Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Adrian quotes a book on "Christian Pharisaism":
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees have, says Jesus, a God-given teaching authority: they sit in Moses’ seat (1), and are to be respected for their teaching role in the synagogue. The same applies to Christian ministers, in Matthew’s day or our own, but there is a great danger that the spirit that infected the Pharisees may creep into subsequent leadership. We are to beware.What an interesting comment on the nature of sin. The very problems Jesus addressed have crept into His church. The mainline protestant churches are dying in some cases becasue of the same sins that infected Catholicism at the time of the Reformation.
Here are five characteristics for which the Pharisees were rebuked. They are ever-present dangers for Christian leaders. First, they may not practise what they preach (3).5 Secondly, they may be unwilling to undertake themselves what they prescribe for others (4). Thirdly, they may love to show off (5). Fourthly, they may revel in honorific titles and in being paid respect (6–10)7 Finally, they may misunderstand ministry (11–12). They may see it less as an opportunity for service than as a sphere of management or a chance to gain recognition. Are these weaknesses confined to Jewish leaders in the first century AD? Are they not always contemporary? If Christian leaders fail in these five ways, their failure is comprehensive indeed.
What better indication is there that it is not about theology or organization - it's about us and who we allow God to shape us into.
Ought to drive you to your knees.