Pharisees Are Among Us
This post has been stewing in my mind for a while. I've waited so that I could write it as objectively as possible, though I'm sure that emotions will permeate throughout. Recently I've been made aware of a church operating according to a Pharisaical mindset rather than scripture. By Pharisaical mindset, I mean man-made rules that are observed as equal to if not above the laws of God. It seems there are churches that operate on a business model rather than following the clear guidelines of scripture. The end result is that hearts are broken, lives are disrupted, and in some cases churches are split as leaders take actions that they deem "for the greater good". Is it any wonder that the most scathing words of Jesus were directed toward the Pharisees of His day? He equated them to a "brood of vipers", and to "wolves in sheep's clothing".
In this most recent incident, the staff member being asked to "resign" complied by writing a letter of resignation. Because the powers that be didn't agree with the wording of the letter, rather than read it, or allow the staff member to read it, a committee chairperson paraphrased it to make it more palatable and hide the fact that the resignation was being coerced. My heart grieves for that church, because they have chosen a path that is diametrically opposed to the purposes of God. The world will now have another arrow in their quiver to use in their campaign against Christianity. Hopefully there will be repentance and a return to following the ways of God in "doing" church.
The Great Commission can only be successful as churches also fulfill the Great Commandment...to love God and one another. Jesus told His disciples, "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you have love for one another."
To churches that are operating under a Pharisaical system I ask, "Where is the love?" "What are you doing for the "least of these"?" "How can you say you love God and despite-fully use one who serves the kingdom through your church?"