Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Modern Pharisees

This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
In Mark 7, Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13 to rebuke the Pharisees' practice of ceremonial hand-washing. He applies the same principle to the other traditions that the Pharisees maintained.

Are we modern Pharisees? Do we hold so tightly to our traditions that we worship in vain? Do we teach as doctrines the commandments of men? What are some convictions we hold to that do not have biblical basis? What do we base the following convictions on?
  • Christians should not dance
  • Christians should not play cards
  • Christians must abstain from alcoholic beverages
  • The King James Version of the Bible is the only legitimate version
  • The church sanctuary is a holy place; we must not _________ in the sanctuary
  • __________ style of music is evil
  • __________ type of instrument is evil
This is a short list of the things I could think of quickly, but I am sure there are hundreds of convictions people hold that have questionable biblical support at best. It may be possible to show that some of these convictions are biblical, but how often do we simply accept the commandments of men as doctrines? How can we determine what is biblical? We must search the Scriptures and hold the Bible alone as our sole authority for faith and practice.

May our hearts draw close to God, and may we worship in Spirit and in truth.

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