PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (Part 1)

The Lord Jesus came to save His people. But many of His people had already sold out to their religious leaders. They did this in part because they were deathly afraid of them.

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Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. [John 12:42-43]

Christians more concerned about their church social credibility than serving the Lord Jesus express a faithless fearfulness. At the heart of their infidelity is a refusal to fully submit to the Lord and real discipleship. The origin of their fear is usually traced back to the people in charge. They are the ones who make the rules, one of which is submission to their authority. Yet they subject themselves to no effective accountability. The laity, on the other hand, has little or no authority in most churches and thus represents a lower class. The members thereof must submit to the leadership to be in good standing.

This is similar to a two-tiered justice system in which the elite are shielded from liability. If one is a member in good standing of the higher-ups club, one gets away with anything. If not, one is on one’s own and is vulnerable. And if such a one refuses to obey the Lord, one had better suck up to a substitute leadership group for his own protection and livelihood.

NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATIONS

In this regard, we often see the professional clergy, the upper class ruling over the lower class, projecting the same status. They create a ruling clique and defend it. They institute complex initiation inclusion protocols. They authorize unifying doctrinal statements. They stick together. They never deviate from the script. They go to bat for one another, which is one of the highly desired perks of the profession. This results in career advancement and security. They also protect one another from justice when that need is required. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Roman Catholic hierarchy protecting sinful priests, Protestant officials of most stripes doing the same for their respective ministers who stray into the same sins or others, or the bigwigs in Christian television who never reveal the underhanded goings on in that field of ministry. It’s a shame too, because many Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, and Christian television personalities do not engage in such secret sins.

But the sin just as big is refusing to reveal what would otherwise be the bigger sins. And those who engage in this practice do it for one reason only: Fear. They must protect themselves. They must protect the brand. They must protect the reputation of the enterprise. They must also protect the cash flow. I remember watching Christian television probably a couple decades back and there it was, once again, like so many times before. A Christian television personality caught in serious sin was right back on the air doing his thing. He had repented of his sin, you see. And he was way too valuable to leave off the air.

Remember, it is often the case that the most successful ministers are the greater money magnets. Rather than serve the living God and operate through the power of His Holy Spirit, they operate through the power of worldly wealth and unregenerate flesh, both of which attract demonic influence.

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:13-15][1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 2)

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 3)

PHARISEE CONTROL TACTICS: THE SPIRIT OF FEAR (PART 4)

Posted on March 12, 2020, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Nothing changes much, does it? In blogging through the book of John, the power and intimidation used by the Pharisees to keep their control of the people is so clear. They hated Jesus for several reasons, one of them being that He did not fear them, and often rebuked them in strong language. He revealed their hypocrisy and lack of belief.

    We don’t call them Pharisees here in America, but the principles are the same. Anyone who rocks the popular boat is going to find himself in trouble with those who consider themselves authorities, and who have been raised to a status of adulation by the vast crowds of people who have followed their leadership.

    Same old same old. Nothing new under the sun.

    Like

    • Yes, but still something that must be dealt with, and pretty much the same way the Lord had to deal with it. My book goes into detail on this subject.

      Many Christians simply do not understand the problem and wonder why I make such a big deal of it, but you have expressed it well. It is a matter of bondage, of not allowing the Lord’s people to develop and mature, and of keeping them in elementary school perpetually. I am a teacher. I want my students to graduate!

      The idea that one must stay under the tutelage of the masters forever is much like staying in the OT forever and never graduating to the New Covenant, or staying in the Gospels and never experiencing the new birth of Acts 2 and the higher graduate courses of the epistles. In order to be the best we can be we must do as the Lord taught and become fully developed spiritually mature disciples. If this ever happened like it did in the beginning, imagine how many more would be reached and saved from sin! And mature! It would be the devil’s greatest nightmare. I believe we are making progress but Christians are afraid.

      Thanks for your support, Linda. Part 2 very soon. Blessings.

      Like

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