As we studied the word Wednesday, we looked at Paul, a former Pharisee addressing the church at Rome. Verses 1 through 5 of chapter 2 warn of the dangers of casting judgment and reminds those present to consider themselves first before declaring ones worth or eternal destination.
Paul’s life as a Pharisee came into play, in that He once was one. He was an interpreter and an enforcer of the law. His life was to be held to the strict observance of the law, presenting himself as a blameless follower of Gods’ word! Though important to the Kingdom, the group became corrupted, bending the law, abusing the law, interpreter the law for their benefit, and or ignoring aspects of the law for comfort and convenience while holding people to the stick observance.
Their title, Pharisee, eventually took a negative connotation,
and they were seen more as hypocrisy than righteous.
As our conversation ensued, I asked myself: “Are our Police Officers following this same trend?”
Not that all officers are bad!
Paul himself was righteous and devote as a Pharisee. He was a true keeper of truth and one that fought to preserve what was right in God’s sight. Yet in still, he was paired with those who were abuser of the honor of holding the position, leaving a position of honor a title that eventually became synonymous with being a hypocrite.
As clergy, Pastors and Priest have faced this same challenge. The actions of a few abusers have affected the view towards the whole causing the carrying out of ones’ duties very challenging and in many cases, the product less productive and positive. As a card carrying member, one finds themselves caught between addressing the truth of ones failing ignoring and dismissing the actions of a peer. While we are called not to cast judgment, we are able to make judgments. In this, one can align what should be with what appears to have happened without sentencing a person. A Biblical perspective can be shared without condemnation and without disowning. Because of our silence, we have all been placed in the same pot, and have suffered as it has reached its boiling point!
Jesus was clearly bothered by the Pharisees. There enforcement of the law, coupled with their taking privileged became a source of tension while He carried out His mission. They saw Him representing change, and shedding true light upon the law which was not being used to protect and serve the people, but was being used to strangle and place shackles upon the feet of those who were God’s children. The Pharisees, as Jesus helped us to discover, knew the letter of the law, and had taken the few laws and created an entire system of laws to promulgate prosperity and purpose. In their administering of the law, they lacked the Spirit of the laws intent, because their relationship to the law was not based upon helping the people, but protecting their own personal interest.
Whenever you are more concerned about the law and loose sight of the purpose of the law you will find yourself in trouble. The law was for the people, not for the Pharisees. The law was not to protect the Pharisees, it was to protect the people! They were not created to create jobs, but rather to keep the people safe, giving them rules to abide by that would keep harmony. The administration is there for those who break the law, so that justice can be carried out, and order restored.
Being unjust while carrying out justice does not restore order,
it causes further unrest.
The Pharisees had allowed a position of honor to become a badge of shame. They were abusive and arrogant, and the community interacted with them out of fear, not respect and admiration. This seems to be the problem at hand today.
It’s not the whole or the majority,
but its the few who took the oath
with their fingers and toes crossed.
So what must be done?
Jesus made a whip! He raised His voice and raised His hands. He would not stand to see the Kingdom suffer at the hands of corruption and the name of the Lord made to be a laughing stock. He reached out to the community, and became a beacon of light speaking up for those who had been treated unjustly. He also took the risk. His life was on the line. He traveled from place to place, strategically of course, speaking out and sharing the light in the midst of darkness.
We too must make a whip!
We must make laws and remove people from office and positions that are abusive. We must confront those few that are abusive and making shame of the temple and causing unrest and stress in God’s Kingdom. We must raise our voice and stop swallowing the whistle. We must address wrong and ignorance by raising our voice to speak up for those who are powerless or being treated unjustly. We must raise our hands to vote and too must take the position of the law makers who are foolishly causing further tension and calamity by not being people of integrity. We must come together, both Jew and Gentile, Black and White, Protestant and Atheist (yes I said it), Christian and Muslim (Yep, I said it) and must take a stand for what is right!