Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Christian Scribes & Pharisees (Part 1)
For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
Matthew 24:5 (NAS)
This series of Bible studies is hard to write and may be harder to read. Will it be popular among all Christians? Doubtful. I feel a little like Jonah or Jeremiah. I tried to turn away from writing it more than once. On the other hand, I seek to please God, not man. By Him I am compelled.
Let me begin by reminding readers I was raised in a liberal household as a 'high church' Episcopalian--in a well-dressed congregation that seemed more like a social club. Surely some of its members were truly devoted to God, but I did not meet them. This apparent hypocrisy troubled a young girl's quest for justice.
I became a Buddhist at 18--seeking truth and a lifestyle that made sense. I thought I found it, but I soon discovered rituals and intellectual arrogance that gave me no peace. So, I fled once again. I believed in God and prayed on occasion, but I did not know Jesus and never opened a Bible.
Throughout my B.C. days, most born-again Christians I met added insult to injury. They irritated me--even scared me with haughty eyes, big hair, swelling words, and 'holier than thou' attitudes. Their judgmental natures did the cause of Jesus Christ no good in my life, and doubtless, in many others.
In today's scripture, which are Jesus' Own Words, I make two tiny paraphrases--by changing 'the' to 'a' and 'Christ' to 'Christian':
'For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am a Christian,' and will mislead many.'
It is for them and about them that I write.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Scribes & Pharisees series.