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  • # 191 Religion Gone Bad

    Now Jesus turns to the people gathered around him and says, "The Scribes and Pharisees teach you what God gave to Moses, so listen; but don't follow them--they are phonies--blind guides! They bind heavy burdens on you, but they themselves claim exemption, not lifting a finger to what they require of you. Everything they do is to look good, loving honors and being called 'Teacher.' But only Messiah is your teacher."

    He flat out states that their leaders keep people from knowing or understanding God by their example, "You shut the door of heaven in men's faces, actually keeping them from God! Yet you go great distances to make one convert, turning him into twice the son of hell that you are!"

    He speaks plainly now. Their literal translations of scripture he calls perversion. He exposes their ignorance in wearing "phylacteries"--strips of parchment with the law written on them--tying them around their heads and wrists for show--when Moses was talking about meditating on the words until they become part of you and transform your life.*

    "Call no man, 'Master' but the Messiah, and no one 'Father' but God," he ends. One more time he has emphasized that no man should control your beliefs, conscience, or your faith. Your relationship with God is a matter to be worked out between you and God experientially. Give no man the place or authority that belongs to God alone.

    Matthew 23, Mark 12:38-40, Luke 20:45-47 *Deuteronomy 6:8

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