Thursday, July 29, 2010

Phariseeism and False Balance

Phariseeism involves off-balanced thinking. It is off-balanced from what God considers just.
Here are a few Old Testament verses concerning false balances (scales that give false info) and false weights (weights that say they weigh a certain amount but actually weigh something different.)

Leviticus 19:35 You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity.
Leviticus 19:36'You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
Proverbs 16:11 A just balance and scales belong to the LORD; All the weights of the bag are His concern.
Proverbs 20:10 Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.
Proverbs 20:23 Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.
Micah 6:11"Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?

As you can see, God commands weights and measures to be true and just. And it is seen that those who uses false measures and have false balances, those weights and balances are not only undesirable, they are an abomination.
Now, lets look at how the Pharisees applied a false balance to a certain woman. And see how utterly blind they were to their false weights and measures.

John 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
4they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
5"Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"

Note: The Law of Moses commanded that anyone, male and female, caught in adultery should be stoned. There was only one conditions where one of the two offending parties, was not stoned. And it was the woman who was not stoned. Not the man. The man was ALWAYS stoned, in the case of adultery. There was just a chance that, out in the country, the woman was being raped, cried out and wasn't heard. In that case, they let the woman go.

But here, these Pharisees, using a false balance and false weights concerning the Law of Moses have turned the entire thing on it's head and as a way to punish wayward women while allowing wayward men to go their merry way and continue to be wayward. This is an abomination. And God's blessing is not on this. As He spoke through the Prophet Micah I quoted above, "Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights?"

The answer, of course, is that He cannot. God is just and is not subject to the false balances of men. He is not subject to it, nor can He bless it. But often, those who hold to the false balances are unaware that their balances are not blessed. They fully believe that God blesses their false balances and faulty weights and teach that their balances are God's commands and God's parameters. But what they teach is an abomination. And the fruit of their teaching is producing injustice worse than against the woman caught in adultery.
It is also producing abuse as witnessed by a blogger named Cindy. She does not use the terms, balance, weights, or measures. But she is witness the result of faulty teaching.

I appreciate Cindy's work among the abused as she walks among those suffering from the fallout of an off-balanced teaching.

The promoters of the Danver's Statement are as blind to their off-balance teaching as the Pharisees who threw the adulterous woman at the feet of Jesus. They do not know that they promote a false, off-balanced gospel that is no gospel at all, at least not the women and children that have been and are still being destroyed by it.
It is well past time for Christians to call into account those who perpetuate this false gospel. It is one of the most dangerous heresies to ever trouble the church.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Blog to Look At

He's a fellow who is blogging on how the false priorities and structure of phariseeism has hurt him and is continuing to hurt others.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Example: Phariseeism, Priorities, and Structure.

Just found a new blogger. Or at least a blogger new to me.

I feel her July 19th post is an excellent, modern day example of how having false priorities and structure produces phariseeism.

I will let her words speak for themselves.

No. The most dangerous force to the Church is not Feminism but Phariseeism which hides behind a cloak of righteousness. But its righteousness is filthy rages.

I appreciate Elizabeth Esther's devotion to God, even as she works to get past the damage done by those within the church who meant well, but were more important in following the rules than knowing the God of the rules and following Him.
Not all coming out of the fog of Phariseeism continue to hold onto God. It is easier for them to just chuck the whole thing, throw the baby out with the bath water rather than go back and try to extract the truth from the lies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Phariseeism, Priorities, and Structure, II

In the previous posts I gave scriptures from Matthew and Jeremiah dealing with a serious issue I see within the Body of Christ. I see a preoccupation with the outward form to the neglect of the heart and concerning the things of the heart, including both the heart of God and the heart of men (human beings).

I call it priority and structure issues because I see that this is where the problem lies. Just as the Pharisees of old neglected some part of God's law and over emphasized other parts, so I see this happening today. It is causing off-balanced teaching that is wreaking havoc on individual Christians and Christian families. I will get into this in a later post, but for now want to focus on the verses in Matthew and Jeremiah and the issues of priority and structure.

The Pharisees had their priorities all out of whack. They were so concerned with certain rules and the outward form of godliness that they neglected the God of the rules and the issues of their hearts. In Matthew 23:25 quoted in the post below Jesus nails these religious leaders for their greed and self-indulgence. Jesus warns the people of these men, focused on keeping up appearances to the neglect of their own hearts and the destruction of other people.

Luke 20:46"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

These men are proud and greedy, taking away from others to indulge themselves rather than giving.

Their priorities are all out of kilter. Their structure is completely faulty. As Jesus said in Matthew 23:26 they needed to focus on the inner rather than the outer. They needed to see to it that the inside of their dish was clean, then the natural flow, what comes out of the man, would make the outside of the man clean. Then they wouldn't have to rely on false righteousness and hypocrisy to keep the outer delusion going.

They needed to build their righteousness on the inner workings of the heart. They needed to circumcise their hearts and allow God to place His laws within their hearts rather than try to obey God's rules without knowing the heart of the God who made the rules.

As a mammal has its skeletal structure on the inside rather than the outside, Christians also need their structure on the inside. But instead, they walk around like a crab or a lobster with their structure outside of them, rather than inside.

And walking around as a lobster/crab, with this outside structure is turning many Christians into blind guides leading the blind, robbers who steal from other Christians their divine birth right, trampling over the boundaries of still others in order to indulge themselves, and reserving the best parts of the gospel message for themselves, denying full access to others.

And THIS is what is turning people away from the gospel. Not Feminism, but thievery done in the name of God. It is a crime, this devouring of the gifts and freedoms of fellow Christians, this trampling of the innocents. These are crimes every bit as bad as devouring widow's houses.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Phariseeism, Priorities, and Structure, I

There's a lot of scripture in this post, but I do it to make a point. People are obsessed with following rules to the point that they miss the heart of God, as explained in scripture, for the sake of following the rules. First a review of Matthew 15:7-9 that we touched on in the July 8th post.

Matthew 15:7 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."

As mentioned before, people were missing God altogether, giving lip service to Him but missing what is important to Him.

Next scripture is also from Matthew. Here Jesus is speaking to the teachers of the day and bringing special attention to the emptiness of their religion. He points out that these teachers are more interested in the outward form and how things look than anything pertaining to the heart, either God's heart, or man's.

Matthew 23:25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

One sort of an outward display that should reflect what is going on inwardly is circumcision. But instead it became only an outward display. Though they circumcised the outside of the dish, the inside remained uncircumcised. And God has no patience with this false circumcision.

Jeremiah 4:3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.

Our last selection, also from Jeremiah, God again is speaking to the heart of the matter. In the Old Testament, the law was something outside the person, to monitor and govern the person from the outside. Here God is giving the promise that He will put the law on the inside of the person, to govern them from the inside.

Jeremiah 31:33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

I have more to say on this but I shot a lot of scripture at you all at once. So for now we will simply close this post, unfinished and reflect on these scriptures in a later post.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Note on Comments

I know of at least one person who has left a comment here, but it didn't take and was not available for me to let go through. The only comments I haven't let through, so far, are the ones written in Chinese that I can't understand.
If anyone left a valid comment here that was not spam and I didn't let it through, it's because I never saw it. I want to assure you, I'm not keeping legitimate comments from appearing.
If you tried commenting and it didn't come through, please try again.
Thanks for understanding

Monday, July 12, 2010

Phariseeism and Redefining Sin, II

This post could also be entitled, "Commandmentzilla!" Let's read the first scripture selection and I'll explain myself.

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grain fields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick heads of grain and eat.
Vs 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Behold, Yours disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.
Vs 3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he became hungry, he and his companions;
Vs 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him but for priests alone?
Vs 5 Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?Vs 6 But I say to you, that something greater than the temple is here.
Vs 7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire compassion (mercy), and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.
Vs 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Whereas the Pharisees made a loophole for the "honor your parents" commandment, they treated the "Remember the Sabbath day" completely different. They changed if from a commandment that brings life to Commandmentzilla, a commandment capable of sucking the life out of you. It became the commandment used to prevent people from taking care of themselves if they have a need, like the disciples being hungry and eating a bit of grain. And not only this, there's more. I repeat vs 8 but continue on with the story.

Vs 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Vs 9 And departing from there, He went into their synagogue.
Vs 10 And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they questioned Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" -- in order that they might accuse Him.

Vs 11 And He said to them, "What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and if it falls into the pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out?

Vs 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

Vs 13 Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!" And he stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.

Vs 14 But the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

Commandmentzilla strikes again. Where Jesus would bring healing, Pharisees using Commandmentzilla would try to stop Him. And if they can't stop Him from healing on the Sabbath, then they will figure a way to destroy Him. Because commandmentzilla does not bring life, but death.

Mark 2:27 Then He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

And this is the problem. People believe that they need to worship the rules, instead of the God of the rules who made the rule for the sake of His children.

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.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sin in the Camp

Joshua 7:1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.

The above verse occurs right after the fall of Jericho and before the devastating defeat of Israel at Ai (vss 2-5).
Then Joshua falls on his face in prayer over their defeat and loss of life (vss 6-9).
But God answers in vss 10-15. Note verse 11 and 12.

Joshua 7:11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.
Vs 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you any more unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.

The rest of the story is the process of removing sin from the camp and the resulting victory over Ai after that.

The thing to note is that only one man sinned and stole from God. Only one. But God calls the entire nation into account for it. And if you read the story, Achan was put to death. Not just him, but his entire family. Not only did Achan suffer from the result of his own sin, but the entire nation of Israel. And Israel could not go on to any more victories until the sin among them was dealt with. On a side note, Achan's family paid for his sin with their lives, right along with him.

I've been on a blog where I have pointed out the sins of the church. The host and many of the men there have seen it as a personal attack on them and look upon me as someone who just wants to beat up Christians and the church. They have misunderstood my desire to bring Christians out of denial concerning sin in the camp as an attack on that camp. Because I strongly feel that it is the sins of Christians and the apathy of others concerning such sin that is robbing us of our victory.

The men at the other blog have looked upon the stories and issues that I bring up and said, in effect, "Yeah, it's bad. Stuff like that happens. So what? What's your point? You hate God, the Bible, and the Church now because of a few bad eggs?"

They completely miss the principle I bring up here concerning sin in the camp and "Judgement begins with the house of the LORD" (1 Pet 4:17).

But what these men don't realize is that when sin is overlooked, not taken seriously, and not dealt with, the church will not see victory. It is not the enemies outside the camp that have the power to stop the church and her move forward. It's the sin within the camp, and that alone, robs us of our victory.

Also know that I understand that the times and situations are different. Joshua put to death Achan. But we have different methods, as outlined by the New Testament, to deal with those who sin against God. Yet we are not applying them, therefore we will continue to stumble about in defeat as we point the finger of accusation everywhere but where it belongs.

It is not the third wave feminist, the militant homosexual, or even the sick minded, child pornographer (the one I despise the most) that stops the church from victory. It's the sin within the church herself that will destroy us and render us an impotent has-been within our nation.

Next post is on the 'redefining of sin' that occurs within the church.