Digging in Deeper: Mark 7:8-9

“‘Abandoning the command of God, you hold on to human tradition.’ He also said to them, ‘You have a fine way of invalidating God’s command in order to set up your tradition!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We have an innate sense that we’re not enough on our own. We constantly seek out the authority of someone we deem higher than ourselves in order to give cover and justification to what we are doing. Today people tend to seek out the authority of a politician or a political movement to gain the justification they seek. In the past, God was the more likely target for such reaching. At the same time, however, we have an innate desire to be our own authority. We want to do what we want, when we want, how we want, and so on. What we want, though, doesn’t always accord with what we or the culture around us feels like we should do. We need that layer of external authority to give us cover. So, we take that authority, throw it over ourselves like a blanket, and keep doing what we want. The Pharisees were doing this and Jesus didn’t like it.

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Morning Musing: James 1:26-27

“If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself. Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

One of the trends over the last few years when it comes to self-identifying religious preference is for folks to say they are spiritual, but not religious. This has in some ways been a partner to the rise of the “nones.” Many folks from this media darling social group don’t want to identify themselves as associated with any particular religious group, but at the same time, they don’t want to give the impression that they are claiming to be atheists. So they’ll say, “I’m spiritual, not religious.” How should Jesus followers respond to this? 

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Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 2:17

“Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Religious sin is disgusting.  Are you with me?  There’s something about seeing people use religion as a means of committing some kind of sin that is particularly repulsive.  We may not be able to give precise wording to it, but something inside of us recoils with especial revulsion when we see it.  There’s just something rotten about it.  Do you know what?  God feels the same way. Read the rest…