Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stripped of Religion

Matthew 23:25-28

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish,
but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

I recently had a debate with a very religious, "holier than thou" individual. This individual was very irate by the fact I would enjoy a glass of wine with a few friends, saying it was ungodly and very sinful to live such a lifestyle. This person proceeded to inform me that the bible was very "clear" about wine and drinking.

There are many doctrines regarding drinking wine, if it's lawful or unlawful or if Jesus even drank wine. As our "debate" continued, I reminded this "theologian" that Jesus turned water into wine and the guest at the party were so amazed by how wonderful this wine tasted saying He had saved the best for the latter part of the celebration. The individual I was debating rose with a bitter heart and clearly said "It so obvious YOU don't even understand the bible and it wasn't wine but grape juice!!"

Now come ridiculous can you be to believe this nonsense. The middle eastern culture is quite aware of what "good wine" is. They have been drinking it for many many years...

The problem I had with this individual was how proud they came with their words, and their rules, laws, doctrines saying I had "no clue" about the bible and what sort of Christian was I. This is an example of being filled with "religious" doctrine. A doctrine which makes them miserable.

I clearly saw something I never want to become...a hateful religious person. I never want to constantly be looking at the outward appearance to prove to myself I am "living righteous".

These religious spirits are out there doing damage to the Kingdom of God. They aren't bringing people to freedom in a relationship with the Lord but to a bondage they never intended to sign up for or will never desire to sign up for.

So how can we in this world become people of truth and not judgment. Lets leave the judgments to the Father Himself.

On a side note:... I don't condone a drunkard lifestyle. I believe drinking a glass of wine on occasion or with communion is perfectly fine. Or maybe you like a glass of wine daily with dinner.....that's between you and the Lord. I am a believer that the Lord is big enough to speak to our own hearts regarding sin. We don't need those religious folk breathing down our wine glasses telling us that it is sin. Let the Lord alone convict! The more we seek, knock, find, and desire the Word then we will know right from wrong.

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