Misdirected: Part 3

The Pharisees were the Religious Police of their day. They were continually watching the behavioral patterns of the people. They wanted to see if they were in violation of the "Traditions of the Elders", or the "Oral Law". The Pharisees were basically fault finders. It seems that the modern Church has inherited their characteristics and methodology. People judge you on their own interpretations of Scripture or on the tenets of their local assembly. If you have made known your spiritual quests, you will be put under the microscope. People will have their eyes and ears tuned to your every move and if you violate their understanding of the Word, you will be exposed to both direct and indirect verbal judgement. I have seen believers destroyed on their spiritual pilgrimage by some self-gratifying individual who has sought to keep them in spiritual bondage to their own carnal understanding of the Word.

The Pharisees were a walking shrine. They were a human display of manmade religion. Instead of drawing attention to God, they drew attention to themselves. I have a difficulty accepting carnal promotions by leaders of local churches who so easily self anoint themselves to be Apostles and Prophets. I have a hard time seeing ministerial leadership living a life style higher than their followers. It is difficult for me to witness so much emphasis on the old covenant subject of tithing and neglect the New Testament teaching that 100% belongs to God. I have never been so cognizant of church leaders who don't understand what communicating the Word is all about. What many of these leaders do is "create the word". A true spiritual leader must have the same priority as John the Baptist. ("He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30) Whenever the messenger becomes bigger than the message you have inaugurated the carnal church. When the local church leadership makes themselves the focal point of the ministry and teaches the people to be receivers instead of givers, all under the disguise of being the mouthpiece of God, that is hypocrisy.

Jesus exposed such self-righteous leaders as hypocrites. In Mark 7: 6, 7 (Is. 29:13) Jesus declared that the religious leaders honored God with their mouths, but they had a wrong heart. He declared how they worship God, but with a carnal motive. It was their teaching, not God's. Instead of teaching God's Word, they laid it aside and taught their own interpretation. Today we see the same thread woven into the tapestry of the church. Never have I seen such diversity of teaching from the pulpit. You can go to the religious shopping section of your Saturday newspaper and find a church which would promote every teaching imaginable. What type of Baptism are you comfortable with? Pouring, sprinkling, or dipping? There is probably a body of believers that believes in spitting as a form of baptism (they would probably be called the "spittites"). Do you baptize infants? So much of the pulpit teaching does not line up with God's Word.

We need Berean believers who search the Word of God to see if what is spoken from the pulpit lines up with the Bible (Acts 17:11). If in fact it does not, we need to dust our feet and seek a body of believers where the truth is presented.

Article Source: Paul W Hoffmaster

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