Friday, September 27, 2002
Taking a Stand
In this column, I have accused many of compromising with the world. I would like to take time in today’s Newsletter to emphasize the need for true Pharisees to Take A Stand. Some have asked me exactly what I mean by “taking a stand.” Simply put, I mean that we should be known for our doctrinal and personal position on issues of spiritual significance.
Some people think that the true Pharisee is known by his actions. While actions may be an indication of an attempt to be a Pharisee, and they certainly are an indication of who is not a Pharisee, they are no guarantee of the genuineness of the Pharisee’s profession. True spirituality comes from within and need not manifest itself in any outward behavior. To judge someone by their behavior is to be carnal in our discernment.
A Pharisee should be known first of all for what he is against. We are against sins like murder, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, abortion and all of the lewdness and carnality that goes on in the world. We are against the appearance of evil whether it is in music, culture, literature or the popular media. We are against doctrinal error and people who fail to hold to the true Word of God by reading the wrong version of the Bible. We could go on and on with the list of things that we are against but that would be unbalanced without a list of things we are for.
We stand for Truth. We stand for Spirituality. We stand for the Word of God. We stand for Righteousness, Godliness, Holiness, Purity and all things honoring to our Savior. That is why we oppose all denominations that are not Pharisees because they stand for none of these things. They may claim to stand for the same things we stand for, but that is part of their deception. Who would follow a denomination that claims to be teaching lies?
Some would ask, “but what do you do that gives evidence of taking a stand?” First of all, let me say that a performance-based religion is totally misguided. We are not going to be judged by our works in heaven but by the condition of our hearts. Any attempt to lower true spirituality to something so crass as doing good works is teaching another salvation other than the one taught in the Bible. But beyond that, we preach. Taking a Stand for the Truth means that we proclaim the Word from the pulpits of our churches. We castigate and vilify the unrepentant, unholy and unworthy. We point people to the Truth. We are not so lowly as to get involved in a boycott, rally or march for a cause because we are too spiritual for such carnal, fleshly means. We proclaim the timeless Word of God. If that is not enough, then no additional effort on our part would ever suffice to make a difference.
Others argue that we only preach in our churches, so what good does it do to take a stand in front of those who already believe and practice as we do. There are any number of reasons including watching over the flock that God has entrusted to our care and protecting it from error and impurity. The other is that we could not possibly preach anywhere other than a Pharisee church lest we be perceived to endorse false religion. And finally, through the use of e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web, we are able to Take A Stand where anyone can read it.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV)
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