But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
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. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Matthew 23 details the charges against scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites: religious leaders in the days of Christ. Through 39 whistle-blowing Verses, He proclaims His conclusive indictment.
Before that, in white-hot confrontations, Jesus shared the truth to men who claimed God anointed them as His earthly agents. Without a doubt, He was denouncing them.
But I don't see one time where Christ condemned...
Sinners, outlaws, pagans or prostitutes. Not even demon-possessed lunatics. He didn't wave fingers in their faces. He didn't parade their prior mistakes. He didn't threaten them with harsh judgments. Quite the opposite. He loved, helped, healed, forgave and restored them.
So why do Christians ignore their Teacher? Why do they criticize or ostracize politicians, prodigals, liberals, foreigners, immigrants, homeless people, poor people, queer people, diverse people, other religions, denominations, and everybody except each other?
This sharp section of the New Testament isn't simply a history lesson; it warns us of the dire consequences when churches fall into pride and judgment- when the only One qualified is God.
## Christian Posers: The Indictment (Part 4)
NOTE: This is a 2021 update of a 2011 Carey Lewis Devotion. You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you think you're not in show business, think again. Shakespeare said, 'All the world's a stage and all its men and women merely players. Mostly true. But you're not merely players. You are messengers and ambassadors for the King of kings.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Posers series.