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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Is Christian Radio Still Christian? part 3


Is Christian Radio Still Christian?  Part 3

I mentioned to you in previous posts about a cool and hip radio station in my area that promotes itself as ‘Christian’ but there is rarely ever a mention of God, almost never a mention of Jesus, and never any teaching or preaching from the Bible. Something there is plenty of, however, is VERY STYLE-HEAVY music, and lots of it.

They have a short sound clip that says “Way FM, where the message is in the music” that runs every so often. To that I say, “Oh, really?” You cannot even make out many of the words to these style-driven rock songs much less make out a discernable message.

Anyway, today I want to talk about something I heard this morning. They were using Jesus’ name somewhat casually (in my opinion) and playing a game where a caller would ask Jesus a question. The set up was this. You are on an elevator and Jesus gets on and shows you his Galilean drivers license (their words, not mine).

Now, the revealing thing is what I will talk about next. Several silly or inconsequential questions were asked, then came a revealing question/answer. A caller said they would like to ask if hell is eternal or if it is merely a metaphor for destruction. The DJ said he also wondered if hell meant that people just got immediately destroyed and never had any knowledge of anything else for eternity…? Duh, what?

I wonder if the DJ has ever read the Bible. It has much to say about hell but it never mentions the theory postulated by the DJ and caller.

This is what I was fearing all along about this type of ‘Christian’ radio. They are not really Christian, they are just nice, appealing, and tolerating. They may even be of the heretical emergent/emerging philosophy. They apparently are not aware of the Bible or worse, just do not believe it so they replace its truth with their theories.

If a Christian is asked a question about Biblical concepts, that person is to tell the whole truth. God does not need for us to repackage Him in order to make Him relevant to today’s culture. God is relevant. Today’s culture is lost.

How does God reach the lost world? Through His word and His Spirit. If we suppress His word, we are being disobedient to Him. Can anyone show from the Bible how anyone came to Christ in any other way except being chosen and surrendering to Christ through believing Him and His teachings? How did the church form in Acts? The chosen people responded to the gospel message. The ‘modern’ idea that we coax and placate someone with lies and half-truths until they ‘make a decision’ is preposterous.

I seek to call out 88.1 Way FM due to its lack of Biblical adherence. Their house is built upon the sand. I pray God will expose them and give them the opportunity to repent and become useful for His purpose. In their vernacular, I would like to say, “sha, dude, check out the Bible. It’s Awesome. It has killer details about some heavy truth. To miss out on it would be gnarly.”

(This is not the first such quasi-religious shananigans I have heard from them. This is the best example I have encountered however, so I chose to use this one. Please compare their approach to what the Bible teaches.)

Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Theology Doctrine Daily Truth Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Christian Christianity Religion Religion Religion Reigion Grace Grace Grace Hope Hope Hope Change Change Change  Doctrine Doctrine Bible Bible Bible Relevant Relevant Relevance Post-Modern Happy Church Truth Truth Truth Truth Truth Emergent Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Emerging Church Emerging Church Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Peace Mercy Grace Peace Mercy Grace Christian Radio Christian Rock Radio Radio Rock & Roll Rock & RollChristian Music Christian Radio Christian Music Christian Rock Rock Rock Christian Music Music Music Music Christian Radio Radio Radio Radio Christian Music Christian Rock Christian Radio Music
 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 7:22-60


Daily Truth Bible Study  Acts 7:22-60    Last time, we saw Stephen get called into temple court to face charges of blasphemy, treason, and the like. Did he do a good job of defending himself? Let’s find out.

Wow. Stephen accomplished several things with his sermon. It was really a sermon more than merely a defense. Stephen had a great opportunity to explain the plan of God and he did just that. Instead of simply trying to save his own life, Stephen launched into a sermon to end all sermons.

Stephen showed his knowledge of history. He showed his knowledge of God. He showed his knowledge of the Jewish traditions. He also showed how he was part of what God was doing. The problem arose when he connected Jesus to God’s redemptive work.

Verse 51 begins Stephen’s downfall. Stephen showed how the peoples’ rejection of Jesus was actually rejection of God and he connected this to the rebellion of Jews in the past.

Wow. Verses 51-53 show how Stephen took the message straight to the audience. He did not stall, waiver, weave, duck, or anything else other than take the truth directly to the audience. He told them they were the same as their ancestors who were stubborn and who rejected God. They were also guilty because they rejected God when they rejected Jesus.

They not only rejected Jesus, they were guilty of killing Him…; this must have stung deeply into the souls of the Jews.

Ok, let’s fast-forward into 2009. What would a preacher today have done if placed into Stephen’s position in front of the religious court? Would they seek for conscensus, try to find a common point where everyone could agree then spin the truth until the audience would not be offended (or understand the indictment), or avoid the truth altogether and talk about pop-psychology topics and hope to be released due to the boredom of the crowd?

Stephen did not do any of this. What was the result of Stephen’s truthful sermon? Verse 54 says that the crowd was cut to the heart when they heard Stephen’s message and they gnashed at him with their teeth. I would say Stephen stepped on some toes…wouldn’t you?

Previously, we saw how Peter presented the truth to his audiences and some, even many, believed. This would not be the case this time. Verses 57-58 says they stopped their ears, ran at him, and took him out of the city and stoned him.

Sometimes, it just bees that way…as the line from the old movie goes. Stephen was the first martyr of the new church but he would certainly not be the last. Many have died for the gospel since that day. Many more will die if Christ taries. God only knows why things must happen this way but we can rest assured like Stephen that all is well when God is near.

Verses 59-60 tell how Stephen called out to his Lord and asked for the throng to be forgiven. Stephen had his priorities in the correct order. He did not sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the temporal. May we follow his example with God’s help. 

Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Theology Doctrine Daily Truth Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Christian Christianity Religion Religion Religion Reigion Grace Grace Grace Hope Hope Hope Change Change Change  Doctrine Doctrine Bible Bible Bible Relevant Relevant Relevance Post-Modern Happy Church Truth Truth Truth Truth Truth Emergent Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Emerging Church Emerging Church Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Peace Mercy Grace Peace Mercy Grace
 
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Posted by on September 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Is Christian Radio Still Christian? part 2


Is Christian Radio Still Christian?  part 2

Last time, we briefly discussed what is apparently a new trend in America: Christian Radio that plays music and chit-chats about everything except Christ…

Ok. Like I said last time, I am not against heavily stylized music played on the radio because teens like this kind of music and I like some of it as well. I don’t want to hear it on Sunday morning in the worship service but that is another story…

I must admit, however, that only some of it is great in sound and lyrical quality. A clear message can sometimes be heard. The majority of the music, not so much. Just noise with a “He’s awesome” thrown in. Who is the He? That is my real sticking point with the Christian rock music. When the “He” never gets defined, everyone can conveniently mold their own golden calf…  

I heard a short ad on Way FM this morning where they were encouraging callers to leave a voicemail about how God has changed their lives. Ok. I hope God is changing the lives of young people but it sure ain’t happening due to Way FM! There is no message of any sort to be found there! When the sum total of your theology is songs that say “God is love, He is awesome”, you are not communicating anything of any value. “Love” and “awesome” will mean many different things to different people because there has not been a definition given.

Do you like knockwurst? Well, if I have never had knockwurst but I sincerely believed that knockwurst is lamchops and I like lambchops then my answer would be yes; however, the question is not about lambchops, its about knockwurst… 

Once we got to the place in America where we became afraid to talk about the Bible and JESUS and God’s rules and regs, His sovereignty, and His grace…we went bankrupt and lost the ability to do God’s work. I’m sorry to tell you this but you cannot simlutaneously shield God out of the picture to avoid offending someone and change their lives by opening God’s truth to them!

One more question for the new “Christian” radio… where is Jesus? He apparently is not found on your station unless you hear a garbled mention of Him in a rock song between the guitar riffs.

Wake up relevance-loving neo-liberals. You cannot peddle salvation like a used Chevy Nova. God is not mocked, we will reap whatever we sow. Take it to the bank.

Christian Music Rock Music Young Music Christian Radio Youth Radio Christian Music Rock Music Young Music Christian Radio Youth Radio Christian Music Rock Music Young Music Christian Radio Youth Radio Christian Music Rock Music Young Music Christian Radio Youth RadioChristian Music Rock Music Young Music Christian Radio Youth RadioChristian Music Rock Music Young Music Christian Radio Youth Radio
 
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Posted by on September 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Is Christian Radio Still Christian?


Is Christian Radio still Christian? That may sound like a silly question but  bear with me for a few minutes.

We have a Christian radio station in our area that is unlike anything I have ever heard. Traditionally, Christian radio is where music, both contemporary and traditional, honors God and preachers speak from Bible passages. The on-air personalities talk about many subjects but these subjects always honor God and show how He is sovereign in life’s events.

We have a station in our area that is young and hip.  It is called Way FM. They play hard edged rock style music that has some sort of spiritual message to it. Some songs are better than others at calling God or Jesus’ name. Usually no name is mentioned just attributes. Another thing I noticed is the music is so style heavy that it is difficult to understand the words. I had to work very hard to even determine the words to many sings in order to attempt to perceive a message.

Now, before you write me off as some old geezer, I grew up listening to Styx, Kiss, Boston, Kansas, and others. I appreciate musicianship and lyricism. It is hard to determine the lyrics to most  rock music as well.

I do not have a problem with Christian music that has a beat and modern style when played on the radio. Teens like music with a beat and that seems fine.

My issue is this. The radio station has no talk whatsoever about God, His attributes, or His word. I have listened during the morning and the afternoon. I heard God’s name mentioned once and I do not believe I have heard Jesus’ name at all by the on-air people. The time they mentioned God, it was not in the best of situations. Someone had mentioned the Bible is a less than respectful way and the other personality said, “God does not call us to have a relationship with the Bible, He wants us to have a relationship with Himself.”

Ok, so God wants us to have a relationship with Himself. How do we even know about God unless the Bible is what we use for revelation? Why should someone show disdain for God’s word and claim to have a relationship with Him?

The chit chat on the station is very sterile. There is no cursing or course jesting. It is just idle chatter about clothes, TV shows, social outings, and so forth.

Is this Christian? They say on the radio that the message is in the music. However, there is not much if any message in most of the songs they play. (Some songs are great in sound and message but most are forgettable)

Since when did having a party for God and ignoring His presence and attributes become ‘Christian’.  Does anyone else have a similar story?

Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Theology Doctrine Daily Truth Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Christian Christianity Religion Religion Religion Reigion Grace Grace Grace Hope Hope Hope Change Change Change  Doctrine Doctrine Bible Bible Bible Relevant Relevant Relevance Post-Modern Happy Church Truth Truth Truth Truth Truth Emergent Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Emerging Church Emerging Church Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Peace Mercy Grace Peace Mercy Grace
 
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Posted by on September 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 7:1-21


Daily Truth Bible Study  Acts 7:1-21

After reading today’s text, let’s move into our discussion. Steven had been brought before the temple officials and accused of saying that Jesus was sent to undo all that Moses taught. This was obviously a lie. The scripture even states that false witnesses were set up to tell lies against Stephen.

Watch what Stephen does. He had a few options. When asked by the high priest if the charges were true, Stephen could have said, ‘no’. He could also have denied the specific charges of blasphemy and trying to undo Moses’ teachings. Notice what he did, however. He took his audience way back to the time before even Moses…to Abraham. Brilliant!

Every Jew alive is a child of Abraham. In their minds, if anything could trump Moses it would have to be Abraham. This is not the only thing occurring here. Stephen was also getting away from the totally ridiculous charges and setting the stage for delivering a sermon. He took the listeners back to a point of common ground and began to unfold the truth for them.

When surgeons operate to remove a cancerous growth, they do not simply remove most of the growth leaving a little bit behind. They remove the entire tumor and even the clean tissue that surrounds the tumor. Leaving clean margins is the only way they can be sure they have removed the entire tumor. Stephen removed the lies by going back to the original covenant given by God to the father of the Jews. Stephen would continue to preach his sermon showing how God worked in the past and continues to work even in their time. In the next lesson, we will see Stephen continuing to recount history and revealing how God’s plan continued with Jesus.

Stephen did not get caught up in a back-and-forth with the accusers. He set out to establish the entire truth in front of the audience he was given. He proceeded to unfold the entire story, not only what the crowd wanted to hear. There was no fear in his message. He was not trying to talk well enough to please the crowd or to talk his way around the charges and get free. He was declaring the whole truth of God.

When we have the opportunity to speak for God, let’s not hold back for fear of the audience’s response. Let’s tell the truth.  

Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Theology Doctrine Daily Truth Calvinist Calvinist Calvinist Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Evolution Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Baptist Bible Brian McLaren Christianity Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Conservative Creation Discernment Doug Pagitt Faith Fundamentalist God Gospel Intelligent Design James McDonald Jesus Christ John MacArthur Joel Osteen John Piper Liberal Logic Relevance Missions New Age New Testament Old Testament Paul Washer Politics Post-modern Purpose Driven Religion Rick Warren Rob Bell Scripture Spiritual Theology Truth Inspirational Intellectual Calvinist Orthodox Bible Study Bible Study Bible Study Christian Christianity Religion Religion Religion Reigion Grace Grace Grace Hope Hope Hope Change Change Change  Doctrine Doctrine Bible Bible Bible Relevant Relevant Relevance Post-Modern Happy Church Truth Truth Truth Truth Truth Emergent Church Emerging Church Emergent Church Emerging Church Emerging Church Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Discernment Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Soteriology Apologetics Hermeneutics Peace Mercy Grace Peace Mercy Grace
 
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Posted by on September 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Only 9% of ‘Christians’ have Biblical world-view…? Wow, that’s bad…


Only 9% of Christians have Biblical World-View

A New Survey Reveals that Less than 10 Percent of All Born Again Christians Look at the World with a Biblical Perspective       By Jimmy DeYoung

George Barna, a pollster with an independent marketing research company, found in a recent survey that only 4% of the overall population of America and 9% of born-again Christians have a biblical world view, suggesting that many of the nation’s moral and spiritual challenges are directly attributable to this fact.

For the purposes of the research, a Biblical world view was defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists, that such truth is defined by the Bible, and that the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News:

A Biblical world view based upon understanding Bible prophecy is essential for an understanding of the times we live in today.

Let’s look at the provision in scripture for a Biblical world view. All scripture is God breathed. That means it’s inspired and is profitable for doctrine, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, that’s II Timothy 3:16. God gave the scriptures to the Jew to preserve and communicate to mankind, Romans 3:1-2. And thus, we have His written Word for us today. Our blessings and understanding comes from God’s provision of His heart, His mind, His thoughts in written form, the Bible.

Now, let’s look at the priority for studying a Biblical world view. The Apostle Paul wrote that we must study the Word of God, a workman that need not be ashamed, relying on God’s Word for all of life’s questions. We must rightly divide the Word of truth, the Bible, to ascertain its true meaning. These two principles, study and rightly dividing the Word of God, are instruction for the End Times and they come from Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy found in II Timothy 2:15.

Finally, let’s look at the prophetic scenario of a Biblical world view. A study of Bible prophecy reveals the scenario for the Last Days with a seven year period of judgment in our world followed by the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to establish His Kingdom here on earth. However, preceding that seven years of judgment, those who are true born again Christians will be taken out of this world to be with Jesus Christ, that’s the Rapture.

Allowing the Bible to form our world view prepares us for these future events and gives us evidence as to how close they may be.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

John MacArthur’s New Book…A Must Read


Excerpt from The Jesus You Can’t Ignore by John MacArthur. Thanks to Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries www.apprising.org

Op-Ed:The modern-day pharisees of the Emergent/Emerging Church and other cults that call Jesus’ name yet jettison everything He taught would de well to read this book. Jesus is who the Bible says He is. He is not who the EC gurus’ spirit guides have told them He is…

After the Beatitudes, Jesus goes straight into an extended discourse on the true meaning of Old Testament law. The rest of Matthew 5 is a systematic, point-by-point critique of the Pharisees’ interpretation of Moses’ law. Jesus is correcting some of their representative errors. Some commentators have suggested that Jesus is altering or expanding the moral requirements of Moses’ law for a new dispensation. Jesus Himself emphatically said otherwise: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (vv. 17–18).

Furthermore, every principle Jesus used to refute the Pharisees’ interpretation of the law was already either stated or plainly implied in the Old Testament. We’ll see that very clearly in our survey of this section. But what is most important to notice here is that Jesus deliberately sets His description of authentic righteousness against the religion of the Pharisees. The brunt of the sermon is aimed squarely at them. The Sermon on the Mount is in essence a jeremiad against their unique brand of hypocrisy. That is the singular theme that ties the whole sermon together. Furthermore, when He singled out these specific misunderstandings of Moses’ law, Jesus was clearly impugning the Pharisees’ pet doctrines.

He was publicly denouncing what they taught. Everyone in the crowd understood that. It was impossible to ignore. Jesus made no effort to make the dichotomy subtle or to outline His differences with them in a delicate fashion. He went for the jugular against their most closely held beliefs. He even mentioned the Pharisees by name and expressly stated that their righteousness was inadequate—lest there be any ambiguity about whose doctrine He was refuting. Immediately after saying, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (v. 20), he began dismantling their whole system. He attacked their method of interpreting Scripture, their means of applying the law, their notions of guilt and merit, their infatuation with ceremonial minutiae, and their love for moral and doctrinal casuistry.

The major arguments in this section of the sermon are structured in a way that contrasts the Pharisees’ interpretation of the law with the law’s real meaning, as expounded by Christ: “You have heard that it was said to those of old. . . . But I say to you . . .” Six times in the second half of Matthew 5, Jesus used that formula or a variation of it (vv. 21–22, 26–28, 31–32, 33–34, 38–39, 43– 44). When He spoke of what “you have heard,” He was describing the Pharisees’ teaching. And in each case, He refuted it. Again, He was not changing or expanding the law’s moral requirements; He was simply reaffirming what the law always meant.

Your commandment is exceedingly broad,” David said, as he meditated on the law (Psalm 119:96). The meaning of the Ten Commandments is not exhausted by the wooden literal sense of the words. Jesus says, for example, that the sixth commandment forbids not only literal acts of murder, but murderous attitudes as well—including undue anger, abusive speech, and an unforgiving spirit (vv. 22–25). The seventh commandment forbids not merely acts of adultery, but even an adulterous heart (v. 28). The command to love your neighbor applies not only to friendly neighbors, but also to those who are our enemies (v. 44).

Superficial readers are sometimes inclined to think Jesus was modifying or raising the bar on the standard of Moses’ law. After all, He quoted directly from the sixth and seventh commandments (vv. 21, 27), and He cited the Old Testament principle known as lex talionis (“an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”—v. 38; cf. Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21)—then He followed those quotations with “But I say to you . . .” To a casual listener, it might actually sound as if He were changing the law itself, or making a new law that stood in contrast to what the Old Testament had always taught. But remember: Jesus Himself unequivocally denied that notion in verses 17–18. Instead, what Jesus is doing in this portion of the sermon is unpacking the true and full meaning of the law as it was originally intended—especially in contrast to the limited, narrow, and woodenly literal approach of the Pharisees. Their hermeneutic (the method by which they interpreted Scripture) was laden with sophistry. They could expound for hours on the law’s invisible fine points while inventing technical twists and turns to make exceptions to some of the law’s most important moral precepts.

For example, the fifth commandment is clear enough: “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). But the Pharisees had a custom whereby “if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban’—(that is, a gift to God), then [the Pharisees] no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother” (Mark 7:11–12). In fact, if someone had thus pledged his inheritance to God and then used any of his resources to care for his parents in their old age, the Pharisees would deem that act of charity a sacrilege, because it was a violation of the Corban vow. Jesus told them, “[You have made] the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do” (v. 13, emphasis added). That was precisely the kind of hermeneutical tomfoolery Jesus was correcting in the Sermon on the Mount… (The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, 134-138)          John MacArthur

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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