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Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel

During Meeting for Worship it was opened in me to speak about Jesus's criticism of the Pharisees. Matt: 23. I understood Jesus's criticism to be for two reasons: the Pharisees were keepers of a demanding law. Yet they didn't keep God's Law, handed down by Moses. They taught the Law but did not have the Spirit. Two, the Pharisees had rewritten the Law or wrote new law that was not of God but men. The new law was influenced by their captivity in Babylon. These new laws were burdensome and saved no one.

Explaining the criticism thus, I spoke what was given me: Like the Pharisees of Jesus's time, man (generic) was attempting to rewrite God's Law in our time. And that it was burdensome to the people. People were being punished for not accepting or conforming to the new law, that was not of God but of man. 

Views: 54

Comment by Ellis Hein on 10thMo. 16, 2015 at 12:49

Your post raises a lot of issues, but the overarching subject of them all is, "What is wrong with man-made religion?" The basic premise of man-made religion, including that which would pass for Christianity, is that we must do for God what he cannot do for himself. There is a lengthy portion of the book Isaiah dealing with the distinction between the idol and God. The chief distinction is that the God of Israel is the God who speaks, who reveals himself. The idol is dumb. Under the law, the severest punishment was to fall on the prophet who claimed to be speaking the word of God but was not. In Jeremiah 23, God says, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility...But if they had stood in my counsel (or council), then they would have announced my words to my people and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds." And Isaiah pronounced woe on the "disobedient children who clothe themselves but not with my breath, saith the Lord."

False religion, all false religion, leads man away from hearing the voice of the Lord. "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God," Moses told the Israelites. Righteousness consists in hearing and living by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God. Wickedness and all evil is because we are hearing and living by some other word.

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 10thMo. 16, 2015 at 13:00

Following God's Law brings humans to see their need for God, when our fallen nature would have us be independent of God. Today's prevalent form of this faithlessness among Liberal Quakers is the claim that being loving—by our own determination and power—is the rule (law), what Lewis Benson called "the cult of love and goodwill."

The Law that God set out for us as the means to come into his Kingdom teaches us that we are not independent of Him, nor can we love unconditionally. If we are faithful to the Law, we do come to that painful realization about ourselves. Then, as were Paul (Rom. 7:24) and Fox, we are restored by the merciful God. Man's corruption of God's Law circumvents God's Will to restore his creation.

Comment by Rhonda Fuller on 10thMo. 16, 2015 at 18:03

I appreciate your comments, Ellis and Patricia. I've maintained a blog since the latter part of 2010 and never had any comments. I'm not sure why except ability to promote my blog is lacking. If you don't mind, I might transfer some of them here. 

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