Luke 11 was the gospel reading in my Bible reading plan the other day. Starting at Luke 11:37 and through the end of the chapter is the story of a Pharisee who invited Jesus to his house for dinner. Jesus strolled in and sat down without performing the Pharisee hand washing ritual. The Pharisee was aghast; he wanted to know why Jesus didn’t do the ritual cleansing. Jesus then rebukes the Pharisees because they clean the outside of the dish and cup (referring to their outside bodies) but not the insides (referring to their hearts). Jesus then rebukes the Pharisees for tithing one-tenth of mint and herbs, but not performing justice and love for God. Jesus also rebuked the Pharisees for wanting the highest places in the synagogues and the praise of men. He called the Pharisees unmarked graves.
A lawyer then tells Jesus that He is rebuking them as well and Jesus tells him that the lawyers put burdens on the people that are hard to carry, but the lawyers don’t help the people. He then goes back to rebuking the Pharisees, telling them that they build monuments to the prophets that their fathers killed, thereby approving of them. He then rebukes the lawyers again, telling them that they took away the key of knowledge and they didn’t go in themselves, let alone help anyone else.
Jesus didn’t mince words when it came to the Pharisees and the scribes. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs elsewhere in the Gospels. Here are the folks that I think Jesus would rebuke if He were walking on the Earth today.
Woe to the TV pastors who prey upon the poor, who spend the money that the poor send to them on nice things like jets, mansions, etc. Woe to them because they tell the poor if they “plant a seed,” it will return to them one hundred fold. The TV pastors get richer and the poor get poorer.
Woe to the Catholic priests who sexually abuse children. Woe to the Catholic hierarchy, who don’t expel the abusive priests out of the church, but move them from parish to parish, and pay off the families who sue the church with the money collected from the parishioners.
Woe to the churches and denominations that embrace homosexuality, who don’t preach that homosexuality is a sin. Woe to those denominations that ordain gay ministers and LGBT ministers, which is against God’s Word. Woe to those pastors who marry gay couples, thereby giving them the blessing of the church, even though God is not blessing their unholy union.
Woe to those denominations that hate Israel and don’t pray for her, as Scripture tells us to do. Woe to those denominations that hate the Jewish people, for Jesus was Jewish (and so were most everyone in the Old Testament).
Woe to those churches that support abortion. Abortion is murder (thou shalt not kill), and it kills those who Jesus called precious.
Woe to those churches who corrupt worship by making it a Broadway production with lights and fog machines and loud instruments, and with songs that don’t even mention God and/or Jesus.
Woe to those “pastors” who don’t preach about sin, who preach about having “your best life now,” who are more like inspirational speakers than pastors.
Woe to those pastors who embrace New Age and/or occult teachings and mix them with Christianity. Woe to those pastors who mix Islam with Christianity (Christlam).
Woe to those pastors who don’t use the Bible as the basis for their sermons, but preach “pop psychology” sermons (“How to Effect Change in Your Life,” etc.), or use popular books as the basis for their sermons (The Purpose Driven Life).
Dear reader, examine the church you attend in light of the “woes” explained above. If you find you’re attending one of these churches, I implore you to leave that church and find one that doesn’t embrace any of these sins.
Thanks as always for reading! See you soon!