Most Professing Christians Tell Christ What to Teach

…though he [Nicodemus] had in general owned Christ to be divine teacher, yet he was unwilling to receive his teachings when they did not agree with the notions he had imbibed. Thus many people who claim to be Christians profess to accept the doctrine of Christ in general, and yet will neither believe the truths of Christianity nor submit to the laws of it further than they please. Christ shall be their teacher, provided they may choose their lesson. [Matthew Henry]

Need I say more than Matthew Henry has stated here? This is truth. Most supposed Christians insist on choosing the lesson and thus limit the topic only to subjects and doctrines they like. In other words, they really don’t know Christ at all because they exemplify Paul’s words to the Corinthians-

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How the Leading of the Holy Spirit Directs EVERY Christian — And Why You Need to Know it

I never really felt that what they were telling me was right. But who am I? They quoted their verses and told me what they meant. I really did want to follow and obey Christ. I am not a rebel. So I did what they told me was God’s will.

How many times have you either said something like this yourself, or you have heard a Christian who was a victim of abuse say it? For myself, I can not only attest to thinking this at times in the past, but I can also say that I have heard scores of abuse survivors say that this is how they thought as well. At some point we begin to wake up and realize that what these “experts” were telling us was just plain contrary to the character of God as He has revealed Himself to us.

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Legalism: The Great Friend of the Abuser

Matthew 23:16-23 ESV  (16)  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ (17)  You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? (18)  And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ (19)  You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? (20)  So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. (21)  And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. (22)  And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. (23)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

I still do not completely understand the mentality and motivation of the “Christian” legalist.  But I do know that such people and their alleged “biblical” system are no friend to the oppressed.  As we have been reading the comments this past week in particular about how the legalist flatly prohibits divorce for abuse, citing various Scriptures in a “biff-boom-bah-there-my-case-is-proved” manner, the evils of legalism have been illustrated and emphasized.  The religion of the Pharisees is indeed alive and well today.

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