Pharisaical Christianity

The above link is to a story about a man who is a pastor and also owns a hardware store in Washburn, TN.  He originally posted a sign in the store’s window stating, “No Gays Allowed,” but that sign was replaced with one that said, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

“And it happened as he was reclining in the house, behold, also, many tax collectors and sinners, having come, were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.  And observing, the Pharisees said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’  And hearing this, Jesus said, ‘The healthy do not have need of a doctor but those who are sick.  But go and learn what is, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice;” for I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.'” Matthew 9:10-13 (JHLT)

The only concern that the Pharisees had was to maintain and adhere to a moral code of conduct.  Because of this, that is how they lived their lives.  Nothing was more important than maintaining one’s own righteousness and morality.  But Jesus, when he told them to “go and learn,” straight out tells them that they don’t get what is the priority with God.  They think they know so much, yet, in reality, they know so little.

Furthermore, in a very interesting exchange found in John 5:37, Jesus declares to them, “You have neither heard His (God’s) voice at any time nor have you seen His form.”  Jesus goes on to tell them that they are the ones who search the Scriptures, yet they couldn’t see the One about whom the Scriptures testified and who is the source of life.  This was their reality because their concern, their focus, was on maintaining a moral code.  It was one maintaining their religious beliefs centered upon morality that was of utmost importance.

There are many Christians in this country who have what I call a “Pharisaical Christianity.”  Their concern is in maintaining and adhering to a religious moral code and anything or anyone or any situation which they deem might hamper or interfere with that concern must be dealt with accordingly and severely.  All of life is structured upon that principle.

I fear there are many Christians who have never truly heard God’s voice because God’s voice isn’t found in a moral code; it’s found in His heart.  And I fear there are many Christians who have never seen His form because what they see in Jesus is, at its core, a moral code to which one must adhere.

Refusing to give service to a customer who happens to be a homosexual based upon religious belief and moral grounds is evidence of Pharisaical Christianity.  Maybe I should send this man a note that only reads, “Matthew 9:10-13; go and learn”


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