Thursday, July 8, 2010

Phariseeism and Redefining Sin, I

Before anyone freaks out over this title and thinks I'm going to get all weird, philosophical and turn all morally relevant, let me assure you that I'm not. Sin is sin. The Ten Commandments still apply today.
We'll start with a couple verses that, I think, will help you understand where I'm coming from.

Matthew 16:11 How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Vs 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducess.

Note, Jesus did not say, "Beware of Pilate, the Romans, Herod, Herod's wife, the daughter of Herod's wife..." or anyone else 'outside the camp' that one might fear. His concern was with those within the camp and their teachings. This post and the next will be dealing with some of those teachings and pointing out how the teachers of the day were redefining sin and how Jesus confronted it.

Matthew 15:1 Then some Pharisees and scribes (teachers) came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,
Vs 2 Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.
Vs 3 And He answered and said to them. "And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of you tradition?
Vs 4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Vs 5 But you say, 'Whoever shall say to his father or mother, "Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God."
Vs 6 he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
Vs 7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
Vs 8 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.
Vs 9 But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."

I really only needed to post verses 1-6, but 7-9 are so good that I had to include them. Sorry if my posts get a little long. But scripture is very clear on many things if you take the whole, in nice big chunks, and don't just pick and choose bits and piece them together.

Anyway, the Pharisees had become excellent 'rule keepers' and thought their salvation rested in keeping these rules. But their rules had become too extensive. They had evolved from what God originally said into a tyrannical mountain of dos and don'ts that became a cage rather than a place of freedom. We'll see more of that in the next post.

The Pharisees redefined sin, and in the case above, they even provided loop-holes for bad behavior, disobeying God's direct commands for the sake of the traditions of the elders.


JaneDoeThreads said...

actually Mara Jesus Did comment about the leaven of Herod too. What I didn't know, until looking it up, is that Herod was also a Jew, this is where the Catholic Bible, which did contain the non-canonical books, of OT [non-Masoric? texts) is good because inspired or not, it IS a really good history depiction of what transpired in the culture then, and it appears that after the conquest by Babylon, etc., the exile and all that, prior to Rome, some interesting things going on, esp with hedonism/materialism,

anyway, my point is, both Leavens, though different, are very similar and from same source. The materialists were in Egypt, what they call the Hellenist age/empire [that we are still in today] and what I find interesting about the Pharisees [similar to today] is how, it's really a coin, with two faces but the same coin. The Pharisees made 'deals' with the Herodians, for whatever reasons, just like the upper elites will sell out but not sell out their whole national culture to Colonizers, ex: in Africa during colonization, this is why there are still long held hatreds among ethnic groups there to this day. It's like a class/caste system of colonized oppressing colonized but all under the oppressor Conqueror. They sell out--yet keep their own culture, etc., so basically. Jesus said beware of both leavens,


JaneDoeThreads said...


I began to understand this personally when dealing with the going from a pharisee attitude I had [in twenties] to a Herod attitude I had for years in socialism/communism, I been in both extremes, but what I didn't see, until the Holy Spirit showed me, is that they really aren't different, not that much, one leads into the other, and vice versa. They are both iniquity, inward rot, so to speak, both require a strict adherence to Law, which is Man's law, both justify human wisdom/goodness either by separating/looking down on others not as religious OR by tolerance to sin and loving sin and looking down on those who are religious. This is why, Atheists, really are not that different in their zeal and self righteousness as the ultra-religious, especially the moral loose they get. The liberal moral will claim it's about love, but it's really about self indulgence at the expense of others,

same with Pharisee-ism, it's about indulgence at the expense of others by setting apart and looking Down on the sinners, and they believe they are rewarded/entitled based on their goodness,

both, love and want POWER. The hedonists and pharisees here, have a lot in common too because it's the powerless that will lust for power which is why there are the Purges, violence/or political cut throats, and the odd thing is,

both will assist the other yet hate the other at the same time. Esp if their power/desire can be aided by the other...good case, Hitler and Stalin, two totally different ideologies but with common goals, agreed but eventually one will go after the other, as Hitler did with Stalin. Unless one subjugates...because they are both from the same source, with Hitler and Stalin, they both were from the ideals of German socialism...Lenin took from that, etc. And then, go back, they both were from Nihilism. A Herod type of ideology--and culture rot, Germany was horrid in culture decadence and hedonism prior to Hitler.

They shift poles, so to speak--that is all. When the cup is full, it self destructs, when the leaven is full, the bread is done. Only thing its good for, if not eaten, is to finally rot/mold.

Once we get that leaven into our hearts, we can go back and forth between the two, because they are one in the same, does that make sense? America, is the combination of Both, mixed cups, especially in religion. [mensianity] Oh, no fruit can ever come of it,

this is what I have now been dealing with, years of dead nothing, no works, in both leavens, it rots like a poison, it really does, and once it takes residence, even if one does repent, the rot, is hell to get rid of, because it does Major damage to the heart.



JaneDoeThreads said...


America's mensianity is a combo of both leavens, this is why there is both pharisee and hedonism and secular moralism. The thing about these leavens, is that they are horrible to get rid of, once in the heart because they are so deceptive, I think, from my experience, the pharisee leaven will always lead into the hedonist kind,

same coin, same source, just two different faces. No fruit can come from either--only desolation. This is what I've had to fight now, since I took of both, and I can vouch--though the two camps may claim to be morally superior to the other, they really are not--they are identical, they just manifest differently. Why Jesus said, beware of both.



Mara Reid said...

I stand corrected, Jane.
You are right, I forgot about the leaven of Herod.

Mara Reid said...

As always, Jane, you bring a unique view to the table, one that a person has to chew on a bit.

But you are right to bring in history. Sometimes I get tired of Christians who speak with great authority who don't know history.

You know the saying. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.