Monday, December 01, 2008

The Religious Caste

Galatians 3:22-23(the message) - For if any kind of rule-keeping had power to create life in us, we would certainly have gotten it by this time.

Rule-keeping doesn't have the power to create life. But it does have the power to create a religious caste and... the religious caste has the power to make the rules. The system will give high scores to those aware of the big rules (i.e. sins of the flesh) and give low scores to those aware of the lesser rules. (i.e. sins of the spirit) It is these religious-score-keeping, rule-makers that, I think, Jesus was most upset about. Check out what Jesus says about them in Matthew 23(the message) As John Ortberg says, "They actually thought they were paragons of spiritual maturity because they avoided the sins of the flesh. They had no idea that their sin crippled their ability to love - which makes the sins of the spirit the most dangerous and destructive sins of all."

Blaise Pascal said, "Men never do evil so completely as when they do it from a religious conviction."

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(This whole thought also brings to mind the apt and descriptive phrase, "holiness by subtraction." I believe I have heard this before but I'll attribute it to Mark Batterson as I know he's written about it)


lyndaspix said...

Hi, I found your blog through Pastor Pat's, via your comment. I have added you to my blogroll. Now to the real reason I'm commenting:

I love this post!! I've lived in that "religious caste" and I don't recall liking it very much. A relationship with Jesus is sooooo much better!

I look forward to reading more of your posts. God bless.

Jonathan Foster said...

thank you lynda.