Francis Schaeffer wisely observed something toward the end of his life, and he saw that it has almost become a matter of “personal privilege and a puffed up right” among those who claimed that they were dedicated Believers.
“We rush in, being very, very pleased it would seem at times, to find and expose other men’s mistakes.
We build OURSELVES up by tearing other men down… we love the smell of blood, the smell of the arena, the smell of the bullfight.
We may be pleased, but we are not being Christian.”
Dr. James Emery White observed and also wrote about this, regarding how harsh Legalistic Christians hammer each other!
“So whether it’s “theological road rage” by building theological barbed wire fences around personal tastes and opinions about damnation and doctrinal pedigrees, we are simply modeling the ways of the world.
And the world – rightly so – wants none of it.
After all, they already have enough problems in their life!”
When the crowds were coming to hear Jesus, the (narcissistic) Pharisees and scribes did not publicly reveal their jealously, but instead, grumbled among themselves with a haughty and holier-than-thou attitude about Jesus “receiving sinners”.
How dare he!
“Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them,” Luke 15:1-2.
How dare he!
Instead of outright rebuking them for their attitude, Jesus responded by telling them three parables.
Jesus’ main point in each of the parables was about God’s loving grace in seeking out those who are “lost”, and His joy when they return to Him.
This was an obvious difference compared to the Pharisees who didn’t care about the people who Jesus was ministering to, but only about the fact that they were not the center of attention!
You see clearly the Pharisees’ hearts of jealously at God’s grace toward others.
God had extended them everything, but they instead were jealous that God would also extend grace toward others! How could he?
What a total and bombastic prideful response!
They thought others were not worthy, and a self-centered response like this made them “not” the total center of God’s attention!
The Pharisees reflected this jealousy by petty sniping and griping.
As the Pharisees continued time and time again to resist what they heard and saw from Jesus, Jesus later became much more direct in making a point with them.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! YOU shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in!”
The Pharisees, in their pride, were not willing to submit to God in repentance, and in their pride they were also unwilling for others to enjoy a relationship with God.
Let us as forgiven and redeemed believers be ever so careful to allow God to check our hearts for blatant narcissistic selfishness and ridiculing of those who still are learning or perhaps are changing perspectives, and look once again inside to where there was once a love poured out over us in our darknesses.
Christians with axes and hammers aimed at each other or those who don’t yet have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, are just loud and clanging cymbals.
Painful to listen to, and destructive to the melody of the “Heavenly wooing of the Father” who opens wide His arms of compassion….
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.