Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Pharisee's Way of Thinking

This is an excerpt from the book, “The Secret Message of Jesus”, by Brian D. McLaren. (page 12,13)

The Jewish people of Jesus’ day wanted to be free, to live in their own land without outside interference, occupation, and domination. In particular, it seemed wrong to the Jews, deeply wrong, that pagan nations would rule over a people who believed in the one true and living God. Why would the people with wrong, false religions rule over those with the right, true religion? How can we remain quiet and compliant citizens when our government is declaring itself to be god?” they would ask.

The Pharisees had a diagnosis and prescription: “The Lord would send Messiah to deliver us if we would just become purer. If we would obey the Bible’s teachings more rigorously, God would liberate us. There’s too much sin and not enough piety among us. If there were more righteous people like us and fewer sinners among us—fewer prostitutes, drunks, and Roman collaborators—then Roman domination would be brought to an end by God. It’s the fault of those notorious sinners that we remain under the heel of the Roman boot! Religious purity and rigor—that’s the answer!” (end of quote)

Interestingly enough, the Pharisees, for the most part, missed Jesus. What’s even scarier is that the Pharisees’ way of thinking is generally alive and well in many churches today and oh my, how it reaches out and seduces me way too often.

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