Monday, September 16, 2013

Sign #3 That You Might Be A Pharisee

Before you continue reading, check out Sign #1 and #2 first before you read today's.

We see from Matthew 23:16-22 that the third sign that you might be a pharisee is that you value money and prosperity over the things of God. In this "woe", Jesus calls them out on the fact that they were worried and focused more on the financial gain that came from the offerings than the sacrifice and worship of the offering. They were so focused on material gain that they could not see what they were losing - God.

Just recently we have started a Sunday night series at church through the book of Titus. It is interesting to me that one of the qualifications that Paul wrote to Titus about was that a pastor/shepherd was not to be focus on gaining riches and fame in a dishonest way. Now, Paul is not saying that they should not receive gain, but that they should not get it though dishonest means. Jesus pronounced his third woe on the Pharisees for just this reason. It is an issue that easily trip up anyone, but it seems especially so for the pastor/leader.

But as I thought about this woe, I am reminded of a quote I read last night from Andy Stanley's newest book Deep & Wide. In it, he made the following observation: The tragic truth is, most churches in the United States won't change until finances force them to. How many of our churches make spiritual decisions based on money and not ministry? Many churches know what, "Thus  saitheth the Lord," yet in reality, it is, "What saitheth the budget." 

If money is our primary motive in ministry, no matter which side we may be on, we might be a pharisee.

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