Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Church Pharisees

In the comments of Monday's "Am I here to judge or condemn your behavior?" post, Richard joked, "Christ did not come into the world to condemn it. He sent the church out to condemn the world for Him!"

That's funny. :) And isn't it also sad at the same time, since it points to the reality that so many people in the church today seem to think that it's their job to go around pointing out sin, and condemning people for their behavior and lifestyles? "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Jesus came to save the world, so who's now going to carry the condemnation torch??? Might as well be us!!!"


Seems like they'll wear their WWJD bracelets (figuratively speaking)... but forget about Jesus' grace-full encounters with the woman caught in adultery, the tax-collectors and sinners, the woman at the well, and so many other encounters with people in which their behavior was not His focus but rather the love, grace and mercy of God, and His kindness toward them and acceptance of them!

Forgetting that condemnation was done away with and that "the handwriting of requirements that was against us, that was contrary to us" (the law) was "taken out of the way" and "nailed to the cross" (Col 2:14-15), they bring the law back in to point out and protest how others are living such terrible lives - and they even make up their own rules, laws, traditions, principles, etc, heaping heavy burdens and condemnation upon people.

I don't like to be so negative, and really I am far more about simply sharing the love and grace of God with people than getting down and negative about what legalism does, but sometimes it helps to point out the contrasts and differences to show the absurdity of what the church is up to these days.


  1. pointing...i better be careful where i aim, because a pointing finger can be very dangerous.

  2. Joel,

    ~Amy :)

  3. Joel,

    During my years in pastoral ministry I saw more destruction of congregations caused by such self appointed spiritual sheriffs than I care to remember.

    The finger pointers don't realise that there are three finger pointing back at themselves.

  4. Yep indeed, finger pointing can be very dangerous, and indeed it comes right back to the finger-pointer. The beginning of Romans 2 makes that clear to me.

    Also, I didn't see Jesus pointing His finger at people... unless it was at the Pharisees and/or legalists for their self-righteousness and hypocrisy. Sadly the church has taken on the modern day 'ministry' of the Pharisees, and has called it Christianity.

    Anyway, like I said I don't mean to be negative, and I'm truly glad that there are many people today who are shining the true light of love and grace!

  5. Hi Joel, thanks for popping in at my spot the other day. Good to hear from you again.
    I thought you might like to know that I gave the Grace Walk workbook to my domestic helper, who is also a friend and a vibrant Jesus follower.
    She is loving it
    So it will certainly be shared with a large number of township folk: that is their way.
    All the best, allie

  6. Hi Allie... thanks for coming by! Interesting: after all these years of knowing of Grace Walk and having read the book four times and being involved in the online radio station, etc, I've never actually gone through the Grace Walk workbook! (Although, I of course have many friends who have done it). I do have the work book though, and I intend to get some friends together and go through it. It's wonderful that you've given it to your friend, and very cool that it will be shared with many people!

    I have your blog in my feed reader, and I always enjoy reading what you have to say. :)

  7. Speaking of work books, studies, friends and such,,, WHEN'S THE NEXT BOOK STUDY GONNA START ???


  8. Good question, Leonard. How does "soon" sound? :)

  9. no presure, just really enjoyed the last one...

  10. Yeah, me too, I really enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to more. Since I work every day of the week, and Sunday is my "short" day (four hours, in the morning), I kind of consider that day to be my weekend, and so it's been nice for me to just take a break and have more free time on Sundays. (Weeknights don't work well, since I don't get home till about 7pm (Central), which would mean not getting started till about 7:30 (or 8:30 Eastern), and Saturdays I work all day, and the evenings don't work well for most people)).

    All that to say, we'll get 'er going again on Sunday afternoon/evening soon!

  11. are you driving 7 days now ?

  12. Have been, for almost 3 years now.

  13. What amazes me is that the institutions invite (drag) people to their buildings saying that they are all about love etc; and once they are in, they bash them with the law...

    I think its sadistic and it's sick!

  14. Those are strong words, Bino!

    And oh so true!

    The condemnation in the preaching speaks so much louder than the talk of love.