Summary: This one looks at the similarities between modern "churchianity" and the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
Dakota Community Church
November 19, 2006
Read the chapter.
1. Pharisees have a “private club” mentality.
There are entrance requirements and membership has its privileges.
There those who are “in” and those who are “out” and the distinctions are made clear by the “ins”.
There are secret passwords and dress codes. (Service times, music styles, acceptable dress)
The focus is on member services. (Most of the focus is on improving member services so we can attract more people like us.)
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
The Pharisees stood face to face with God in the flesh and said, “He is not in, he doesn’t obey the club rules.”
In Winnipeg, if the church is a private club, who is our most successful Christian leader? Name a few if you can.
Now if the church is a community transforming force, who is our most successful leader?
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ’Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
When we are caught up in a church based focus and ignoring the people around us who need God, not who need church, who need God then we are more like the Pharisees than like Jesus. This is something that must be acted upon.
Leave the Pharisees “Come and get it” mentality and actively adopt Jesus’ “Go and get them” approach.
- College and careers.
- Theology on tap.
- Sports, neighborhood, moms, restaurant parties etc. movie nights,
2. Pharisees insist on conformity.
Pharisees think that only people who are interested in church the way we do it are genuinely interested in finding and knowing God.
This desire for conformity results in a hypocrisy that is caused by ignoring the real issues in order to preserve appearances.
Matthew 23: 25-26
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. "Everything they do is done for men to see…”
You have heard me say it many times before but it is true, cults are always about conformity but Jesus is all about diversity.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Why? Because word spread around that Jesus would accept anyone who came to Him.
He did not have a list of hoops that they had to jump through first.
We need to start asking the Lord to allow us to see people the way He sees them. I found myself doing that at the funeral home on Friday. Jesus loves people! We need to love them His way.
3. Pharisees view non-members as the enemy.
Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.