Tuesday, 22 August 2017
One of our major problems in the Church is Phariseism.
The fact that the hierarchy of the Church has resembled the Pharisees rather than Jesus has been a long-standing defect of the Church.
All too often the Church has been judgemental, threatening, moralistic, and hateful.
But Jesus was forgiving, merciful, tolerant, and loving.
The passage in Matthew's Gospel in which Jesus is harshly critical of the Pharisees should be warning enough but the temptations of power and authority have proved too much for most priests and ministers who have reached positions of prominence.
"My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains." Jeremiah 50:6 (NRSV)
Jesus said of them, "'You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.'" Luke 11:52b (NRSV)
But this has not been preached in church for obvious reasons.
We are lost sheep indeed.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]
Photo Credit: Michele.oliveira82 Flickr via Compfight cc