Fighting The Pharisees


A couple came to visit our church recently. They volunteer in other ministries around town that we are also involved in, so they weren’t strangers. We welcomed them, as you do with any guests. After service, they asked for a meeting where they asked us if we would film their music video for them. Naturally, we said yes and were happy to help them.

We have a new group of early 20 somethings in the church and I’ve fallen in love with this group. They are hungry, they are alive and they are fun to teach. There have been times when they are asking so many questions about the bible that we’ll spend a few hours with them, bibles in hand, teaching not even conscience of the time. I remember those days so well, it was nothing to study the bible until 2-3 a.m. I came to Lord at 28 so maybe this is why I feel such an affinity to them. Most of them are younger than that. About a dozen of them from 20-30.

Matthew 28:19. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20. and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

A couple of them come from working in the music industry and so they know how to video and how run sound. They quickly volunteered in the audio/visual department and we quickly accepted. So the day the couple was to film their video, these guys volunteered and all was well. Until we got these two groups together.

The couple, decided that it was inappropriate for one of the guys to wear a baseball cap in the sanctuary as he filmed them. They decided to tell him that he was a poor representation of Christ because he has tattoos. They decided to cut him to pieces one by one never recognizing the favor he was doing them. They never asked the guy how long he’d known Christ because if they had they would have realized that he was extremely new. They never asked why he wore the cap because there is a specific reason for it. They never asked anything about him. They judged him and condemned him. They simply took it upon themselves to correct him without love, without compassion and without any sense whatsoever. These “godly” people damaged a little one with no concern other than their own opinion and feeling of self-righteousness. You can’t make doctrine for a baseball cap or tattoos in the sanctuary, there is no scripture for it.

Romans 8:32 If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? 33 And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? 34 Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. 35 Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: 

The cameraman went home, threw his cap away and tossed and turned all night. Feelings of inadequacy, feelings of not belonging, feelings of failure, frustration and anger tormented him and sleep alluded him. I’m sure the Pharisees would call this the conviction of the Holy Spirit but since I know that God did not come to condemn, I know that this was simply Satan himself. The difference between me and the cameraman is that I’ve read the word and have enough time under my belt to get it. He doesn’t YET but I know that he will. That’s the greatest part of being under a great teacher like my husband is.

Romans 8:36 They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. 37 None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. 38 I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, 39 high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

By the grace and mercy of the Lord we were able to love on this new Christian and talk to him about Pharisees. By the grace and mercy of the Lord he listened and because he is on a search, he will soon have scripture in his mouth and these types of people will not be allowed to torment him anymore.

Jesus fought so hard against this mentality and said everyone is welcome in the kingdom. He made no other condition but love and no sacrifice was too great. Yet, here we are back to square one and all I can say sometimes when I am so deeply disappointed in those who call themselves believers of the way is “Jesus save me from your people.”

Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” 37 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ 38 This is the most important, the first on any list. 39 But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ 40 These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

4 thoughts on “Fighting The Pharisees

  1. Wow how sad people can be, that is why the tongue is a dangerous weapon. This gentleman is very kind and respectful!!!! He wore the cap for reasons that were important to him, he wasn’t in the video he was running the camera, I am so sorry that he even had to go through that. I love that he hasn’t let these words stop him, if anything I am proud to say I see him coming more and more. We need to have more LOVING and less JUDGING, in this world. I am more sad that this came from people who claim to love Christ, then LOVE as Christ would. I go back to “let them without sin cast the first stone” he (the gentlman with the cap) is going to be a mighty man of God as he grows in the Lord, and reads the word. I am saddened by peoples actions but, will pray for them.

  2. Pastor Susan,

    I tell people who ask if anything offends me that only one thing does: those who claim to know God yet paint Him with brushstrokes that are anything other than absolute and unconditional love.

    Praise God that you and your husband were there for this little one, this baby Christian, whom the Lord loves so much! (Not that He doesn’t love the couple wanting to make the video, they just obviously have a lot to learn about the heart of the Lord.)

    I hope this couple learns, soon, that God’s way is love and mercy and coming alongside others. And I hope they find those lessons in the Word so their hearts aren’t broken by someone else’s heedless words.

    all of Heaven’s best to you and yours,

  3. I am saddened to hear this…many people know the scripture John 3:16 but what about John 3:17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Jesus is our example to love others unconditionally. He didn’t come to judge, why should we be judging others. I believe this is a type of religious mindset that hinders our lifestyle and our walk in the supernatural with God.
    I am thankful for you Pastor Susan and Pastor Doug for taking the time to speak to our tender young people about the pharisees.

  4. Yet didn’t Jesus warn us the wheat would grow with the weeds? Not to put anyone down but Jesus says it so many ways: Wolves in Sheep’s clothing, Hypocrites, and weeds.

    Why are we so amazed and surprised that the carnal Christians live among us? Why are we so confounded that someone would try to discourage a new believer? Why do even act offended by these people?

    Because we don’t believe we have an enemy, that’s why!

    We talk about Satan’s influence then get surprised by the fact that he targets us or others we know. IT’s not for nothing Paul and other warned us to be on our guard.

    Susan, you guys trumped the devil. Good for you! We are not unaware of his activities.

    By the way, who are crooks gonna’ target: Good people or bad? Crooks go after those with open hearts and hands. Where will we find the worst transgressors? In the midst of those submitting to God.

    Satan’s greatest ploy is to make a heritic look like a saint. This shouldn’t make us look with suspicion on everyone, rather it should make us keep our eyes open and wary of the devil’s plots. He comes to destroy and kill, this is the father of lies we’re talking about so he’s not gonna’ let anyone reclaim their heritage in Jesus if he can help it.

    Get out of the barracks and into the trenches where we belong. We’re at war and the only way out is death.

    Death to self or eternal, one way or another everyone has to die. It just depends on when and how.

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