers, hypocrites, and white washed tombs to name few.  Those who thought they were doing God a favor, actually had His son murdered because He didn't bow down to them or pat them on the back for their "keeping of the law".   Jesus came to fulfill the law not to worship it.  We should follow suit.  Love God, Love people, and stop being a pharisee and stop making everything wrong, a sin, or a test of fellowship if it doesn't line up with the way you were raised or taught.  Let the Word of God and the spirit of God change your attitude and repent of being so hard-hearted, hard-headed, and doing evil in the name of good.  Are you a pharisee or a follower?

Matthew 23:13(NIV)
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 

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