The Filthy Hearts of the Religious Minded

There has been an ongoing battle that is centuries old between religious people who are willing to kill to maintain control, and those with an opposing view point. The things religious people say sound good to the unknowing, but underneath that lying tongue lies a heart that is blacker than a lump of coal. Never was this more clearly portrayed than in the 15th chapter of Matthew in verses 1-20. The disciples of Jesus were crossing a wheat field and while doing so they were picking heads of wheat and eating them because they were hungry. The religious Pharisee’s who always followed Jesus to find fault with Him, said to Him, “Why do your disciples transgress the traditions of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” This question seems innocent enough on the surface. For health reasons a person should wash their hands before they eat, but this was an extenuating circumstance. They weren’t at the local diner with a well just outside the door. They were in the middle of a wheat field and the men were hungry. In a situation like this good sense tells us hunger takes precedence over hand washing. I don’t know much about wheat fields in Israel, but in most wheat fields in America their isn’t any water in the fields for a person to use to wash their hands before they eat their lunch. Not to mention the fact that wheat fields are usually very dry and dusty places during the harvest season. And any water the farmer might have with them is used for drinking, not bathing. Their bathing is usually reserved for a more appropriate time when water is available. So the farmer foregoes the ritual of handwashing in the field before partaking of his lunch. Jesus, who is the Son of God by the way, saw the stupidity of the question and since He was very good at answering a question with a question to point out their hypocrisy, said to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradtion?” Ouch! A major confrontation is in the making.

The question Jesus asked was a direct attack on the heart of religion. Jesus didn’t start arguments, but He didn’t back off from one when those who were starting the argument were blindly following an erronious teaching and telling people God supported it. And in verse 7, Jesus said to them, “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying, These people draw near to me with their mouths, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as docrtines the commandments of men.” When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Then His diciples came and said to Him, “Do you know the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” But He answered and said, “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” The Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” So Jesus said, “Are you also without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with dirty hands does not defile a man.”

Religion overlooks the heart of God’s teachings and attempts to enforce the traditions of their faith. As in this story of the handwashing incident; the matter of handwashing was of more importance to the Pharisees than knowing that true defilement comes out of the heart (or spirit) of man. It is what people do that tells us what kind of a person we are dealing with. It is not what they say. The mouth will lie, but a person cannot do but what their spirit (heart) directs them to do. Jesus called the religious Pharisees, hypocrites because of their tradtions and proceeded to tell them the right way to please God, but they didn’t listen because they would have lost their power over the people; and religion can’t afford to let that happen. So instead of doing as God commands, they are willing to kill those who truthfully follow God. Religious people will do whatever is necessary to justify their sin in the eyes of men; not understanding that it is not men they have to please, but God who is not only their rewarder, but their judge. America is in a conflict right now with Muslim terrorist who are depicted by the Pharisees in the above story. Their desire is to force their ungodly traditions upon mankind by whatever means necessary, and until America realizes it is not what the terrorist say that defiles them, but what is coming out of their hearts and is put into the practice of murder and lying that makes them a dangerous people. At some point, God is going to deal with the Muslim terrorist just as He did with the Jews who had Jesus killed by the hands of the Romans because He confronted their religious practice. I find it ironic that the very people the Jews used to kill Jesus, is the same people God used to remove them from their homeland and destroy their beloved temple. He has on more than one occssion used the very thing His enemy used against Him to destroy those who oppose His commandments. Will He do the same with the Muslim terrorist? I think so. Every murder they have committed, they have done so in His name. God will not allow them to dishonor His name for long. So when their destruction comes, it will be swift and with finality. And I think their destruction will come by the same arm of destruction they use to disgrace His name. DThrash


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