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Why Watch Pharisees
We Hold These Truths ^ | 12/25/01 | C.A. Carlson

Posted on 12/25/2001 10:35:40 AM PST by Wiley Sr

Why Watch Pharisees By C. E. Carlson

What better time than the birthday of Jesus Christ to examine the Pharisees, as He did. Jesus had much to say about this sect that had established control over spiritual life in Judea and was even able to manipulated the leaders of the occupying Roman Legion. The noun Pharisee occurs at least 87 times in the New Testament. They are invariably in conflict with Jesus. However, any use of this word has mostly been eliminated from the teaching of seminaries and pulpits of America's churches and the professing Christian media .

What is a Pharisee and WHY don't we hear about them any more? Webster defines Pharisee: "One of the members of a school or party among the ancient Jews noted for the strict formal observance of the rites and validity of traditions of the elders. Pharisee interpretation provided the standard of observation and belief for the great majority of the Jews from the 1st century A.D. Pharisaic: Hypocritical, self righteous and censorious of others" -- Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd edition, 1950.

Jesus confronted the Pharisees daily, as we believe all true followers of Christ should do. No longer an exclusive Jewish term, the pharisaic influence can be found in every church and synagogue in America, busily reshaping Christianity into its own image.

Every mention of "Pharisees" occurs in the New Testament, forming the center of conflict swirling around Jesus, His disciples and followers. The Pharisees stalked and persecuted them throughout their missions. Along with the 78 verses where they are mentioned by name, the Pharisees are also named by the pronouns "they" or "them" in many more verses. They are the object of Jesus' debates in several complete chapters of Matthew, John and Luke which provide accounts of the ongoing conflict and plot against his life.

The name Pharisee occurs 54 more times than the infamous name of Judas, and twenty times more often than the name of Pontius Pilot. It is without a doubt the most infamous name in the New Testament, second only to Satan. Jesus consistently denounced them as associates of Satan and his lies.

Yet the word "Pharisee" has been pointedly ignored and all but forgotten in modern Christendom. It may be the most avoided word found in the Bible. Many church pastors and most televangelists are capable of preaching the year through without ever mentioning the word Pharisee, except in passing over it like an extinct and irrelevant species. Bible study courses rarely mention who the Pharisees were, and why Jesus pronounced upon them so harshly. Could it be that any celebrity Christian who wants keep his TV contract knows that he must never suggest that the Pharisee's war on Jesus has anything at all to do with us, or that this anti-Christ sect may have survived to this day ?

The word "Pharisee" has not yet been removed from any Bibles we know of. Though we believe this too might soon be attempted. Most Bible commentaries and concordances avoid any serious treatment of who the Pharisees are and what they believe. One example is the concordance in the new, very popular Thompson Study Bible which is supposedly designed to help readers understand the scriptures. Amazingly it contains only one of the 78 sites about Pharisees found in Strongs, the accepted standard. The 1962 edition contained four of the 78. It appears that the publisher is progressively phasing the wordout of our Christian vocabulary.

Jesus denounced this most powerful and destructive faction of anti-Christianity as damned, calling them a "generation of vipers" and "sons of Satan." However, most study Bibles and courses omit all but a casual mention of the Pharisees.

The purpose of Pharisee Watch is to bring to light the ongoing influence of the Pharisees on our modern society and how they continue the attempt to control our lives. Jesus clearly shows us how they controlled Judea during His time. Needless to say we do not think Pharisees have gone away or they would not still be tampering with The Faith. Webster's definition spotlights Pharisaism as modern Judaism. This is proudly echoed by many rabbinical sources, who are quite arrogant of their station. They would move heaven and earth to discourage thousands of pastors and televangelists from teaching what Jesus has told us so clearly.

The granddaddy of all the Pharisee censors is the powerfully promoted Scofield study Bible, first printed in England in 1908, but sold in America. It contains hundred of notes about the "rapture in the last days" and the return of the ancient tribe of Israelites to the Holy land. The latest version of Scofield has even advanced "anti-Semitism" to the status of a "sin." Each of the four successive editions have further advanced the claim of the self-proclaimed Jews to the real estate known today as the State of Israel. However, Scofield hardly contains a note about the hundreds of verses recording Jesus' daily conflict and the plotof his death by the Pharisees.

The first mention of Pharisees occurs in Matthew 3:7 when they appear in number at the Jordan River where John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. John's encounter is vividly recorded in Mt. 3:7: "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" 3:8, "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." King James Edition online: (http://www.genesis.net.au/~bible/kjv/matthew/) Genesis Network

One early exchange between Christ and the Pharisees occurred in Matthew 12 where Jesus called them "an evil and adulterous generation"in a powerful exchange that fills most of the chapter.

Matthew 23 primarily highlights Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees. Verses 31-34 read: "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city" (King James version).

How can such a discourse be ignored during the entire careers of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Empe and dozens more like them? They have made a career of promoting Israel, regardless of the moral cost.

Luke 21 and John 8 contain more of the incessant confrontations of Jesus with the evil ant-Christ sect. We suggest every skeptical reader look up and read each of the 78 situations in Strongs containing the word "Pharisee." Ask your own pastor when he last preached on what Jesus meant. Every follower of Christ should ask himself, "Why is almost all mention of the most powerful and evil cult to appear in the New Testament avoided and shunned by Christian leaders today?"

If you agree with us, we ask you to help to give every follower of Christ an opportunity to learn about Pharisee Watch. (http://www.whtt.org/pharisee.htm) Toward the strait gate (Mth. 12:7) C. E. Carlson Directors and Advisors, We Hold These Truths

Listen to WHTT Internet Radio conference, anytime on our site. Learn why many professing Christians support war, repression and torture without even knowing why they do it. Read SHERRY'S WAR, free on our site, hard copies are available from WHTT. (http://www.whtt.org/pharisee.htm), a must for all pastors.

If you agree with us do not wait, volunteer to be a Cloudseeder. You can help from wherever you are with no cost but your time. We Hold These Truths (www.whtt.org) 4839 E. Greenway Road, #151 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 480 947 3329


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: christianlist; religion
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1 posted on 12/25/2001 10:35:40 AM PST by Wiley Sr (wileydrake@hotmail.com)
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To: Wiley Sr
I thought that the Pharisees were strict followers of the letter of the law without comprehending the spirit. They expected everyone to follow all of the minutiae instead of trying to know or understand God. If you have a moment maybe you could fill me in further.
2 posted on 12/25/2001 10:52:52 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Wiley Sr
This is definitely a subject which will draw fire and ire. That being said, I have long maintained that there are among us today direct descendants of those Pharisees who targeted Christ and the early Christians. They are not gone and they continue to persecute Christians and Christianity when they can get away with it. But on the other hand there are wise men like Rabbi Daniel Lapin who recognize the harm of pharisaic teachings and are fighting the good fight within their own congregation.
3 posted on 12/25/2001 11:00:08 AM PST by waxhaw
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To: Wiley Sr
There are Pharisees in every religion. They are the people who follow the letter of the Law, but ignore the spirit of the Law. They are the ones who memorize the Great Books by rote but have no understanding.

Yes, the Pharisees are still amoung us, they preach hatred and bigotry, they have a discernment problem....never knowing where to draw the line they force their opinions upon others. They are either too strict or too liberal, never seeming to find the middle ground that will allow a soul to florish. They are the ones spoken of in Mathew 23:

Woe to you, Pharisees and you other religious leaders. Hypocrites! For you won't let others enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and you won't go in yourselves. And you pretend to be holy, with all your long, public prayers in the streets, while you are evicting widows from their homes. Hyprcrites! Yes, woe upon you hypocrites. For you go to all lengths to make one convert and then turn him into twice the son of hell you are yourselves.

Interesting, isn't it?

4 posted on 12/25/2001 11:05:30 AM PST by McGavin999
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Libertarianize the GOP
>I thought that the Pharisees were strict followers of the letter of the law without comprehending the spirit. They expected everyone to follow all of the minutiae instead of trying to know or understand God.

Good summary.  Jesus said of them:  Mt 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

They were hypocrites, but the Lord said to do.  If there is a major error in today's religious leaders, it is that they promote false doctrines of easy believism and have stretched Grace like saranwrap over all sin and disobedience and people have been deceived into not obeying God.  There is a whole generation or two that has as a mainstay doctrine, "You can't tell me what to do!" like spoiled teenagers who never grew up.

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

6 posted on 12/25/2001 11:16:18 AM PST by 2sheep
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To: Wiley Sr
One thing is certain: Nobody will ever speak or write of the Pharisees in the first person. Always in the third person.
7 posted on 12/25/2001 11:19:11 AM PST by savedbygrace
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To: tex-oma
Great post. The drug warriors are the pharisees. The Nazi's were the pharisees. Anyone who believes that they can turn others into criminals by simply writing a law is a pharisee.
8 posted on 12/25/2001 11:29:53 AM PST by Demidog
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
Pharisees in the US? The Traditional politically correct and the new politically correct.

Both are noted for hypocrisy. That they are hypocrites does not mean that everything they preach is wrong. Some of what they preach is true. But their actions betray the truth. And thus the other half of what they preach is to spin a fog around their hypocrisy. Need examples?

My Roman Catholic church opposes abortion. The local church leaders focus on "peace, justice and non-violence". They claim to speak for the powerless who cannot speak for themselves. They denounce capital punishment for known guilty serial murderers. They denounce Bush and push Gore from the pulpit.

Yet these local church leaders never mention abortion, which is violence and injustice to the least powerful, most innocent members of our society. Roe v Wade did not say abortion was peaceful non-violence. Roe v Wade said that it was "justifiable homicide"...that the woman had a right to choose to commit this act of violence in the same way that people (used to) have the right to self-defense when self-defense is admittedly violent.

Lest pro-lifers be too comfortable in this exposure of the hypocrisy of "liberals", let it be known that many pro-lifers are just a hypocritical...albeit about some other inconsistent facet of their lives.

9 posted on 12/25/2001 11:31:13 AM PST by spintreebob
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To: tex-oma
P.S. Tell that Architect fellow that I pray for both of you and wish you a Merry Christmas.
10 posted on 12/25/2001 11:42:50 AM PST by Demidog
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: tex-oma
Thank you. Here's to ridding the pharisees from our lives.
12 posted on 12/25/2001 11:51:54 AM PST by Demidog
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
I thought that the Pharisees were strict followers of the letter of the law without comprehending the spirit. They expected everyone to follow all of the minutiae instead of trying to know or understand God. If you have a moment maybe you could fill me in further.

I believe YOU are correct. They worshiped the law and not the giver! This is not about Israel.

13 posted on 12/25/2001 12:05:05 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: 2sheep; Thinkin' Gal ;veronica;dennisw;TrueBeliever9; Prodigal Daughter; Zadokite;babylonian...
FYI
14 posted on 12/25/2001 12:06:01 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: Wiley Sr
Were all Pharisees hypocrites? Weren't Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus both Pharisees? Seems they were both 'good guys." The Talmud claims that there were seven classes of Pharisee and only one acted out of love.

Was it not the Sadducees that were mostly responsible for Christ's death? They were significant as part of the ruling Sanhedrin authority at the time and the major influence in the Sanhedrin. Caiaphas, the chief priest of the Sanhedrin was a Sadduccee.

"The polemical utterances in the Gospels...created the image of the Pharisees as religious hypocrites--an image from which only modern research has freed them." Encylopaedia Brittanica. So who do we believe in this matter?

15 posted on 12/25/2001 12:12:48 PM PST by Paulus Invictus
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To: RnMomof7; Libertarianize the GOP
This is not about Israel.
No, it isn't. Is someone trying to make it about Israel? I would hope not.

They expected everyone to follow all of the minutiae instead of trying to know or understand God.
Good analysis. They couldn't get God into their lives so why should anyone else?
So much out of context with the time and place and ongoing conversations and perceptions...
Pick and choose to form a picture out of line and out of character.

16 posted on 12/25/2001 12:22:04 PM PST by philman_36
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To: RnMomof7
One of the members of a school or party among the ancient Jews noted for the strict formal observance of the rites and validity of traditions of the elders. Pharisee interpretation provided the standard of observation and belief for the great majority of the Jews from the 1st century A.D.

The Pharisees were leaders and authorities of the organized religion that claimed the Bible (Old Testament only at that time) as its authority. The pharisees today are the leaders and authorities of those orgaized religions and denominations that claim the Bible is their authority generally known as Christian. Today, the religious leaders and authorities do not call themselves Pharisees, they call themselves priests, pastors, ministers, bishops, theologians, etc.

It was organized religion that demanded adherence to the traditions and teaching of earlier authorities, just as it does today. It was always the Pharisees that quoted scripture to back up their man-made laws, rituals, and practices, just as it is today. The Pharisees always claim they are God's authority on earth. If Christ should be born today, to live and walk among men, our organized religions would seek to kill him, just as it did before.

Ask any of these religious leaders why Jesus came. He may bable something about saving men, or saving men from sin. If they really know the Bible they may quote Paul, (1 Tim. 1:15) "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."

None will quote what Jesus Himself said His purpose for being born in the world was: John 18:37 "...Jesus answered, ... to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

Most today confuse the voice of some donominational authority, church leader, or the Pope for the voice of Jesus Christ.

Jesus never came to form an organized religion, which is always the enemy of truth.

Hank

17 posted on 12/25/2001 12:26:03 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: Wiley Sr
Matthew 16
1
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2
He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3
And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
5
And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
7
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
8
Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
9
Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
10
Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Luke 12

1
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
4
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Matthew 18

21
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

18 posted on 12/25/2001 12:27:24 PM PST by michigander
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To: Wiley Sr
From Kabbalah Under Examination:
The following comments are from Rabbi Lipman on the Web, from 5/6/01

Speaking of the Saducees, Pharisees, and Essenes in Judea “as early as 151 BCE” Lipman writes, “The Sadducees ... came primarily from ... priestly families ... involved in the sacrificial cult of the Second Temple. ... The Sadducees recognized the authority of the written Torah ... The Pharisees represented a NEW stream of Jewish thought. They maintained that, in ADDITION to the written Torah, God had handed down an ORAL Tradition ... They challenged the priests and maintained that the priests didn't know the correct laws because they DIDN'T STUDY THE ORAL TRADITION. ... THE PRIESTS IGNORED THE ORAL TORAH. ... The Essenes viewed both the Sadducees and the Pharisees as corruptors of Jewish law.”

I would just like to draw attention to the Pharisee claim of an “oral law” being “a new stream” of thought, circa 151 BCE, and that the priests of Israel “DIDN'T STUDY THE ORAL TRADITION” of the Pharisees, “THE PRIESTS IGNORED THE ORAL TORAH” of the Pharisees.

The Jewish historian Josephus says the same thing as Lipman. Josephus wrote in AD 77 “What I would now explain is this: the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many rituals by succession from their fathers which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that reason the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to accept those rituals to be obligatory which are in THE WRITTEN WORD, but are NOT TO OBSERVE what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers.” Josephus, Antiquities 13:10

The people of Israel, indeed even the PRIESTS of GOD'S Temple, were objecting 2,100 years ago to the "NEW" idea being pushed by the Pharisees, that the ORAL traditions of the Pharisee's and their own teachers, be elevated in rank and be made as binding as the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. The idea was denounced as preposterous. Josephus well spoke the mind of the priests, that the people of Israel were to hold only those things "obligatory which are in THE WRITTEN WORD, but are NOT TO OBSERVE" these later commentaries by the Pharisees and the teachers they were sitting under and following. And Rabbi Lipman well notes that the priests of Israel “DIDN'T STUDY THE ORAL TRADITION” of the Pharisees, “THE PRIESTS IGNORED THE" so-called "ORAL TORAH” of the Pharisees.

That is not some new outcry of modern times, but a voice that has been crying out to Jews for twenty or twenty-three centuries!

But this Website is not actually calling for that. This is not a forum calling for the rejection of the Talmud, the so-called "Oral" Torah. We point out these issues not for their own sake, but only to lend weight to our own suggestion, which is far more moderate. Our plea here is not for REJECTION of the Talmud, but simply for the appropriate SUBORDINATION of it. It does not belong on an equal level with THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, THE HEBREW BIBLE. One should not judge SCRIPTURE by the Talmud. The Word of GOD is not to be judged by the word of MAN. The Talmud is to be always judged by the SCRIPTURE.

That is the main point of this particular page. The Scriptures are superior to the Talmud, or any so-called "oral" tradition.


19 posted on 12/25/2001 12:45:12 PM PST by SauronOfMordor
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To: McGavin999
>>>Yes, the Pharisees are still amoung us, they preach hatred and bigotry, they have a discernment problem....

Jesus said, Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.  So obedience is involved in one's will (choice) and is because of LOVE not HATE.  I don't force my beliefs on anyone, rather I point them to Him and His Word which says to obey Him or take the consequences.  Those who do love HIM, obey Him.  Those who don't, won't and generally hate everyone else and try to crucify His messengers.

Pharisees don't have a discernment problem because they don't have discernment, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  He only gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him and not to those who don't.

Ac 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
 

>>>never knowing where to draw the line they force their opinions upon others. They are either too strict or too liberal, never seeming to find the middle ground that will allow a soul to florish.

The middle ground is that territory called "spewed out" or "sinking sand."  All through the Bible God calls people to be for him or against Him, hot or cold.

20 posted on 12/25/2001 12:46:33 PM PST by 2sheep
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To: philman_36
No, it isn't. Is someone trying to make it about Israel? I would hope not.

from the article

The latest version of Scofield has even advanced "anti-Semitism" to the status of a "sin." Each of the four successive editions have further advanced the claim of the self-proclaimed Jews to the real estate known today as the State of Israel. However, Scofield hardly contains a note about the hundreds of verses recording Jesus' daily conflict and the plot of his death by the Pharisees.

How can such a discourse be ignored during the entire careers of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Empe and dozens more like them? They have made a career of promoting Israel, regardless of the moral cost.

Sound like anti-Semitism to me!

BTW I do not endorse any of these men, but I question the true purpose of this article.

21 posted on 12/25/2001 12:48:18 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: Wiley Sr
bump
22 posted on 12/25/2001 2:46:08 PM PST by Fish out of Water
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Kevin Curry
How about this! A whole thread dedicated to you.
24 posted on 12/25/2001 2:51:32 PM PST by Eagle Eye
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: RnMomof7
I share your sentiment concerning the article.
27 posted on 12/25/2001 3:36:41 PM PST by rdb3
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To: Hank Kerchief
Wow! A kindred spirit! Thank you for speaking the truth.
28 posted on 12/25/2001 3:43:53 PM PST by Marie
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To: hogwaller
We must remember the argument that the Gospel writers were making. Each of the first three Gospel writers, and to some extent John, were writing, at least in part to each of the other Jewish sects and were trying to bring them along with their veiw of the world which was through Christ. Matthew in particular was willing to take the other sects in his and our religion to task in the debate.

There were a number of Jewish denominations around the time of Christ. Included in these were the Pharisees, the Sadesses (sp?), the Zealots, the Essenes, etc.

Many Biblical students believe that Christianity is another brance of Judiasm. In fact, much of what Christians believe appears to be very closely related to what the Essenes professed.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are probably Essene writings. Obviously Jewish students have some different views of the import of those scrolls than do Christian writers, but as I understand it, there is little difference in litteral translation, but some moderately significant difference in emphisis between the Jewish and the Christian translations.

As some guy (not me) has said, in about 70 A.D. several Jewish sects fled Jerusalem after its fall. One of those sects were or became the Christians.

While Christians may be 6th cousins, thrice removed, to Islam through Ismael, we are siblings (or at least first cousins) of Jews. I believe (and hope) that Christians have a wider, shorter road to Heaven than do Jews, but that Jews, who have chosen to live by the old, tougher rules, are not ipso facto precluded from making it to Heaven.

Christ's major argument with the Pharisees is that they paid too much attention to the letter of the law and ignored the spirit of the law.

Chapter 15 of Matthew provides in part, "Just then a Canannite woman from that region came out and started shouting, 'Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.' But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, 'Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.' He answered, 'I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' But she came and knelt before him saying, 'Lord, help me.' He answered, 'It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.' She said, 'Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table.' Then Jesus answered her, 'Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.' And her daughter was healed instantly."

At least early in his preaching, Christ was not positively disposed to the Gentiles. As far as I can determine, Christ lost this arugment with this Gentile woman and it is the only arugment he ever lost. I am certin that there are others who disagree with my assessment of the situation.

As I recall, Christ had some significant arguments with the Pharisees and with most other religous "leaders" of the day, but the had some significant agreements with them also. For instance, according to Luke, Christ stayed behind in Jerusalem to discuss theological issues of the day with the then powers that were in the Temple while his mother and Joseph headed home. His take on the then religous Powers that Be (or were) seemed to be a reasonably friendly.

The long and the short of it to me is that Christ did not have much truck with slavishly following any fixed set of religous rules when that action did not promote the world as God saw fit, but that Christ had some small sympathy (but not a lot) with those who tried to do right, took some pains to figure out what God wanted to be done, but at the end of the day made an honest mistake. Of course, at the very best, each of us is going to be called upon to make judgment calls.

My take on the New Testament is that so long as we believe and make a reasonable effort to do right and use some reasonable judgment in that direction, Christ's suffered and died for us and that we will be ok at the last call. On the other hand, if we refuse to believe, or if we pay lip service to our belief and make no effort to do right, or if we insist on justifying all that we do, no matter what Christ has said, we may have some trouble later on.

Irrespective of my rantings, I hope all you Freepers have a Happy Christmas.

29 posted on 12/25/2001 5:02:54 PM PST by Tom D.
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To: *Christian_List; *Religion; Bibchr
bump
30 posted on 12/25/2001 5:20:44 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: Wiley Sr
At first reading, my take is the author is leading us down a path to convince us that modern-day Jews are our Pharisees. I don't buy that.

I believe Jesus (Happy Birthday to Him!) was condemning not any particular group that was racially or tribally defined, but rather a group as defined by those particular individuals who were hypocrites and considered themselves to be quasi-rulers who were above the common people.

MM

31 posted on 12/25/2001 5:27:41 PM PST by MississippiMan
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To: Tom D.
As I recall, Christ had some significant arguments with the Pharisees and with most other religous "leaders" of the day, but the had some significant agreements with them also.

Jesus Christ met each person at the point of their need. Pharisees were called to task for lacking humility, a rich young ruler was called to surrender his wealth to make room in his soul for God, His own disciples were chastised for lacking faith, and a brash Christian-hating zealot named Saul was called to surrender his whole life to glorify God.

What Jesus Christ never did was relax the law to allow people to feel comfortable wallowing in their favorite sins. He fulfilled the requirements of the law and gave all mankind a means of escaping the penalty--but strictly on His terms, never theirs.

Any man who believes he has found a Pharisee should look first in the mirror of the Word of God and stand humbled.

32 posted on 12/25/2001 5:35:01 PM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: 2sheep
Ah, I see, so you agree with the Islamic fundamentalists and your brand of Christianity is that it must be harsh and condemning.

Too harsh would be unbending, unforgiving. Too liberal would be....anything goes, if it feels good, do it. Christianity, according to the word of God is, if your brother errs and asks forgiveness, you have a duty to forgive. You also have a duty to stand up for what is right and accept responsibility. That, my friend, is the middle between the two extremes noted above.

33 posted on 12/25/2001 5:47:17 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Robert-J
Wonder who this might relate to?
34 posted on 12/25/2001 8:03:10 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
You have got a major problem. I was not involved in this discussion, yet you post this obnoxious comment to me.

You are angry because I condemned the actions of a group of anti-Christian ultra-orthodox Jews for burning a copy of the New Testament. You made a noxious comparison between the New Testament and the communist manifesto. I called you on this.

I have reported your comment to the moderators of this forum.

35 posted on 12/25/2001 8:10:58 PM PST by Robert-J
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
Also, I asked you not to send me any private emails. Yet, you did anyway. I have also reported this to the moderators.
36 posted on 12/25/2001 8:15:48 PM PST by Robert-J
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To: Wiley Sr
It has always been my opinion that the New Testament has the Pharisees and the Sadduccees confused, in fact reversed. The Sadduccees were the Priests of the Temple and the members of the Sandhedrin. They were the religious "establishment" of the time.

The Pharisees were the members of the the rabbinical schools of the time who engaged in the discussions, expansions and commentaries on the Old Testament that eventually were included in the Talmud. They were the progentors of what became the synagogue religion of the Jews after the destruction of the second Temple.

The Pharisees were far more likely to be sympathetic to Jesus' critical discussion of the rigid "Temple Judaism" because that is exactly what they were doing. Many of the sermons and sayings of Jesus were almost identical to those of the best of the Pharisee rabbis.

37 posted on 12/25/2001 8:55:25 PM PST by Magician
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To: Robert-J
You made a noxious comparison between the New Testament and the communist manifesto.

Find any such comment that I made anyplace on this forum. You won’t find it. Your problem as anyone who wants to check your record can see is an intense an irrational dislike for libertarians.

38 posted on 12/25/2001 9:09:46 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
I've noticed that many libertarians cannot take criticism. My criticism of your post was proper and fitting. I am reporting your violation of the rules of this forum in that you have tried to carry a flame war from thread to thread.
39 posted on 12/25/2001 9:22:46 PM PST by Robert-J
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To: Robert-J
You are not going to report anything because you don’t want the record to be analyzed.
40 posted on 12/25/2001 9:29:42 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Wiley Sr
News from the Front #60:

Christmas Speech:  The Scribes and the Pharisees of Oregon

This is a speech given at December 6, 2001 Christmas Dinner of the Yamhill County Women in Agriculture.  To put it in context, before the speech the audience was shown videotaped interviews documenting the devastation suffered by the farmers:

Seeing that this is a Christmas dinner, I must apologize because my remarks are not really going to fit the season, because the subject matter, fraud and corruption in salmon recovery, doesn't really fill anyone with happiness and joy.  So I thought I would take another approach, and make a little effort to put the Christ back in Christmas, so to speak, and draw some parallels between the evils that He preached about and the evils that Oregon agriculture faces today.  For I think it only a slight exaggeration to say that our modern "scribes and Pharisees" are, to steal a phrase from that great defender of agriculture, William Jennings Bryan, well down the road to crucifying agriculture on the cross of Environmentalism.  

In particular, I want to make the case that the "scribes and the Pharisees" of Jesus' day represented the same sort of evil that the environmentalists do today.  I do not mean people who want to take care of the environment as part of the wise use of natural resources.  I mean people for whom protection of the environment their religion, a religion where the ends always justify the means, because the world is about to end, and only they can save us.

The Great Fraud in the Klamath Basin

Our first text is Matthew 23:4, wherein Jesus said:  "they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."  This is natural resource policy in the Klamath Basin.  Now we've just watched the farmers and others testify to their suffering, and even though the Bush Administration could have granted these folks an exemption from the Endangered Species Act, the Administration would not lift "one of their fingers".   Remember the widow Brown from the tape?  It's just like Jesus preached:  "ye devour widows' houses" (Matthew 23:14).

Before I figured out that evil was involved, I used to think of the High Priests of Environmentalism like the Wizard of Oz.  Out would come great pronouncements about salmon recovery, but if we ask any questions, it's "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain".  Here in Oregon, a federal judge recently pulled back that curtain and said wait a minute, these endangered salmon listings are illegal.  You can't just separate out the hatchery fish, when their parents are wild and their children are wild, and pretend like they are some different species.  

So we now know that nearly every salmon listing in the Pacific Northwest is bogus.  These fish are not like whooping cranes or California condors or white tigers.  There is no significant chance at all that the salmon are going extinct.  We have the largest salmon runs ever measured this year.  What's the response of the scribes and the Pharisees?  Let us study this matter for a few more years, while we continue to violate the law every day.

But down in the Klamath Basin, most of the water that would have been used for irrigation is released to meet "minimum flows" for coho salmon.  Where did these "minimum flows" come from?  One of the scribes and the Pharisees, a man named Hardy, simply made them up.  There are piles and piles of studies before 1995 where people looked at the condition of coho in the Klamath River, and no one ever even suggested that more water needed to be released from the Klamath Project.  The fish aren't anywhere near the Project, they're on the other side of an impassable dam, they don't spawn in the mainstem river, etc., etc., etc. 

But that didn't stop Hardy.  He declared that the coho needed more water than there was in the Klamath River in seven years out of ten.  And so it became an article of faith for the High Priests and their gullible followers.  There is not enough water in the Klamath Basin in seven out of ten years.  We have to have more "balance", and "sustainability", etc., etc., etc.

What about the suckers?  Another fraud.  Let's remember that the natural state of this area is a stinking swamp.  Back in 1840 when the explorer Fremont came through, he reported he wouldn't even let his horses drink from the water because it was so fetid.  It's a beautiful lake and fields now.

But back in 1988, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made up a bunch of lies about suckers.  One species was so scarce we couldn't even find any.  There were only a few of the other species.  They hadn't spawned in 18 years.  

And after they listed them, of course they got a bunch of money to study the problem, and they went out, and lo and behold, there were suckers everywhere.  Sometimes the water gets too much algae in it, and tens of thousands of them die, but that's not a problem, because suckers were engineered to survive in fetid swamps.  But all last summer, we had to keep Upper Klamath Lake full to the brim because otherwise there might not be enough water for suckers.  

Some people call the Democrats the Evil Party and the Republicans the Stupid Party.  Many Democrats don't think there is anything wrong with the Endangered Species Act -- after all, it gets rid of those rural Republicans.  And most Republicans just want to improve it.  "Let's insist upon good science, and require peer review", they say.  And that is stupid, because the real endangered species in the Pacific Northwest is good science (and farmers).  

Why?  First, most of the science is funded by the government, and scientific results always support greater government control.  Second, the very institutions of science are all rotten.  Let's use the Klamath Basin as an example.  Greg Walden has called over and over again for "peer review" of the Klamath decisions.  Well, they finally brought in the "good science" peer reviewers, and guess what?  They are, for the most part, eco-nuts and political activists.  Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, their beliefs are exposed, let me read you what one of them wrote:

". . . in the Pacific Northwest, keeping a few loggers employed for a few years (until the trees run out) or keeping a few cow grazing along unfenced streams is regarded as worth sacrificing entire fish populations that can support future generations."

Think about how nuts this guy really is -- trees are going to "run out".  And think about what distain he has for us:  all us Northwesterners are a bunch of hicks who want to exterminate whole species for a few loggers or a few cows.  That's who the Bush Administration has tapped for "good science".  

These sorts of people are just like the scribes and the Pharisees.  Consider Matthew 23:24, where Jesus said :  "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."  Doesn't this describe the High Priests of the environmental movement perfectly?

Think about it.  They are "blind guides", because they have no idea what sort of adjustments to human activities really do improve salmon survival.  First they tell us to pull all the logs out of the rivers.  Then they tell us to put them back in.  First they tell us that we can't have fertilizer in the rivers, now they're dropping dead fish in the water from helicopters.  If anything is a religious ritual, that sure is.  Maybe if we rain salmon down from the sky, there will be many salmon. 

And they "strain at gnats and swallow camels".  A landowner can't build a dock in rivers with listed fish, but the City of Portland can dump hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Willamette.  Joe Six-Pack will pay a huge fine for holding onto a wild salmon he catches, while the gillnetters and their ilk conduct a huge, unregulated cash-based trade in wild salmon.  Pacific Northwest salmon are the only endangered species you can enjoy for fifty cents a pound.

By the way, you know what the latest outrage is down in the Klamath Basin?  Well, after the Bureau demonstrated that it had gone beserk, Oregon's most prominent representative of the Stupid Party spearheaded a law to give still more authority to the Bureau, this time to go and do "feasibility studies" about identifying additional water sources.  And the Bureau turned around and said aha, now we've got millions of dollars to buy groundwater to fill up the wildlife refuge we drained dry.  And nearly 200 wells have gone dry down there.  

 The Assassination of Measure 7

Enough of that, let's find another Biblical parallel.  In Matthew 23:23, Jesus says that the scribes and the Pharisees "pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith".  I take this to mean that the scribes and the Pharisees would follow little rituals, but abuse their power and authority.  That's pretty much what the Kitzhaber Administration has been all about.

It says right in the Constitution of the State of Oregon, Article 1, Section 1, that " all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper".   Last November 7, the people declared that they were sick and tired of having the State of Oregon steal their property by passing regulations taking it away, piece by piece, and so they passed Measure 7.

Now Governor Kitzhaber is sworn to uphold the law, which included Measure 7 once passed.  And it was his job, along with the Attorney General, to defend Measure 7 from any lawsuits that the losers might file.  So what happened?  Government Kitzhaber and his lawyers and the environmentalists sat down with the plaintiffs' attorney and planned out how the State of Oregon could lose the lawsuit.  It was a 2 1/2 hour meeting, and they even picked the Marion County judge to hear the case.  And then the plaintiffs' attorney went home and prepared his lawsuit, and then the Deputy Attorney General went into Court and told the Judge, in substance, to go ahead and enter an injunction against Measure 7 because he was going to lose the case.  

So they paid the "tithe of mint and anise and cumin"; they went to Court and put on a little ritual for the public.  I look at this, and I see a gross betrayal of the public trust, and a criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of property-holding Oregonians.  And if we had prosecutors who weren't wimps, they'd issue criminal indictments for this sort of crookness.  But here, in the People's Republic of Oregon, you won't even read about this in the newspapers, only on the Internet.  Because the Commies are firmly in control in Oregon, and to the Commies, the State has to be able to steal private property without paying for it; that's what Communism is all about.  To me it's like  Matthew 23:27:  the shiny new buildings down in Salem are "like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."  

By the way, Governor Kitzhaber appointed the Deputy Attorney General who threw the case to the Court of Appeals, where he now sits.  And the only reason we found out about this at all is because afterwards, the plaintiffs' attorney showed up with his hand out to be paid by the taxpayers for his great victory, and his timesheets show the meeting.  And then Oregonians in Action managed to get ahold of the notes of the meeting, which told the whole sordid story.

Land Management and Enviro-Hypocrisy

Let us turn to another text.  Consider Matthew 23:13, where Jesus said:  "woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."  Isn't that a good analogy for public land management policies in the Pacific Northwest?  The wild places are the Kingdom of Heaven for the High Priests of Environmentalism, yet most of them never visit them, they merely close them off so no one can see them.

These people are taking over virtually every important public office in Oregon.  Two weeks ago, a man named Roy Elicker was promoted to Deputy Director for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.  A friend of mine named Holly Swanson has a tape of a speech he gave at the University of Oregon ten years ago, when he was a lawyer working for the National Wildlife Federation.  Listen to what he said:

"What everyone likes is the Big victory, you load them cattle trucks for the last time and they go driving off into the sunset and never come back. But you can win a lot more victories than that ultimate one by making . . .  making it so expensive [for the rancher] in his operation and by making so many changes for him to continue to run his cattle on the public lands that he goes broke... he can't do it . . .The ultimate picture is of course, the last cattle truck driving off into the sunset, but that's not how you win. How you win is one at a time, one at a time, he goes out of business, he dies, you wait him out, but you win."

And now this guy is second in command at ODFW, so he can achieve his big victory.  But you won't read about him in any newspapers.  Unless you turn off your television, put down your newspapers, and get on your PC, you can't find out the truth about anything anymore.  It's all lies. 

Recognizing and Confronting Evil

Now Jesus recognized evil when he saw it, and he knew the scribes and the Pharisees were evil.  His words don't leave much doubt:  "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"   And the worst thing about the scribes and the Pharisees is that they pretended to be virtuous, and even believed themselves to be virtuous, just like the environmentalists.  

And things are worse than back in the times of Jesus, because these scribes and Pharisees don't just control the new State Religion of Environmentalism, they control every arm of the State itself.   You want to buy a house?   Good luck affording one; we have to concentrate all the people inside the Urban Growth Boundary, but we have to set aside the undeveloped land inside the Urban Growth Boundary for fish.  You have a good job in heavy industry?  The Dark Forces have stopped anyone from building power plants for a long time, because they want to supply the power by closing down electricity-dependent industries, which are now falling like flies.  You want to grow food?  But that takes water, and we can't use water because the fish need it.  And so on, and so on.  

We watched the failure of central economic planning and the collapse of Communism.  We used to recognize the evils of Communism.  And  now the same Commie philosophy is behind central economic planning for the environment.  But we don't seem to recognize the evil.  In a way, the very failure of Commie planning -- economic decline -- is deemed a great success.   We stopped development, so the plan worked, they say.

And who is fighting this evil?  Almost no one.  Oregonians in Action is putting up a bit of a fight, but where is your Farm Bureau?  In bed with 1000 Friends of Oregon.  Where are your Granges?  Asleep or running square dances.  [Ed. Note:  I stand corrected by the Grange]

And what on earth are your legislators?  Every year, the State of Oregon forces me to pay $2,000 license fee and sends me a monthly magazine called the "Oregon State Bar Bulletin".  And when I opened up the August/September issue this year, the first article was entitled "Kumbaya at the Capitol:  A review of the 2001 Legislative Session".  And the first sentence was:  "The 2001 legislative session was one marked by a spirit of cooperation."  

My question is, why are we cooperating with evil at all?  Here's the Biblical perspective on that (2 Corinthians 6:18):  "what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"  Now I don't mean to imply that all of your leaders are evil. As a very great woman philosopher once wrote:

"The truly and deliberately evil men are a very small minority; it is the appeaser who unleashes them on mankind; it is the appeaser's intellectual abdication that invites them to take over. When a culture's dominant trend is geared to irrationality, the thugs win over the appeasers. When intellectual leaders fail to foster the best in the mixed, unformed, vacillating character of people at large, the thugs are sure to bring out the worst. When the ablest men turn into cowards, the average men turn into brutes."

I don't know of a single member of the Legislature who isn't some sort of appeaser.  Some of them are good people, even righteous people.  But, as Proverbs 2:21 tells us, "[a] righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."  

Join the Salmon Revolution

What's worse is that the Dark Forces haven't just taken over natural resource management in Oregon; they've infiltrated every institution in this country that shapes our future.  We have lost control of our government agencies, our courts, our schools, all because we don't care enough to do anything about it.  

I mean really, aren't you just a little ashamed to live in the People's Republic of Oregon -- the only state where three major cities won't even interview aliens to protect us from terrorists because they are afraid of being insensitive to illegal aliens?  Did anyone read Dave Reinhard's column in the Oregonian this morning?  If White Supremacists kill someone, the Portland police can question every skinhead in sight.  If abortion extremists blow up a clinic, we can question every abortion activist in sight.  But if terrorists blow up the World Trade Center and kill thousands of people, we've got to be very careful to protect the civil rights of illegal aliens.

Every generation has a responsibility to pass along civilization to the next generation.  We are always just one generation away from the Dark Ages.  And in every generation, Dark Forces are trying to dismantle the ideals that made this a great Nation.  The Dark Forces replace our freedom with petty rules.  The Dark Forces replace our unalienable rights with unreviewable  government powers.  The Dark Forces replace private property with what they call "the public interest" -- what they want.  The Dark Forces replace due process of law with raw political power.  And the Dark Forces replace the truth with the lies that build that power.    

Make no mistake about it, whether you know it or not, you are at war with these Dark Forces right now.  It's not just a war about salmon and agriculture; it's a war about culture and ideals and freedom.  Winston Churchill once said, "When great causes are on the move in the world, we find that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."  So it is to your spirits that I want to appeal.  You have a sacred duty to fight these Dark Forces, and pay forward the debt your ancestors paid with their blood, toil, sweat and tears.

How many of you are willing to work just a little harder in the New Year to elect people with common sense?  It doesn't matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans or whatever.  There are good people at the bottom of both parties.  

You've got to get people who are willing to call a spade a spade in every significant public office to start winning this war.  You've got to get people who the newspapers will call extremists in office, to wage war with the extremists that have taken over the bureaucracies.  There is no other way.  

We can win this war, which I call the Salmon Revolution.  We can make the rural Northwest a beacon of light no matter how far the Dark Forces advance in the great corrupt cities.  We can adopt the same political and organizational tactics of the Leftists, and regain control of the State of Oregon.  This Christmas, your efforts are the gift I hope for most.  Thank you.

© James Buchal, December 6, 2001

41 posted on 12/25/2001 9:33:01 PM PST by Iconoclast2
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To: Iconoclast2
bttt
42 posted on 12/25/2001 9:42:05 PM PST by Betty Jane
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: Libertarianize the GOP
You are not going to report anything because you don’t want the record to be analyzed.

I have already reported you.

47 posted on 12/25/2001 9:49:35 PM PST by Robert-J
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To: RnMomof7
I believe YOU are correct. They worshiped the law and not the giver! This is not about Israel.

I believe You are correct too! This is not about Israel, it is about the state of the heart of the individual.
Those Jesus spoke of happened to be Jewish, but He was speaking to us all.

48 posted on 12/25/2001 9:52:07 PM PST by ladyinred
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Wiley Sr
Since I was dragged into this forum by "libertarianize the GOP", I think that I will add a comment.

First, I found an interesting discussion on the Pharisees and Sadducees at http://www.aristotle.net/~bhuie/pharsadd.htm. I don't know anything about the author, but I did find his essay to be informative.

Someone on this thread mistakenly said that Jesus was a Pharisee. The Pharisees were small in number. They were affluent individuals. Jesus came from Galilee, and was from the lower classes.

Jesus and the Pharisees held many of the same views. Some Pharisees were sympathetic to Jesus such as Joseph of Arimathea (sp?) and Nicodemis. However, Jesus' primary emphasis was on the love and compassion of God. Those Pharisees with whom Jesus was in conflict, placed a primary emphasis on maintaining personal holiness, and were severely judgemental towards the "sinner" who did not comply. While Jesus regarded many of the same actions as sinful as did the Pharisees, His compassionate nature brought Him into conflict with those who were rigid and unyielding; especially those who trusted in their own personal righteousness rather than the mercy of God.

50 posted on 12/25/2001 10:10:50 PM PST by Robert-J
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