Friday, April 13, 2007

The hypocrisy of the “religionist”

The hypocrisy of the “religionist”

The hypocrisy of the “religionist” is rather interesting at times.

Romans 9: 30 – 33

“What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
As it is written:

"See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

We see that the religionist misses the point… They pursue God on wrong terms… they seek Him by their works, that is not by faith but by works as they seek the law of righteousness for themselves. There is no righteousness apart from Christ Himself and to think we can add to the righteousness that we have through Jesus nullifies the very Grace of God.

Paul warned the Galatians or rather spoke strongly to the Galatians of the “religionists” of that day called the Judaizers. These men were believers in Christ who believed that since God chose Abraham, and then gave the Law to Moses… and then spoke through Jewish prophets of the Messiah to come… being Jesus Who was a Jew… that naturally one would have to convert to Judaism in order to be accepted by Jesus as the Messiah. That is the reason Paul wrote the book of Galatians and it is dramatically played out to the point that Paul even confronts Peter of Peter’s hypocrisy as it was through Peter the gentiles were even realized to be included in this outpouring of God’s Grace…

Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter 3: 1-5

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”

Paul then build on these questions… yet what most seem to miss is this one question. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Paul is saying that one cannot add to what the Holy Spirit has began by human effort… or works. What has begun by the Spirit is complete and sustained and maintained by the Holy Spirit… if not then it is considered works.

Many religionists will say… “But I trust in the Holy Spirit and I am saved by Grace yet we are told to do good works…” yes we are, yet these are not OUR good works but Gods and Gods alone. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling… yet that is where the religionist stops… he seems to not read the rest of the passage (as is the case in Romans chapter 1 that leads into the first sentence of chapter 2, or that they read the whole of Chapter 9 of Romans in its context… only stopping to prove their doctrine that God hates some and loves others… yet missing that in that very passage the ones hated, being the gentiles and considered vessels of wrath by the Jew are actually the vessels of mercy… and Gods grace and mercy are displayed through that!) which leads me to this point.

A religionist places doctrine before Love…

A religionist will be overly concerned with doctrine… that it be perfect. Yet, in expecting that, the do not realize that while doctrine in itself is not BAD, one then has shifted into works as the way they are justified.

Doctrine is not bad… but as in the passage I quoted:

Romans 9: 30 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, righteousness that is by faith; 31but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."

They stumble over Jesus as they try to fulfill their doctrine… in a sad way some religionist have replaced the Law even with doctrines… and in that have fallen from Grace into the Law.

Galatians 5: 4 “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
Again, often this is very subtle and is the reason we must go humbly to someone to restore them lest we too fall into a sin similar.
So what are some of the sign of a religionist besides too much emphasis on the Law?

Well a person named Julie (in the comments) over at CRNinfo has set up a few questions which I will dress out further… that are gleaned from the questions that were demanded of Dan Kimball at Teampyro which then seemed to not care to get any answers as they have closed down the comments on that post… These are a type of questioning and not the exact questions asked by Phil Johnson of Dan Kimball.

1. “We need precise answers.”
They demand that a specific definition (theirs) is the standard and in that display no Grace.

2. “It’s a valid question.” They demand that their authority is greater and their question is not to be questioned nor their authority

3. “Answer me.” They demand an answer immediately.

4. “That’s not sufficient. You’ve not answered me well enough.” When given an answer and it does not meet their definition they demand to have more… much like the Pharisees did with Jesus in the Gospels.

5.“I don’t believe the words you are saying correctly cover your true belief.” Even if you tell them they will deny that you believe what you have stated and call you a liar… like the Pharisees telling Jesus that His miracles were of Satan.

6.“Matthew 18 is a cop-out.” They simple deny scripture as they place their doctrine over it and interpret scripture through their doctrinal bent.

7. “I’m only trying to discern.” Which really means we are judging you as to whether you are saved or not while over looking that they too are but sinners saved by Grace?

8. “He hasn’t answered my question and obviously I have the right to an answer.” Victory is declared even if they are wrong… they demonize the other. They take that when one gives up as there is not way to win, they are the winner.

9. “Comments closed.” We really never cared or wanted to listen as our pride does not allow us to.

Notice that none of this is done with humility nor with Love… they want it done their own way. This is the bottom line of the religionist. They have placed God into a religious structure to be able to control Him… they are no better than the Idolaters who used idol to control their gods… in fact they are worse without even realizing it as they in their religious zealousness, have turn Christianity into an idolatress religion that seeks to only control God by their rules and doctrines… that is a dangerous state to be in.

That is why I call for prayer as a religious spirit is one of the hardest to cast out. I know as it took the grace of God to cast it out of me… and even now I still must resist the desire to control God with my performance. This is truly a lie from Satan and sadly many believers in Christ fall for this every day.


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