Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wrong Standards

Don’t you know the Pharisees were mad? They had been doing things their own way for hundreds of years. They had been following lots of rules and making up more rules – doctrines of men. They had been walking around in their own man-made righteousness making it difficult for anyone else to be as holy as they were. Then along came a man, a carpenter’s son from Bethlehem, and told them they were doing it all wrong. Jesus told them that their rules were not making them holy - they were cleaning the outside of the cup, but leaving the inside filthy. They were whitewashed tombs filled with dead men’s bones. They may have been keeping all the doctrines of men, but they were not feeding the poor or taking care of the sick. They worshiped God with their mouths, but their hearts were far from Him. We know this because they had no love for the brethren. The goal was love from a pure heart, and they totally missed the boat. This carpenter was healing people on the Sabbath, eating with tax collectors, washing His disciple’s feet, casting out demons, and teaching with authority. He told them that God’s words were spirit and truth and that God’s words were His words. People were listening to Him, and so the Pharisees killed Him.

Things have not changed much since that day. There are still people who want to follow the precepts of men – taste not, touch not, etc. They think that will make them holy, but they have no love for their brothers. They hold to a religion, but deny the power of God. The worst part is that they tell others that this is the way to the kingdom of God. They tell people that you must not touch this or taste that or drink that. People, who do not know God, believe this. They judge people by this standard – just as the Pharisees judged people thousands of years ago. These rules and man-made doctrines have become the standard for who is "religious" and who is not. People are missing the boat again.

Am I saying that sinning is okay? Not at all! But just as people do not have a clue what righteousness is, neither do they know what sin is. I’m just saying that many people are holding to the wrong standards. I could say lots more, but this helps me to get something off my chest.


Bob said...

You know, the Pharisees get a bad rap. Sure, they weren't cutting it with their piety, but they weren't the ones who brought false charges against Jesus. The Sanhedrin was dominated by the Sadducees (the guys who ran that money-changing racket at the temple) who decided they could use the Law to pervert the Law. It was a couple of Pharisees (Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea) who took on themselves a responsibility no one else wanted.

I don't disagree with anything you say -- it's just that (as I see it) all too often the Pharisees get the Sadducees' rap sheet nailed to their cross.

Buck said...

I have NO idea what you're on about here, Lou... but if it helps you unburden, then good for you.

We all need to vent.

Jo Castillo said...

I ditto what Buck says. :) Hugs.

Mrs. Bear said...

I understand exactly what you are saying. I believe that there are some things that have happened in our lives that have changed us. I have said for years that "living in that small valley" (RR) changed us. A place that was so is a place where true hearts are revealed. And for some reason it just makes things all different...its the "wash the outside of the cup but leave the inside dirty" stuff that seems to show up...what I learned, while in Red, is that it is such a small place that you ALWAYS see the inside of the cup. When looking at the inside of the cup the next step is to line up what you see with the word. And that is where for me years and years ago that Faith Mnt came into being...a place for learning...As you well know not much goes un-noticed in Red...I don't know if I am saying this the way I mean it...but when we moved...I was so surprised by people saying that they were one way and then after time I discovered that they weren't what they said they were at all...but it seemed to be easier for them to be what they were because it is a bigger place and people have more places to Red (and I know that the smallness of the valley doesn't really make the difference but...) you can't hide much because you are so physically close to one another...literally if you are doing stuff or if your heart is weird....someone will notice...but here is the catch...The Lord knows if your cup is dirty...and the true sadness is that a dirty cup causes separation from the Lord. Here's the deal for me...put everything up ON the table NOT under the table..line up what your doing and who you are with the word of God...and hopefully then others will see the fruit of the spirit flow out of you. Lou I love you!!!

Bag Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bag Blog said...

I like "putting it all out on the table" myself. Concealment is usually wrong. I love you too.

Buck and Jo, thanks for the support. I knew this post was a bit odd, but it said something that I needed to say.

I was thinking of Mathew 12, 15, 16 and 23 which has lots to do with the Pharisees. I admit that I do not know much about the difference betweeen the Sads and the Phars and was just thinking of church leaders in general. In John 8 Jesus tells the Jews that they are of their father the devil and illegitimate sons - I was thinking of the Pharisees, but maybe it is not distinguished there. John 9 and 11 also have Christ admonishing the Pharisees.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

It's a bit difficult to take away the rap sheet the Pharisees earned when Jesus himself called them..."a generation of vipers", "hypocrites", "children of hell", "extortionists", "open graves", "evil and adulterous" just to name a few of the obvious ones. I suppose the top of the rap sheet would read, 'murderers' and 'conspiracy to murder'. I would agree that it's not a leap to say that there was a brittle connection between the two groups but they found a strong weld of unification in their utter contempt for Jesus, his teachings, and his followers. Enough so to conspire together to end his life, in hopes of ending the divergence of their flocks who were beginning to follow another Shepherd, thus reducing the fleecing business they were so adept at. Of course, there were 'a few' who agreed with Jesus, and even fewer who actually believed in particular called everything that he had ever done as a Pharisee of Pharisees...dung. Somewhat telling of what those who really knew the spirit of Christ thought of the Pharisees, their teachings and doctrines.

Mezzo SF said...

I understand what you are saying.

Missing the forest for the trees...following the letter of law, not the spirit...judging the speck in someone else's eye and missing the plank in their own.

yup. I understand. It's frustrating.

Bag Blog said...

Mezzo, I think you've got it.

Buckskins Rule said...

Amen, Lou!

Too many people hiding under the veil of religion just don't get it.

There is a reason that Jesus kept company with prostitutes and theives. They understood.