Modern Version of Christianity 2

Many of us Christians have become extremely skillful to arranging our lives so as to admit the truth of Christianity without being embarrassed by its implications. We arrange things so that we can get on well enough without divine aid, while at the same time ostensibly seeking it. We boast in the Lord but watch carefully that we never get caught depending on Him. (A.W. Tozer)

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!… 32 “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

The words of Tozer seem to be right on point. Rather than wanting a stout and full Christianity where we have Christ and His wisdom at all points, we have watered it down to where we can have a form of it and still be comfortable in our lives and not bother other people. We will talk about certain things at times, but it is clear that we really live by our own wits and our holiness is self-derived though we will argue that it is from the Bible. We want a comfortable level of holiness and “commitment” to the Lord, but we don’t want enough to disturb our own comfort level, the way we spend time, and the way we live around others.

Look at the strong words of Jesus to the Pharisees. They were willing to tithe from their gardens (mint, dill, and cummin), but they were quite unconcerned about justice and mercy and faithfulness which were things that came from the heart and would disturb their religion and their pursuit of money. This points us to an important insight into the modern version of Christianity. Professing believers are willing to spend time on some Sundays, give some money, and keep some level of morality in order to keep the name of Christian. However, that is nothing more than what the Pharisees would do. They were unwilling to seek repentance of their foul and selfish hearts from God in order to be just in their dealings, to be merciful, and to be faithful to God and men. They were willing to do acts of righteousness before men in order to be seen by them (and be proud of themselves in their own eyes), but their hearts were still full of self and the seeking of self.

Pastors will go to great ends to build large edifices for their own honor, though assuredly that is not what they would admit to others. They will go to great lengths to get people to pray prayers and so add to the list of people that they can count as their converts. They will go to great lengths to others to tithe to pay for their large buildings, and perhaps tithe themselves, but that can be done without disturbing their selfish hearts. If these same pastors (in name) would be granted repentance and they began to seek true justice, mercy, and faithfulness, it is most likely the case that they would never get their large buildings built.

Oh how modern Christianity (pastors and others) can present themselves as clean cups and clean dishes, which is to say that the present a clean exterior, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. What is a pastor that wants to build huge buildings for his own name’s sake and urge people to faithfulness to God but a man who is full of self-indulgence while he is robbing the people in the name of God? What are men like that and what is the external version of Christianity that is so full of external cleanness while there is no new heart? These people are like whitewashed tombs as well. The outside is cleaned, washed, and painted white and pretty but all that it is covering is the bones of dead men (or dead hearts). These people are outwardly righteous but the reality of the matter is that they are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness in their hearts. God looks upon the heart and knows all the religious things that are going on regarding the appearance of things while that appearance hides wicked hearts. In this sense the modern version of professing Christianity is just like the version of Judaism that the Pharisees presented.

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