We have all had at least one person in our lives that you cringe at the sight of them, their negativity and anger nearly capable of knocking you off your feet.
Some people find their life passion in pointing out all the wrong doings of others. I always shudder when these sort of people come my way or tweet/facebook a comment that is utterly appalling, especially when they do so in the name of Christ.
Jesus encountered a people group quite similar to such a description during his time on earth, they were the Pharisees. The trouble with the Pharisees was their religion. More specifically the traditions they had created as part of their religion. Previous to the ministry life of Christ, God's people were living off of a very basic set of laws found in the Old Testament. They were anxiously awaiting the Messiah and were held to strict laws of redemption that involved sacrificing animals and purifying themselves through the death of such sacrifice in order to restore themselves to a right relationship with God. The laws were already complicated enough as it was, and then the Pharisees came into the picture. And like any political power, they grew hungry for more authority and began to institute their own personal preferences and traditions as "laws". Some of my favorite verses in the New Testament are the comments Jesus makes to this specific group of "vipers" for their misuse of their power and their ill-followed traditional religiosity. You can read some of these confrontations in the book of Matthew in chapters 15 and 23.
Unfortunately even Christ's own rebukes have not prevented the 21st century Pharisee from rising up as all too prominant in the Christian community. And quite frankly, they get on my nerves. The amazing thing is that it is all too evident that the Pharisees we encounter today are just the next generation of religious bullies. Martin Luther was faced with similar trials and tribulations within the Catholic faith. Many within the Catholic Church were purposing themselves to create their own set of laws and rules. Their heretical declarations are what pushed Martin Luther to take a stand and is what motivated him to nail his 95 Theses to the door of the Catholic Church. He had reached his boiling point. He'd had enough.
That is where I rest today. I have had enough
Don't misunderstand my frustrations for a lack of Biblical clarity. My life for Christ compels me to share with a lost and dying world that there IS sin. I do not believe in a "relative" truth or "relative" right and wrong. Things are pretty clear in Scripure. I have no issue speaking with a brother or sister in Christ if I feel they are living in a sinful lifestyle and I stand firm to the principles found within in the Word. I am not suggesting that Christians effectively "shut up and sit down"... I'm merely calling into question the motives of some of these "Christians".
I have an interesting proposition.
A challenge for a new way of thinking.
Stay tuned. :)