Maria Yeager

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Bible Study – The New Testament and Evangelical Beliefs – Part 8

Well, it has been several weeks since I wrote one of these blogs, and there is good reason for that. I am the founder of Adenomyosis Fighters, a support group for those suffering from the uterine disorder adenomyosis. About two weeks ago, I published my third book on the disorder! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but I am so happy that this book is finally finished so women can get a hold of it to help them deal with this disorder.

Today, I am going back to Matthew. We stopped in Chapter 23.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23-24

This specific passage reminds me of my spiritual journey regarding my political views. I feel like today, I see more clearly than I did 10 years ago. Let me explain.

Ten years ago, I was a strong Republican for mainly one reason – the abortion issue. I am pro-life, and that is the main reason why I was never a Democrat. I watched Fox News all the time and never watched CNN or MSNBC. However, since Trump took office, I saw a side of the Republican party that I did not like one bit. In the past year, I have seen a tremendous amount of hate coming from the right (Remember Charlottesville?). I didn’t recognize the Republican party that I had fully supported for the majority of my life.

I decided to watch CNN. I listened to some family members that were Democrats. I realized that Democrats were not “evil” as some on the right want us to believe. In fact, I saw much more compassion for others coming from the left than from the right. As I listened to the left-leaning media for the first time, I realized that this party showed much more mercy toward those who are suffering while those on the right seemed to be quite a bit more judgmental and lacking in mercy. I had to rethink my political views, and I realized that some of them had been wrong. I realized that neither party was perfect…that each party could actually learn from each other if they would just put their differences aside.

Jesus tells us in the above passage that by focusing on one issue, we will neglect other important issues. Many Republicans including some friends of mine are so laser focused on the abortion issue that they are blind to other important issues in the world today (such as compassion). Yes, they are pro-life, but what about after birth? The Republicans want to make cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. They have also made cuts to Obamacare. So they are pro-life as long as the baby is in utero, but once he/she is born, then they want to cut programs that may help those same children?? Is this truly pro-life? No. They sound pro-life until we start talking about money…then money becomes the number one priority. Remember, Jesus also told us “you cannot serve both God and money.”

Let’s not forget some of the other issues out there: the cancellation of DACA, not welcoming the stranger by building a border wall, Trump’s attacks against the Justice department, etc. Let’s look at part of that passage again:

“[you] have neglected the weightier matters of the law: JUSTICE AND MERCY AND FAITH.” Matthew 23:23

Let that sink in for a minute.

The lesson? By becoming laser focused on one issue (abortion), we are neglecting other  matters such as justice and mercy. Don’t let one issue blind you to the rest of God’s Word.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

False Prophets

Have you ever met someone who appears like a very Christian person, but as you get to know them, things aren’t quite as they seem?

I’ve come across quite a few people like this.  They love to preach to everyone else about Christianity, but then they talk behind other people’s backs, insulting everything they do.  They expect everyone else to follow the commandments, but then turn around and break those very commandments themselves.  The put others down for immoral behavior, yet they turn around and act in an immoral fashion.

These are the type of people who, through their actions, turn many people away from Christianity.  People can see the hypocrisy in their actions, and many are disgusted with their behavior.  They are referred quite commonly to the “holier than thou” group, and rightfully so.  I refer to these people as false prophets, and Jesus speaks to this many times in the Bible.

“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you than unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19-20

“Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15

“Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.  Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evil doers!'” Matthew 7:20-23

“You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28

Remember that old saying, “actions speak louder than words?”  Nowhere is it more important to remember this than in Christianity.  True Christians will not only speak of Jesus and the Bible, but they will actually live the Word and follow the commandments.  They will not make up excuses for their own immoral behavior or try to justify their non-Christian attitudes toward other people.  They will serve others willingly and be accepting of all people, showing love to everyone around them while being truthful, addressing non-Christian behavior in a compassionate way.

If you come across a “false prophet”, remember that Jesus himself said “Do not be deceived”.  The Bible also says to “guard your heart”, so be aware and protect yourself, asking God for a hedge of protection around you.  And most importantly, know that this kind of behavior is not true Christianity.  Also, know that there are many, many wonderful Christians that do live by the Word of God and truly believe it in their heart and soul.  They show great love, mercy and compassion for others, and you can recognize them by their actions.

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.  Leave them: they are blind guides.  If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15: 13-14.

“If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” Matthew 19:17

 

 

 

 

 

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