When did Christians become Pharisees?

How many Christians do you know that are just like Jesus in their attitudes and actions? How many Christians do you know who reach out to the lowest of the low, the down and out, the outcasts, the illegal, and anyone who has fallen through the cracks? How many Christians do you know who associate with the unrighteous and are often seen in the presence of sinners? How many Christians do you know walk in love and live by compassion for others? How many Christians do you know who never miss an opportunity to be kind or caring?

How many Christians do you know that are just like the Pharisees in their attitudes in actions? How many Christians do you know who reach out only to other brothers and sisters in the faith? How many Christians do you know who associate only with their own who are like-minded? How many Christians you know who walk in righteousness and live by being judgmental about the sins of others? How many Christians do you know who never miss an opportunity to be righteous?

I couldn’t help but ask myself ‘when did Christians turn themselves into Pharisees?’ as I read accounts where Christians marginalized and ignored the sort of people that Jesus would have loved and shown compassion. Christians accepted and praised the sort of people that Jesus would have scolded. So let’s take a look at Matthew 23:

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

We do have Christians that are in positions of authority and we’re supposed to listen to them. But in any number of recent scandals – big and small – we can see that many do not practice what they preach. Not only that, there’s an element of legalism using the New Testament to trap people in a works / rules religion to try to maintain righteousness.

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

There are those among them who like to keep up appearances – to make things look all right whether they are or not. And there’s no shortage of titles: ‘Doctor (of theology)’ ‘Reverend’ ‘Pastor’ ‘Teaching Pastor’ ‘Brother’. My church has even been known to celebrate: “Pastor Appreciation Day”. If we are trying to cultivate a humble leadership I think that we’ve gone about it the wrong way. But that is just the introduction – Jesus tells the people how he really feels about it next – and he doesn’t mince words.

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2 thoughts on “When did Christians become Pharisees?

  1. Hello !

    (I know this is the most inappropriate means of connecting with you…but this is the avenue I could find. Please forgive me)

    Calvary greetings to you in the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Awesome work you are doing on your blog.

    God be praised forever!

    My name (in short) is Tim and I am the administrator of the newly unveiled Christian Social Community: Rhemalog.

    Craving your indulgence, I will quickly like to intimate you on our purpose, goals and objectives.

    Rhemalog is a compound word, coined from “Rhema” and “Log”.
    It means, putting into writing(Log), your encounters in the Word of God(Rhema).
    Sharing with the beloved, the things that God has shown unto you in His Word.

    Rhemalog is established by the leading of the Holy Spirit, as a platform to enrich and impact the body of Christ all over the World!

    You will agree that there is a lot of degradation going on.
    Abuse, spiritual contaminations and pollutions.

    All you need is to refresh your social-media pages long enough…then boom!
    There you have it, in your face!
    But.
    Wouldnt it be awesome to have a sanctified environment?

    A platform built solely for the Children of God.
    Devoid of negativity around us, but filled with inspirations, encouragements and above all, the WORD OF GOD!

    This is our driving force.
    The clarion call that moved us to put Rhemalog in place.

    And this is our call to you: Would you like to join us?

    As one of the major (Christian) thinkers and opinion-makers out there, logically, it is a no-brainer that we need you, especially since our main goal is to ensure that the people are well fed.

    We need your insightful thoughts. Inspirational ideas. Well written pieces. We need YOU!

    We need you, not only as a member, but also as an A-List contributor.

    And we already have all the tools required.

    – Personal Blogging feature
    – Video sharing
    – Community pages (think facebook pages)
    – Timelines and profiles
    – Pictures, etc

    Together, we can build one of the most vibrant and impactful communities out there.

    Should you decide to join us now:

    – Your personal blog and info will be shared on our social media pages (with over 59,000 members)

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    It will be a huge honour and we will be waiting for you.

    rhemalog.com is the address.

    Thanks and may God keep His face shining on you.

    Yours,

    Tim
    Rhemalog Community

    Like

    • Thank you for the most interesting offer, however, I cannot participate.

      Primarily, I believe the tendency of Christians to isolate themselves from the larger world to be the cause of many problems that Christians face. We’re not called to study in separate schools, attend separate collages, live in separate communities and separate our existence in an effort to avoid sinful corruption. We still have to live in the world to live in the world. Not being of the world refers to not sharing wordly values.

      “You will agree that there is a lot of degradation going on.
      Abuse, spiritual contaminations and pollutions.”

      No, not really. All these things depend upon their specific situation. In general, I am not surprised that sinners sin. I’m not surprised that Christians still sin as they are former sinners. Human nature is what it is.

      “All you need is to refresh your social-media pages long enough…then boom!
      There you have it, in your face!
      But.
      Wouldnt it be awesome to have a sanctified environment?”

      This is what worries me. I’ve seen it happen on a smaller scale. A Christian group isolates itself from the world. They teach themselves Bible Studies. They talk. They debate. They sort of ‘fishbowl’ their existence – taking care of only their own and their insiders. Christians need to burst their bubble and interact with the wider community in which they live in. Christians ought to live by this principle in all things: “leave it in better condition than you found it”.

      “A platform built solely for the Children of God.
      Devoid of negativity around us, but filled with inspirations, encouragements and above all, the WORD OF GOD!”

      Because I believe in the law of love, some of the positions I hold are in support of things that more conservative Christians are vehemently against. I have no desire to be caught up in debates with brothers or sisters whose sole desire is to turn me from my perceived error and win me over their side. I’m afraid I’d be too divisive and disruptive for the environment you’re trying to create.

      That said, if there’s a blog entry of mine that you feel would be great to discuss or something like that, then feel free to copy it and post it to your site so long as it links back to me so I know where to find it and can reply to comments from time to time.

      Like

...Anyway, that's just how I feel about it ... What do you think?

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