Pharisees In The Church Today!

Many wrongly believe that the main argument between Jesus and the Pharisees was over the interpretation of the Law of Moses. That was not the case.  The reason there was such a theological divide between them  was because of what Jesus called “the traditions of men”,  which was their theology based upon Talmud,  which is rabbinical interpretation and additions to of the Law.  Much of the Talmud is based upon rabbinic logic and not scripture.

For example,  under Jewish law,  a man can only walk 2,000 cubits (3,049.5 feet, 0.596 miles (960 meters) from his home on the Sabbath.  So what was a man to do if he had to walk further.  It was said that a man’s home was defined by where his possession are.  Back 2000 years,  servants were considered possessions.  So to solve the problem,  a man could send a servant 2000 cubits away,  and another servant 2000 cubits further away from the first servant,  etc.  until he could walk to his destination.  By doing this,  he could keep the letter of the law,  but not the intent of the law.

We have people in the church today that reason like the Pharisee’s did.  It is well known that many of the tradition of Christmas had their roots in paganism,  in fact many of the traditions in Christianity have similar roots.  Most of the first Gentile’s to come to faith in the Jewish Messiah,  Jesus,  came out of paganism.  The stopped worshiping pagan Gods,   but rededicated feast days that were part of their lives,  and turned them into worship days for their new found faith.

So the question is,  do Christians celebrate paganism when they celebrate Christmas,  Easter,  etc.,  even if those days had their origin in paganism.  Of course not.  Colossians says this, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”  Col. 2:16  and 1 Cor. 10:30 say’s “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”.

So my question is,  when you celebrate occasions like Christmas and Easter,  are you celebrating paganism or are you celebrating Jesus in these remembrances?  Jesus course not.  Are you doing this to the glory of God!  Absolutely!  In the same way the Pharisee’s were so legalist in keeping what Jesus called “the traditions of men”,  likewise some in the church are being legalistic about condemning those who choose to observe these holidays in remembrance of Jesus, and what He came to do for us.

This issue has been settled for many centuries.  Almost all Christian churches observe these occasions,  so these folks are saying in effect,  that Christians for many centuries have been wrong,  and they know better.  Their misguided understanding is usually based upon taking scripture out of context to prove an unproveable false theology.

Needless to say,  non-Believers celebrate Christmas and often Easter as secular holidays,  but even they are not celebrating pagan Gods.  This is not deep theology!  As Paul said,  “do it all to the glory of God”

Pastor Ron