I have had it with people that are narrow-minded. They have a black n white world-view and believe people outside their frame of mind are going to hell. I just think that is too narrow of a road for anyone to follow and reminds me of the Pharisee’s traditions. Here’s what I mean.
Scripture has to be 100% accurate and be error-free. What irks me is not that they believe that but they live contrary to their own belief system…but expect you to buy into it 100% no questions asked. They are hypocrites half the time in trying to define error-free faith. It’s ‘judge not’ but the way they use judgement as a deterrent makes you wonder. Jesus hangs with sinners but the church calls it the ‘world’ and to be avoided at any means. It’s a God of love but the church finds Him to be a God of seperation & exclusivity (just for the saved). Salvation is the message of the gospel (solely almost) and ‘good works’ is seen as damaging to your faith because it will fool you. Even if the book was ‘error-free’ then we still have this problem on our hands…the church’s interpretation is making it null n void.
I see the church in a different light over the past 6 to 7 years, seeing the strength of their hypocrisy in ‘teaching one ethic’ but living ‘another ethic’. If you question the structure you basically question God. If you leave the structure, you basically leave God too. Now I might be gullible enough to believe that if the church ‘practiced what is in that book’. However, they do not and some of the same things Jesus says to the Pharisee’s has come full circle to be said to the church. Just what did Jesus say to the Pharisee’s? I go to Matthew 23.
1. “Therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.” Hmmmm…did I just read that right.
2. “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger”. Could he mean laws & regulations we have to follow to stay a Christian, the same ones we condemn ourselves by?
3. “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men;…They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” You don’t say. I have seen that somewhere recently.
4. “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. ” I always wondered why it was so hard to be saved and accepted by a loving God.
5. “You devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers“. The houses thing I don’t see very often but those prayers, are those the same ones where people pray for you and literally tell how much this person knows about scripture.
6. “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. ” That’s actually a little ironic when the trend in some churches is to scare people with ‘hell’ to get them into church in the 1st place.
7. “You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.” Seems to be some mix-up, did the Pharisee’s think the altar and the temple were to be honored? Reminds me of some churches that think the structure is as important as God.
8. “You tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” So we should gather resources and be involved in our community?
9. “You clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence”. So don’t say anything bad in church or feel down and dress nicely with smiles on always. Robbery & self-indulgence, I can think of 2 cases in the 80’s about this.
10. “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Kind of like being better than some people, let’s say people of the ‘world’.
11. “For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous.” Let’s see I have been hearing this spiel for some time now, ‘we need to return to what our fore-fathers, those Puritans, taught and how they shaped this country’. Oh those Puritans, same one’s that taught First Nations people were ‘savage heathens’ and oppressed African Americans. Good times really.
11. “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city.” I may be going out on a limb here but is the church getting some people sent to it to help change it’s direction and they drive them out of there…calling them, let’s see…heretics, ungodly, anathema, back-slidders, apostate sinners with a ‘seared’ conscience. Weird.
So do I think the church fits into some of these categories, yes I do (the vow one, not so much). But I see a reason for change in mainstream church and if you don’t agree, well check out your local neighborhood church and get real involved…might find out that I am onto something, well not me, Jesus taught me this.