Monday, September 3, 2012

Mark 7: 1-2 commentary: ritual hand washing and ritual church attendance

1 ¶ Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

Leviticus 15:11 And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.

Psalm 26:6 ¶ I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:

Obviously, in this context, ‘defiled’ means unclean or unwashen. The Pharisees have a rule that in order to be spiritual and godly you must wash your hands before you eat. Now, we know that washing your hands is necessary for the prevention of many diseases. However, one of the marks of a Pharisee is regarding how you look on the outside, such as your manner of dress. Pharisees also judge others by the ritual they do. A Pharisee determines your spirituality by how faithful you are to church, to soul winning WITH the church, and how many church functions you attend. These things can be done by anyone who feels that they’ll get something positive for their lives out of being involved in these things but it does not determine how close they are to Christ. Usually, it involves adding to the Bible. For instance, Sunday School is not scriptural but it is a good thing, but to say that the health of your church depends upon the size of your Sunday School class is to belittle the scripture as being inconclusive or as having holes in it.

It has been proven time and time again that unsaved people and nominal Christians can attend church faithfully, and do all of the things that a Pastor would smile upon, such as come down to the front step on which the podium the preacher speaks from stands which fundamentalists like to call “the altar”, and it means absolutely nothing. These “aisle athletes” will come down to the “altar” every single service just about. This only shows that either they are not doing their duty throughout the week by getting on their face before God and dealing with their sins every day or that they are trying to get approval from the Pastor. These sheep are most likely not feeding themselves with God’s word the rest of the time in which they aren’t in church. Fundamentalist Pastors are not big on Bible reading because they have no control over it and they are usually too short sighted to realize that a Bible reading church will be a faithful church. There is also the possibility that a fundamentalist Pastor will be concerned that his errors of doctrine will be all to obvious to a congregation that knows true doctrine from reading the Bible daily and in great depth.

While Sadducees say “it’s all good” and have no standards of any import, the Pharisees mistake standards and separation for a relationship with Jesus Christ. Neither are correct. Sadducees have all sorts of Bible versions that say different things. The Pharisee has the correct Bible but twists the plain words of Scripture to justify their own convictions, as in teachings on whether or not a Pastor can have been divorced before he was saved or after if it was his wife who sinned against him, or whether or not animals have souls and spirits, or regarding eternal security, etc.

Sadducees and Pharisees both today mingle humanism and pop psychology in their sermons and make the Bible gibberish by using verses completely out of context to force the Bible to not only contradict itself but to mean things it doesn’t say.

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