Friday, October 6, 2017

Indifferent Prayer and Empty Ceremony

God’s name, I think, is taken more times in vain in churches than anywhere else. The blasphemy in the sanctuary is worse than the blasphemy in the street. Empty ceremony, superficial worship, thoughtless praise, errant doctrine, love of error, indifferent prayer, phony ritual, these things abound.
Those alarming words come from John MacArthur’s sermon, “Scripture-Twisting Tradition.” In the message, John looks at a pivotal incident in the life of Christ.
Confronted by Israel’s religious leaders, the Lord exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees’ empty religious tradition, and the significant barrier it posed to cultivating a right relationship with Christ. In his sermon, John explains how Israel’s religion was corrupted and overrun with pious traditions that clouded the nature of God’s law. In many ways, rabbinical tradition had usurped and replaced God’s law as the final authority for life and godliness.