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January 25, 2008


Kevin Davis

J.R., I am also excited about the series and I know what you mean about the scary self-examination. Thought #2 about rejecting Jesus based on faith in God is sobering. That's why we need to study God's word carefully and not just glean what's comfortable.

To quote Derek Webb from "A New Law": "I don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy. So just bring it down from the mountain to me". Lyrics here: http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=5594


Disturbing thought #3:
I often wonder about this one. I think about all the people that claim they are profits or other things today. I usually never believe that they are anything. I wonder what would have to happen for me to believe someone that claims that they would be Jesus. I think I would be one of the many that wanted to see a miracle to believe him.

Kyle Landis

I just have to say that I'm so pumped for this series for many reasons. First, often times when I study about the Pharisees, I am quick to point out the speck of sawdust in their eye and I neglect the plank in my own. It's much easier to think "Those guys are idiots!" rather than "How am I like a Pharisee?" Second, I really appreciate the honesty on JR's part. You're right, Jesus would be rejected from most of our churches today. Finally, I'm excited because I have Pharisaical roots deep within me and I need to be forgiven. Thank you JR for exposing these disturbing thoughts...they certainly are just that. Disturbing.


I always thought/defended the Jews of Jesus' time because their OT just wasn't clear. However, the more I learn about the OT it is nearly impossible for them/I to miss God's tremendous desire to have a relationship with us that outweighs His nature's demand for wrath for our sin. Thoughts on disturbances:
1. "A wise man will accept a rebuke ..." (Mt 22:29-33 is a classic ... telling a Pharisee "you are in error because you do not know the Scriptures" ... snicker, snicker)
2. Would it not be hard even for a Pharisee to see that He never sinned?
3. Just one of my sins put Him on the cross.
4. Yep, he did not start a megachurch/church/denomination, radio/TV program, Parachurch ministry, Bible college, Blog, Sunday School, YouTube ministry, poltical advocacy ministry, service organization, family minstry, crisis pregnancy clinic, seminary, MOPS course, singles or divorced group, financial ministry, camps for all kinds of sub-groups, go overseas for short/long-term missions, ..... just discipled 12 guys who changed to world and led to me/us having a relationship with Him.

Regards, DougG


So glad you are doing this series. Yes, disturbing, yes, convicting, but praise GOD for exposure of who we really are! Only when things are exposed by the Holy Spirit can we bring them to the cross and let Jesus take care of them! Jesus said, you will know them by their fruit, so if, as someone said above, they are a prophet or have a prophetic word, then I will look for the fruit. If it is there, great; if not, fine...that person is still a child of the King and more than deserving of my love, acceptance and forgiveness. I live in a nation where many say they want PROOF, PROOF, PROOF before they will believe...and I am reminded of Jesus' words again: Blessed are those who have NOT seen and yet believe. I pray we in my host nation here and those in the U.S. do not go down the slippery slope that the Pharisees most likely "slid" down to reach the point where we see them in the Scriptures.


I too am excited that we in this series will have the opportunity to see ourselves, our heart and our motivations as they really are. I go on the defense of the Pharisees here a bit though, and tend to stay away from condemnation. To be fair, I think I am talking mostly about pre-Jesus and up till maybe 30AD, or to make it easy to post resurection, to establish a time line. It surely must have been difficult to understand God through the media available at the time, the many other disturbances in life at that time, lack of effective communication, and the devil’s confusing force in their BC plus lives. It seems natural to overprotect, and over regulate something so fragile and not so tangible as their unseen faith in God. Man seems also to be wired that way, to be overprotective of things that we are not completely secure about, in our parenting, in our jobs, and in our relationships. It is made evident from the beginning in the Book of Genisis, with Eve’s reply to the serpent that God said not to eat of, or to touch the tree or she would die, when in fact God never said anything about touching the tree, but I guess Eve thought it would make it easier for her to obey what she could not fully comprehend with an additional rule.
Ok, then that is my OT spin on it, but in the 21rst century, Jesus now has answered all the confusion, set the most perfect example, gave His life so we would get it, and still too often we fall headlong into the same old trap. I guess in a way that makes us even worse than a Pharisaical hypocrite sometimes.


Drew -

The point of Disturbing thought #3 is to make us think twice before we say, "Oh those Pharisees...what idiots! How could they not see it!"
It takes away a bit of the edge when we see it this way.

I like the conversation thus far...keep it up.


Regarding this Pharisee post, check out Brody Harper's blog post on Christians picketing Heath Ledger's funeral.
I weighed in with a comment on the discussion as well.
Check it out.


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