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Daily Thought - The Eight Woes - Part Seven - Pepper And Glitter And Whitewashed Tombs

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, May 3, 2014.

  1. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. - Matthew 23: 25-28 (NKJV)

    As we head towards the finish line in expositing the eight woes from Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees and how they relate to the state of the modern church we come to the sixth and seventh woes. I heard a local pastor once lament that the church, which is supposed to be salt and light to a dying world, is really better at being pepper and glitter. Pepper may have flavor but it preserves nothing. It may have flair but saves nothing. Glitter of course has no real light of its own - it can only reflect light. We were not meant to be mere reflectors. We were meant to show the light of Christ within ourselves and as the church. In these two woes today we see Jesus bringing several charges to bear that we must examine.

    The first charge is that the scribes and Pharisees were much more concerned about appearances than they were obedience. They wanted to be seen and viewed as something they were not. They looked the part beloved. They dressed the part. Flowing robes and majestic colors. Always holding the seats of greatest honor. Lofting themselves above the common people. Jesus likens this to cleaning the outside of the cup and dish. Making sure it was all pretty and sparkling. Much like we see today in the modern church. Mega churches with renovation costs exceeding 100 million each. Waterfalls in the lobby. Restaurants and bookstores inside. Often times no cross or altar to be seen but plenty of the bells and whistles the world likes. Pristine in its presentation. Flawless in its design. It is a well washed cup. It is a spotless dish. Yet what is on the inside?

    Extortion and self indulgence. We have seen already how the Pharisees abused their positions of power to benefit themselves financially by devouring the estates of widows. Extorting money from travelers seeking to make sacrifices in the temple. It is one of the primary reasons why Jesus overturned the merchants tables and declared that the house of God has been turned into a den of robbers! Self indulgence? The Pharisees had the corner of the market just like the false preacher parade today. The Pharisees are the equivalent of the TBN false preachers. Self indulgence? How about one mega church pastor who owns at least five private airplanes, his own airport, and a six million dollar mansion he claims as a "parsonage" to avoid paying taxes on it? How about a fake healer in charge of a multimillion dollar operation who claims God told him to fleece his flock by telling them God would pay back their donations two dollars for every one contributed? All so he can get his ministry out of debt? How about another mega church pastor who stole 200K of tithe money to cheat the NY Times Best Seller list to make sure his book made the list; for which he may have profited personally over 1.5 million dollars? We rightly mock the silly reality show depicting the wealthy "Pastors of LA" but the reality is that they are only the ones brave enough to admit it openly. The self indulgence trickles down from the pulpit, through the ministries, and into the waiting congregation. The look at me churchianity that exists today is too busy exalting man and the world to lift up the name that is supposed to be above all names. And extortion? Consider one renowned pastor who teaches his sheep that if they do not give him their first 10% - before the rent and bills are paid - that God will curse the remaining 90%. He teaches that to avoid the "devourer" from killing their children and destroying their marriages - they better tithe to him first. It is not just the mega churches either. I know of local pastors who have told newlyweds that they were not conceiving because they were not tithing correctly. I know of others who have removed loyal members from the membership roles for perceived tithing grievances. Demanded "covenant agreements" from the sheep in order to enforce tithing. I heard just last month a pastor preach that if you don't tithe - don't come looking to him if you need a funeral for a loved one or a hospital visit if you are sick. Such men are not fit for the pulpit. Bright and shiny on the outside but filled inside with all sorts of filth.

    Jesus continues by making another important comparison in the seventh woe. This is the woe of whitewashed tombs. Once again a woe about wanting to appear to be something you are truly not. As we saw with earlier woes, the Pharisees did not practice what they preached. They walked around as if they were super-spiritual but on the inside they were merely filled with dead mens bones. What a scathing indictment for the church today as well. Preaching merely to appear righteous. Twisting the Word of God to suit your own ends. Claiming divine revelation where there has clearly been none. Claiming the mantle of apostle, prophet, or even preacher when God has not called you to be such. People seemingly in a rush to self promote yet claim it is what sayeth the Lord. Churches led by such men today who are merely CEO's and not true shepherds. Woe to you indeed who will give an account for every sheep entrusted; even the ones that were cast out. Churches that appear righteous but who have compromised the Gospel to the point that it can no longer save anyone. Whitewashed tombs filled with dead mens bones. Men who think they are alive because they have been told such. Three sentences and welcome to the family of God? How arrogant! How presumptuous! We cannot be righteous and lawless. We cannot preach holiness while compromising with the world. We cannot claim to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then strip it of all its power. Come for coffee and free wi-fi. Come for our Children's Ministry and our cutting edge youth ministry that amounts to pizza parties and a bucketful of worldliness. Come for our professionally unsaved choir and dynamic public speaker/CEO. Come for the waterfalls in the lobby and the padded pews in the sanctuary. It is beautiful. It is all shiny and new. It sparkles in the eyes and dazzles in the neighborhood. We were even on the Katie Couric Show this week! Hmm? Jesus? Oh yeah, we love Him too...did I mention our trip to Israel this year? It will be life-altering. Sin? No we preach love and think everything else is a conversation. That's what our pastor tells us. I have never felt better about myself since I joined this whitewashed tomb...

    But inside it is all dead mens bones. Outwardly appearing righteous but inside filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. Clean on the outside but inside filthy with the things of this world, extortion and self-indulgence. We cannot be pepper when the world needs salt. We cannot be glitter when they need the true light of Jesus Christ.

    Rev. Anthony.
  2. I did not see the hypocrisy and self-righteousness that come from legalism addressed in this post? The strength of sin is the law! The reason there is so many sinful people in the church is because the true gospel of grace is not being preached!

    Ro 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
  3. It is an exposition of the key verses. The reason you do not see it in the post is it does not exist in the verses. Unlike the Princes of the world, I do not approach the Bible trying to prove a pre- conceived position. In fact, Jesus here specifically refers to them as truly being lawless on the inside. That sure seems an odd position for someone who you think supports hyper grace.

    There are many reasons why there is so much sin in the church. The primary reason however is the watering down of the Gospel where the truth about sin is stripped out either in favor of the sugar coated love angle or the equally diabetic hyper-grace, which you advocate for. The notion that there is too much sin because sin is preached (law) is inane in logic and fails to have a realistic grasp on what is going on in churches today. The majority of churches (non catholic) follow Warren theology which is the furthest thing from "legalism."
  4. 1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
  5. See here is why there is so much sin and covetousness in the "church"

    Ro 7:7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
    8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
  6. This is why it is relatively useless to have a constructive discussion with a follower of hyper grace. Your answers will always be any verses that contain the word grace or law, as if I am disagreeing with it. I am not. I refuse to take it above what it is written as and for. You take it as a carte blanche to remove the law and sin from all Christian discussion. Additionally, you never answer what is presented to you - you simply move right back into quoting Scripture no one disagrees with.

    For the record, there is not scriptural correlation between the Romans verses and your conclusion that states why there is so much sin in the church. That is an erroneous conclusion that does not match the realities of church today. Your position is that because the law reveals sin, therefore the law must be the reason there is sin in the church. Nonsense. There is sin because we are sinners. There is sin because people in the church keep pointing people away from repentance.

    By the way, here is something to chew on:

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7: 21-23 (ESV)

    Hmm...odd that the reason given for why Jesus is saying He never knew people who clearly are in the church system as being that they practiced lawlessness when you think the law doesn't matter anymore...provocative...
  7. Ro 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
    17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

    Ga 1:6 ¶ I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

    Ga 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."
    12 Yet the law is not of faith,
  8. Thank you for proving my point. Have a great day.
  9. Ga 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

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