Posted by: Terry | March 5, 2010

Beware the leaven

There are many who like to compare the established traditional church with the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus time. Some even say that the reason Jesus came was to undermine the “established church.” These groups are against doctrine and theology, and most any denominations, or traditional church.

They remind me of the anarchists of the 1960’s who wanted to overthrow the government, because the government was bad and evil. I remember at Portland State University in 1969 asking one of these folks what would happen if they succeeded, the answer, “we will run things.” Now that sounds like just replacing one government with a different one.

This is what will happen with these groups that say the existing church is wrong. They will organize into some different looking “church.” One that has services that they are comfortable with, with lighting and music that fits their style, and with sermons and teachings that are watered down to make it non-threatening. But it is still an organized church.

What they miss is that they have their own doctrine and their own theology. Because Doctrine is simply what we teach, right or wrong, Biblical or not. Theology is simply the study of God, and they will have a theology, right or wrong, Biblical or not. So for them to proclaim that they do not want doctrine and theology is simplistic, as soon as they say what they believe they are proclaiming doctrine.

Jesus warned his disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees… then they understood that he (meant) the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Mat 16.11-12. Jesus was not against the Temple worship, he came to fulfill it and he and God established it. What concerned him was the legalistic, self-righteous mess that they had made of it all.

The disciples were charged with guarding the teaching of Jesus, the Apostles passed it on in the form of written Scripture that was taught and carried on to this day.

It has never been the doctrine or the theology that has been a problem. Honest believers can in love pursue and discuss the Bible in harmony, even if they have differing understandings. The evils of the church have always come from pride and arrogance on the part of people and leaders. The Traditional Church has had and still has many who damage the church image because of this.

The attitude of some in the Emergent Church and such is just as prideful and arrogant in their proclamation that they just want to follow Jesus and those of us who do not agree with their view are wrong or worse. That sounds pretty Pharisee like to me.



  1. Looks like you hit the mark as always! Good to hear you again! We miss you!

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