The Sad State of American’s Church

I am sad that the physical church does not know how to trust God and not people. Maybe this is part of what Jesus was talking about when He said few would find the right path: Just a thought and not being judgmental.

Sad is the fact that people would rather believe the worst about someone than actually look at the truth about them self. Is this not the “American” way?

For example, there are not five official acts of worship to be completed out of habit each Sunday. There is only one act of worship to be completed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Furthermore, when Jesus said that people would know you are His by your love, He was never limiting love to just those that believes the way you believe. After all, did Jesus not love the Clint Eastwood in all of us: the Good, Bad, and Ugly?

Each person within the church that thinks they know the whole truth and therefore does not need to listen is ignorant of the truth.

The church needs to start worshiping God through Jesus and stop worshipping their own self-made knowledge. They need to stop worshipping the roadmap idle known as the Bible. Roadmaps do not get you to the desired destination: Taking actions from following the directions of the map gets you to the destination.

I will continue to seek truth. I will continue to worship the God who through love saved me from a tumor in my gut. I will continue to worship the God who saved me from a living chemical hell on earth. I will continue to trust in God’s grace to lead me where I should go and towards His true church.

Hugs always,

Guy

Deceitful Excuses

My so-called “religious” friends can’t find away around their busy lives to take a risk and be a real friend to me without judgement and fault-finding: So lets see if they will honestly answer this question.

“Why Do People In General – But Especially Family And Friends – Give Deceitful Excuses – Instead Of An Honest Amends – For Their Unacceptable Behavior And Yet Expect Everything To Be Hunky Dory Along The Road Of Happy Destiny?”

The definition of DECEIT is to: Have a tendency or disposition to lie: Not being honest: To be misleading

  • The synonyms of DECEIT are: Crooked, Fraudulent, Defrauding, Dishonest, Double-dealing, False

The definition of EXCUSE the verb is to: try and remove personal blame for wrong doing: To disregard as trivial that which is important: To justify that which is undesirable or offensive

The definition of EXCUSE the noun is to: Offer justification: Feeble Expression For failing to do something: The absence of truth

  • The synonyms of EXCUSE are: Condone, Discount, Disregard, Gloze (Over), Ignore, Overlook, Shrug Off, Whitewash

The definition of HONEST is to: Be Free from fraud or deception: To be Genuine: To be Humble: To be Reputable: To be Respectable: To be Good: To Display integrity

  • The synonyms of HONEST are: Truthful, Veracious, Upright

The definition of AMENDS is to: Make right: Correct: Repair injury: To change or modify for the better: To alter formally

  • The synonyms of AMENDS are: Ameliorate, Improve, Better, Enhance, Enrich, Help, Meliorate, Perfect, Refine, Upgrade

Sounds and looks like hypocrisy to me!

Guy

Payson AZ Aug 11, 2011

Insignificant “Forsaken – Rejected – Discarded”

Insignificant “Forsaken – Rejected – Discarded”

  1. 1.   What was I thinking last night?
  2. 2.   Why did I think they would listen to me when people (just like them) would not listen when a man came back from the dead 1,979 years ago?
  3. 3.   Why did I think they would remove the cotton from their ears and hear the “TRUTH” about the “LIES” they blindly believed in years past?
  4. 4.   Why did I throw pearls to swine?

I woke this morning feeling very abandoned: Abandoned.

The study that took me ten months of meticulous sweat was completely and unreservedly rejected and called “legalistic” by “Modern Day Pharisees” when in reality it was the complete opposite of legalism: Biblical Truth.

Before sleep over took me last night, I revisited the past ten-month research, looking for any mistake, which corrupted the study: I found none. The conclusions exposed within the study are true: The New Testament is not a Law Book. I did not make a mistake in my edifying endeavor. The evidence is not refutable: Prima-Fascia.

But was I honestly the one rejected by the self-proclaimed pious? – Not at all! The truth was rejected. The biblical evidence was rejected.

Rejected without an independent – self-conducted (honest) study of my findings by the self-proclaimed pious.

Biblical Truth – Rejected for a man-made (untouchable) traditional policy of “Command, Example, and Necessary Inference (CENI)” which tradition and time have elevated to untouchable: Even when contextual biblical evidence clearly shows the flaws of CENI reasoning.

Why was the study discarded? Here are a few clues. 

  1. 1.   Traditions viewed as untouchable (Higher then biblical truth)
  2. 2.   Acceptance of prior man’s teachings as untouchable (Trust in people not in God)
  3. 3.   Minds “self” convinced of PERECTLY knowing ALL (Pharisees’ Thinking)
  4. 4.   Perpetual belief that God and Christ and the church are only true within “finite neat little boxes” made by FLAWED finite minds.
  5. 5.   Emotional reasoning having precedent over biblical context that refutes such reasoning.
  6. 6.   Forcing God’s “Spiritual Reality” into mankind’s “Limiting Physical Restraints” without searching the scriptures to discover truth.

Why did I think they would listen to me when they rejected the author of the truth already?

Thursday, April 21, 2011, Payson, AZ

Tilted Halo: Finite not Infinite Rigorous Honesty

Tilted Halo: Finite not Infinite Rigorous Honesty

Good morning world of Blog readers. “We Humans” seem to always put everything into little boxes. Life has taught me that God is not a box person. Life has shown me that God is way to large in my life to fit into any box made by human minds (yours or mine).

When I became a True Christian (seeking to learn God’s Will and not human interpretations), a friend told me in a private chat at the local church building, that the devil wants everyone that God has and the devil will do everything in his power to get the people that God has. He told me that the devil would use every part of my life that I am weakest in as he tries to pull me away from God. This is where I have learned (came to understand) what faith really means. Faith is not the direct opposite of fear: Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith does not mean 100% trust: Faith is confidence! Confidence that God will always keep His word and always show me the next right thing to do.

I have spent the last 21+ years of my life following the “next indicated” path (the next RIGHT thing) that God was leading down in life (even though I did not know that He was leading me by His Spirit). I hardly ever understood where the path was leading me or why, but I always had confidence that the path was a better path for me to walk then the rocky, un-mapped, ancient trail of the prior 33+ years.

God showed me, first and continually through AA that rigorous honesty is the path He wanted me to walk in my life and to not fear evaluating myself daily to see all areas where I have been dishonest to Him, others, and myself. One lesson that was so deeply hard for me to learn in life is that “NO” other person ever poured the alcohol or dropped the drugs down my throat. It was always my choice to do this as an escape from my human realities. No other person forces me to walk against God’s Will. Only my ego, fears, desires, and selfishness forces me to do what I do not want to do and walk where I know I should not walk.

Now rigorous honesty is a very hard path for us humans to walk in life because of our peers, our ego’s, our emotions, and our past life training and experiences. However, rigorous honesty is possible for us finite humans with God’s infinite help.

I am here, always, to encourage and support everyone that has the courage to seek truth and daily evaluate where they have allowed their finite will to supersede God’s infinite Will.

I will share this with you who will read my limited continuous understanding of God’s Will and anyone with the courage to heed; the path of rigorous honesty is not easy but the rewards are unlimited. No I am not perfect at rigorous honesty – no human is.

One thing I have learned over the collective last 54+ years is that, “Rigorous honesty without compassion is actually brutality” and not “TRUE” love at all.

Hugs and love always, Guy

Payson, Arizona, April 16, 2011

Self-Justified Resentment: Dangerous Form of Self-Righteousness

On October 24, 2010, I presented a study on forgiveness instead of harboring resentments.

One prime fact that I discovered during my final years in law enforcement, where I investigated more then a 1000 incidents ranging from petty arguments turned violent, drug deals, murder, grand larceny, domestic violence, etc: Was that NONE of the multitude of investigations had any innocent parties. Everyone involved in each situation, regardless of degree or personal justification, was part of the cause and blame of their incident.

Remember that the TWO New Testament words we translate “to forgive” means literally “to let go” or “to cancel” a wrong.

This study will seek to answer the important and vital questions concerning why people cannot bring themselves to obey God’s clear commands concerning forgiveness of others.

Interpersonal Relations:

“Interpersonal relations” is not often thought of as a Bible topic, but advice about dealing with other people makes up a large part of the teachings of Jesus and His apostles as well as the wisdom books of the Old Testament. Whether dealing with parents, children, spouses, family, friends, co-workers, fellow church members, or even enemies, the Bible’s advice is spiritually sound and effective for promoting peace and harmony and therefore is a Bible topic for all people to study and learn.

Over the entire course of my life span, I have seen and taken part in way too many examples of resentment. I have watched resentments crop up in families, friendships, businesses, and recovery meetings. I have seen that even religion is not safe from the destruction of resentments. Now and again, as egos and personalities get to work before principles and the result, almost universally, are justified resentments?

The word resentment comes from the Latin word “sentire” which means, “to feel”, and when you put “re” in front of any word, it means “again”, so the word resentment means, “to feel again”.  Resentments includes people, institutions and/or principles with whom we were angry, with whom we were hurt, with whom we are threatened, with whom we are interfered with, with whom we felt had wronged us. Resentment is nothing less then consciously or unconsciously staying sore at some person, institution or principle.

I always thought that resentment was reasonable, acceptable, and almost fun at times. Resentment became a way of life for me because it seemed like I had problems with or was annoyed by most of the people, institutions or principles I knew in life.

But, if we want to enjoy God’s forgiveness, then our resentments must be mastered,” and here is why:

  • Resentment destroys more than anything else (countries, families, friendships, churches, businesses).
  • A life, which includes deep justified resentment, leads only to futility.
  • A life, which includes deep resentment, leads to perpetual unhappiness.
  • To the precise extent that we permit resentments to rule our lives, we squander the hours that might have been worthwhile to others and ourselves.
  • All around the world, the business of resentment keeping is fatal.
  • One of the greatest enemies of all people everywhere is justified resentments, which lead to jealousy, frustration, and fear.

We must honestly ask ourselves; are we earnestly seeking to get rid of the resentments in our life, or do we hold on to some, considering them unavoidable (justified)?

This is important and something to really think about.

Letting go of resentments means forgiving and God Commands Forgiveness:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” (Matthew 6:14-16 ESV)

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25 ESV)

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” (Luke 6:37 ESV)

What is forgiveness?

Simply put, forgiveness is letting go of the need for revenge and releasing the negative thoughts of bitterness and resentment towards a person, institution, or situation. Is it easy to do? No! However, it is easy to see where in a person’s life they have not actually or honestly forgiven others.

  • Lack of forgiveness can be readily seen in our demeanor towards the people we have not forgiven.
  • Lack of forgiveness can be readily seen in our speech about or towards the people we have not forgiven.
  • Lack of forgiveness cannot be hidden very long due to the prevailing attitude’s that not forgiving manifests’ within our hearts and our lives.
  • Lack of forgiveness hinders our effectiveness for the cause of Christ.

All of the New Testament teachings on relations follow from Jesus’ commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When Jesus was asked which of the commandments was most important, He replied,

“And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.” And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:26-31 ESV)

The English word “love” has many different meanings, but this “Christian love” of the Bible comes from the Greek word agape, which means good will and benevolent concern for all others. It is deliberate, purposeful rather than emotional or impulsive love.

“Love your neighbor” was not a new commandment:

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18 ESV)

The people of Jesus’ time had developed an extremely restricted view of who should be considered a “neighbor.” In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus corrected that view and teaches us that a “neighbor” is anyone we come in contact with: Period!

Self-righteousness = Arrogance:

No one is perfect; we are all sinners in one-way or another as Romans 3:21-24 and 1 John 1:8 tell us. If we treat people we consider to be “sinners” with scorn, or think we are better than they are, we are guilty of the sin of self-righteousness:

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14 ESV)

Judging, Criticizing, Condemning:

Self-righteousness is one of the hardest sins to avoid because it is so much easier to see other people’s faults than to see our own faults. But, judgment of a person’s character must be left to God.

“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:1-4 ESV)

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12 ESV)

Rather than look for faults in others, we should look for the good in others and try to correct the faults within ourselves. Rather than criticizing other people, we should concentrate on living holy lives, ourselves. Jesus’ parable of a person with a log in his eye trying to see to remove a speck from another’s eye reminds us that we probably have bigger faults within ourselves (including self-righteousness) than the faults we like to criticize in others:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 ESV)

This does not mean, however, that all sin should be ignored:

  • Christians should help each other recognize and overcome sinful actions and attitudes, but it must be done in a sincere spirit of love and not with the intention to punish, embarrass or disparage as we are commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, James 5:19-20, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, and 2 Timothy 4:2 but not hold to resentments.
  • Churches have the right to excommunicate members who bring reproach or embarrassment on the church as directed by Paul when he wrote 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 but not hold to resentments.

Anger, Retaliation, Revenge:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:21-22 ESV)

No one MAKES us angry. Anger is our choice from our own emotional response to some action or event. More often than not, our angry feelings are based on a misinterpretation of what someone said or did or on our own exaggerated sense of pride. Angry words and actions escalate hostilities and block corrective and healthy communication rather than solve problems. Whether between church member, parent and child, spouses, siblings, friends, or nations; expressions of anger divide us and drive us toward open hostility or covert hostility.

It is all too easy to react to life’s annoyances and disappointments with anger. It is far more challenging, but much better, to react with understanding and empathy. In this way, we can quickly settle disputes and avoid turning minor incidents into major battles full of resentments and hurt feelings:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20 ESV)

Holding a grudge will consume us with hatred, blocking out all enjoyment of life where the resented party is concerned. A grudge clouds our judgment and may lead us to an act of revenge that can never be undone. The Old Testament law specified equal revenge for equal wrong: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” but that rule was too harsh for the new age of the kingdom of God. Jesus said the right thing to do is to take no revenge at all:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42 ESV)

Gossip, Slander, Lies, Deception:

“The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37 ESV)

The words we say or write have tremendous power for good or evil. Words can promote love and understanding or inflame prejudice and hatred. It is words that make or break marriages and other relationships. Words can make peace or make war. Our words should always show a spirit of Christian love.

A lie is any false statement made with the intent to deceive someone. We must always be honest in our dealings with other people. The Bible strongly condemns any attempt to deceive with the intent to hurt or gain unfair advantage:

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16 ESV)

“For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;” (1 Peter 3:10 ESV)

Gossip is an act of hostility (slander) intended to harm someone’s reputation. I call this Murder by Character Assignationand we ALL must avoid the temptation to gossip at all cost as it breads resentments:

“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 ESV)

Humility, Humbleness:

“The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12 ESV)

An attitude of humility is the key to dealing with other people in a Biblical way. Humility or humbleness is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of resentments, aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and exaggerated pride. Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs of others. Why do principles such as courtesy, patience, and deference have such a prominent place in the Bible? It is because a demeanor of humility is exactly what is needed to live in peace and harmony with all persons and to reconcile others backs to God. Acting with humility does not in any way deny our own self worth. Rather, it affirms the inherent worth of all persons.

The Golden Rule:

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31 ESV)

The “Golden Rule”, spoken by Jesus, is possibly one of the most repeated quotes from the Bible and is the standard Jesus set for dealing with other people. If we wish to be loved, we must give love. If we wish to be respected, we must respect all persons, even those we dislike. If we wish to be forgiven, we must also forgive. If we wish others to speak kindly of us, we must speak kindly of them and avoid gossip. If we want happy marriages, we must be faithful, forgiving and kind to our spouses. If we wish to be fulfilled in our lives, we must share generously with others.

Forgiveness:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)

We should always be willing to forgive others and not hold any resentment against them. Holding a grudge and/or seeking revenge have no place in the lives of Christians. Jesus calls us to remember that we are all God’s children. Just as He loves all His people and is willing to forgive their sins, we should be willing to forgive also.

If you have not fully examined yourself lately” and are in any way holding resentments towards others, now is the time to obey God’s will and be free from the bondage of this grave sin.

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV)

Hugs, Guy Lewis

Payson, Arizona: Sunday, April 10, 2011

 

 

Modern Day Pharisee

If there was any one group of people that Jesus could not stand, it was hypocrites: The Pharisees.

The Pharisees were a religious and political denomination within the Hebrew religion and political world that insisted on very strict observance of their interpretations Biblical law.

However, at the same time, the Pharisees forgot the true spirit and intent of the law and became self-indulgent, self-righteous, snobbish, and greedy.

People with pharisaical attitudes led Jesus to remark:

Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV) “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. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

Jesus went on to declare that people with pharisaical attitudes would not go to heaven when He stated comments such as:

  • John 7:32-34 (ESV) The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.”
  • John 8:21 (ESV) So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

However, to His followers – believers – Jesus said they would eventually go to where He was going.

  • John 12:26 (ESV) If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
  • John 13:33-36 (NIV) “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
  • John 14:19 (ESV) Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”

Where was Jesus going? He was going back to heaven to be with God once more.

Acts 1:9-11 (ESV) And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Why did Jesus issue His Ominous Death Sentence to the Pharisees that they would not go to heaven but tell His believers that they would?

Pharisees are any people who sit in judgment and call the good works of the Son of God and or the ongoing works of God’s Spirit evil.

Matthew 9:34 (NIV) “But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

  • Pharisees are quick to jump to conclusions and harshly counter any person who holds thoughts outside of their narrow view of religion.

  • Pharisees limit or discredit the power and workings of the Holy Spirit of God and do not consider the Spirit’s ongoing function and characteristics in the modern world.

  • Pharisees attribute good works – that do not follow their “letter of the law” interpretation – to the devil.

Pharisees are any people who follow established rules of mechanism and codes (written or not) of ridged rules based on works negating God’s intent. i.e. “Legalism

Matthew 12:2 (NIV) “When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

Luke 11:39-40 (NIV) “Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?”

Titus 1:15 (NIV) “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.”

  • Pharisees are people that follow a strictly ridged traditionalism to a “letter of the law” interpretation.”

  • Pharisees view doctrine as only correct and scriptural if it follows “the ridged traditional interpretation of the human opinion based upon past teaching – having no room for new thought, views, ideas, or understandings of scripture.”

  • Pharisees own view their traditions as untouchable.

  • Jesus answers the Pharisees by saying they needed to place more value in the moral, ethical, and spiritual intent of God.

Pharisees are any people who aggressively and at times brutally oppose those who they perceive to be contrary to their traditional views of doctrine and work tirelessly to tear down all who differ from their strict interpretations.

Matthew 12:14 (NKJV) “Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.”

John 5:18 (NIV) “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

  • Pharisees have zero tolerance for different viewpoints and ideas that challenge their “letter of the law” interpretations.

  • Pharisees intimidate others for having a different opinion and understanding of scripture then their traditionally held strict interpretation that threaten their “letter of the law” views by extending retribution, of various kinds, designed to destroy or undermine the good work being accomplished.

  • Pharisees are dangerous to confront because they strictly adhere to a human ideology grounded in keeping the status quo and view all new concepts or interpreted analysis of scripture as threatening their perceived scriptural authority and power. Pharisees are any people whose behavior is infectious and when lived continually over time makes permanent.

Matthew 23:15 (NASB95) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Luke 12:1 (NIV) “Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

  • Jesus calls people like this “children of hell.”

  • Jesus warns his true followers to avoid such people. Pharisees are any people who obstruct others from a true personal understanding of God.

Matthew 23:13 (NASB95) “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Luke 11:52 (NIV) “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

  • Pharisees block the true attainment of assuring faith by people seeking a real relationship with God, publicly calling anyone who has a different insight as a false teacher.

  • Pharisees devalue all non-traditional understandings of God’s truthful intent. Pharisees are religious people characterized as pretentious, arrogant, and self-righteousness.

Matthew 23:12-14 (MKJV) “And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he who shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in, nor do you allow those entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and pray at length as a pretense. Therefore you shall receive the greater condemnation.”

  • Pharisees direct this attitude towards any person that does not hold to their strict interpretation of scripture.

Modern day Pharisees are any people who have disregarded the true character and intent of the assignment of the Christian (individually) and church of the Lord (as a whole).

  • The paramount activity of the child of God is reunion of a lost world to God, compassion to all people, sharing the message of hope, demonstrating real love to all people, and helping others in need. However, people with a Pharisees mind, tells people that the church can only help their own kind. This ideology does not conform to scripture. The commands of scripture direct goodwill to all people where love, compassion, sharing, and helping are concerned.

  • People with Pharisees thinking fail to understand that the command to be helpful does not rest solely with people of the same faith and belief just because a few passages of scripture do include helping the needed within the church.

  • People with Pharisees attitudes fail to understand and fully appreciate the intent of God, by picking and choosing instead of applying all passages concerning Christian generosity as a whole in order to comply with the intent of the commands of God.

Are you really a true believer or a modern day Pharisee?

Are you acting like Christ or acting like a Pharisee?

Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona; December 5, 2010