Beautiful Outlaw Chapter 15: Clearing away the Religious Fog
Excerpt from Participant’s Guide:
The way a person gets angry and what they get angry about is a real clue to who they really are.
So—what about Jesus? What really fries this gracious, humble, immensely patient man?
If you will simply read the Gospels without bias, you cannot come to any other conclusion but that religion is the enemy—or in the hands of the enemy. Every hostile encounter Jesus has is with very “churchy” people. This spirit is the great enemy of our life with God, and it is this spirit that Jesus warned his boys about when they were whispering in the boat about the bread: “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” and then he says it again, to make sure they are paying attention: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6, 11).
If you would know Jesus, love him, experience him, you must pay very careful attention to this warning.
Maybe it is more revealing to ask: Do you share Jesus’ anger at this religious stuff?
This is what infuriates Jesus, so it ought to be what infuriates us. What was the last piece of religious nonsense you were angry with?
There is Christianity, and then there is Christian culture. They are not the same. Loving the culture of church is not anywhere close to the same thing as loving Jesus.
How would you distinguish the two? Have you experienced them both?
Which do you prefer? Why?
The Pharisees loved their religious culture—the long prayers, the solemn garments, the honor bestowed upon them for being members of the clergy.
But they hated Jesus.