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.
Continue reading “Legalism: The Great Friend of the Abuser”
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:1-9)
I trust that all of us who believe the Bible is the inerrant, authoritative Word of God will agree that this passage of Scripture describes several things that are true of EVERY Christian with no exception. Understanding this will set you free of many of the ploys of the enemy, and from those of his agents, abusers. Look for yourself in the text above and check it out. The Apostle Paul tells us that –
Continue reading “These Things are True of Every Real Christian – None are True of the Abuser”
More than once now I have had Christians ask me if it is wise for me to publicly criticize the local, visible churches as I do here on this blog, in my books, and in person with friends and acquaintances, some of who are not Christians. The concern is they voice is that such criticism will keep people from attending church and finding Christ. It is a fair question asked by people who as far as I know are asking it honestly.
Some of them might, for example, point to the following Scripture:
1 Corinthians 6:1-6 ESV When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? (2) Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? (3) Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! (4) So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? (5) I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, (6) but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?
So perhaps we are not to be critical of the earthly, visible church in front of unsaved people? Isn’t that “going to court before unbelievers”?
Continue reading “Should we Speak Publicly About Evil in the Churches?”