The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” – Mark 7:5-8
Every time I read this encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees; I am struck by His very direct rebuke. There is so much truth and it is so clearly delivered. We speak often of Christ’s kindness, but when it came to the religious hypocrisy of the Pharisees, He words usually drew blood.
It is human nature to create systems or organization. Where ambiguity exists, there will always be those who desire to bring clarity. But what if God desires ambiguity? What if freedom of direction is God’s intent? Division has occurred within our ranks largely due to multiple expressions of biblical theology. While there are obvious aberrations, there is also much “wiggle room.” Some see the diversity as sin, I see it as freedom. The sin is not in finding the freedom, it is in locking up all the others by calling them heretics.
We may not share the same traditions as others within the greater Body of Christ, but this does not allow for a hateful spirit. Let us share the same Christ. Grace, my friends, grace.
You can have all of your doctrines right, yet still not have the presence of God. – Leonard Ravenhill