Sep 09 2014
Tag: State of the Church — Sage @ 3:34 pm
Daily thoughts and upliftment for our journey through life
Sep 09 2014
September 9, 2014
Sep 05 2014
A group of Planned Parenthood supporters and so-called faith leaders are hosting a prayer rally today at the Ohio statehouse to entreat God’s blessing on the organization’s work, including the abortion of hundreds of thousands of children each year.
“Ohio faith leaders will culminate a week of prayer on issues that affect all Ohioans on Thursday. Join Planned Parenthood supporters and faith leaders from across Ohio at a Statehouse prayer rally,” a page on the Planned Parenthood Action website states.
The rally will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the state’s capital.
“Moral Mondays was started in North Carolina by Rev. William Barber, head of the state NAACP, to protest that state’s failure to enact the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and other policies that were ‘morally indefensible,’ including attacks on women’s rights. Recently, Rev. Barber put out a call to spread the movement to other states with a week of actions at the end of August,” the website continues. “This week of action provided an opportunity to focus on issues relating to civil rights and social and economic justice.”
It then includes a form for visitors to acknowledge their intention to attend, stating, “I am a person of faith and I understand how my religion calls on us to protect the health care, including reproductive health, for all Ohioans.”
But not everyone is supportive of the event.
“We are greatly concerned if anyone prays against protections for unborn children in our state,” Kate McCann, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life, told reporters. “We hope that the spirit of prayer will move them to join us in protecting the innocent, and we ask Ohio and the country to pray with us for Planned Parenthood and their change of hearts regarding the value of human life.”
Today’s rally is not the first of its kind. As previously reported, approximately 50 abortion supporters are stated to have joined in a prayer gathering thanking God for abortion at the Iowa State Capitol Building last September.
Des Moines abortion activist Midge Slater helmed the prayer, which she appeared to read from a written statement.
“We give thanks, O Lord, for the doctors both current and future who provide quality abortion care,” she said. “We pray for the 45 million American women who have had safe and legal abortions. May they stand tall and refuse shame.”
“We pray for our elected officials that they may always support a woman’s right to to make our own medical decisions,” Salter continued. “Today, we pray for better access to all forms of birth control. … We pray for increased financial support for low income women to access contraception, abortion and child care.”
Slater then began to ask God for an increase in abortion access overseas.
“Today, we pray for women in developing nations that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access to employment, education, birth control and abortion,” she entreated. “We give thanks for the strong women in our lives who have given us examples of good decision making.”
“Today, we pray for the families who have chosen; may they know the blessing of choice,” Slater declared. “We give thanks and celebrate that abortion is still safe and legal.”
Some were shocked by the content of the “prayer,” commenting that “Any person that would celebrate the slaughter of 45 million unborn children is mind boggling.”
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/September03/035.html#WXKB8WB5U5CZKi15.99
Aug 31 2014
Fenggang Yang is a sociology professor at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule. He believes that “China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon.” By his calculations, the number of believers in the People’s Republic of China will rise to 160 million by 2025 and 247 million by 2030. If so, the country would be home to more Christians than any nation on earth.
When I visited Beijing a few years ago, I was told that the rate of Christian growth is even higher than Professor Yang documents. By some measures, as many as 100,000 Chinese people come to Christ every day. Growth there is hard to document, given the large underground Christian movement in the country. Some observers believe that there are more followers of Jesus in China than members of the Chinese Communist party.
When missionaries were expelled from China in 1949, there were less than four million believers in the country. Many predicted the death of the church. In the decades since, the Christian movement has exploded in growth, defying all odds and persecution. Recent attacks on church buildings in China are the enemy’s latest response to the advance of God’s Kingdom in this ancient land.
What has led to China’s spiritual renaissance?
First, Christians in China have learned to depend fully and unconditionally on the power of God’s Spirit. When I visited Beijing, I was astonished by the passionate spiritual depth I encountered. In a culture where there is little cultural support and active government resistance, believers must turn to God. Mother Teresa was right: “You’ll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”
Second, Chinese Christians have paid the price of perseverance. They have weathered waves of persecution and opposition with steadfast resolve. Such commitment has deepened their community and their faith. Albert Schweitzer observed that “one who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” Albert Einstein believed that “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
How has God called you to engage your lost culture with his truth and love? The higher your calling, the harder you must climb to fulfill it. But Charles Spurgeon was right: “If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem to be against us, we do not believe him at all.”
Do you believe God today?
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/August29/295.html#heyF814APyokKJJO.99
Aug 22 2014
It’s something most Christian parents worry about: You send your kids off to college and when they come back, you find they’ve lost their faith. The prospect of this happening is why many parents nudge their kids towards Christian colleges, or at least schools with a strong Christian presence on campus.
But in many ways, the damage has been done long before our children set foot on campus. That’s the message from a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly.
My friend Larry Taunton of the Fixed Point Foundation set out to find out why so many young Christians lose their faith in college. He did this by employing a method I don’t recall being used before: He asked them.
The Fixed Point Foundation asked members of the Secular Students Associations on campuses around the nation to tell them about their “journey to unbelief.” Taunton was not only surprised by the level of response but, more importantly, about the stories he and his colleagues heard.
Instead of would-be Richard Dawkins’, the typical respondent was more like Phil, a student Taunton interviewed. Phil had grown up in church; he had even been the president of his youth group. What drove Phil away wasn’t the lure of secular materialism or even Christian moral teaching. And he was specifically upset when his church changed youth pastors.
Whereas his old youth pastor “knew the Bible” and made Phil “feel smart” about his faith even when he didn’t have all the answers, the new youth pastor taught less and played more.
Phil’s loss of faith coincided with his church’s attempt to ingratiate itself to him instead of challenging him. According to Taunton, Phil’s story “was on the whole typical of the stories we would hear from students across the country.”
These kids had attended church but “the mission and message of their churches was vague,” and manifested itself in offering “superficial answers to life’s difficult questions.” The ministers they respected were those “who took the Bible seriously,” not those who sought to entertain them or be their “buddy.”
Taunton also learned that, for many kids, their journey to unbelief was an emotional, not just an intellectual one.
Taunton’s findings are counter-intuitive. Much of what passes for youth ministry these days is driven by a morbid fear of boring our young charges. As a result, a lot of time is spent trying to devise ways to entertain them.
The rest of the time is spent worrying about whether the Christian message will turn kids off. But as Taunton found, young people, like the not-so-young, respect people with conviction—provided they know what they’re talking about.
Taunton talks about his experiences with the late Christopher Hitchens, who, in their debates, refrained from attacking him. When asked why, Hitchens replied, “Because you believe it.”
I don’t know what that says about Hitchens’ other Christian debate partners, but it is a potent reminder that playing down the truth claims of the Christian faith doesn’t work. People don’t believe those they don’t respect.
Here’s something that one of the students told Larry Taunton; he said, “Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven’t seen too much of that.”
Folks, that’s pretty sobering. This puts the ball in our court. Are we living lives that show our children that we actually believe what we say we believe? And here’s another question—do we actually believe it? I have to say, as a parent I’m taking this very seriously.
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/August20/205.html#21VKCc7tFtlIgJ22.99
Aug 22 2014
In a country known for quixotic public campaigns, China’s latest surely ranks among its most creative. The government will create a “Chinese Christian Theology” to guide the practice of Christianity in the country, the China Daily reported Thursday.
Although the government has yet to provide any details into what this new theology entails, its purpose is clear: Speaking to China Daily, Wang Zuo, director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, said, “The construction of Chinese Christian Theology should adapt to China’s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture.”
On the surface, it may seem strange that an officially atheist state would create a new theology. But the endeavor provides a glimpse into an increasingly religious country, and a government’s desire to deflect any potential challenge to its authority.
Since relaxing prohibitions on religious faith in 1982, the Chinese Communist Party now recognizes five official faiths: Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, Buddhism and Islam. Because much religious faith remains underground, it is difficult to establish the precise number of worshippers in China. But a 2007 survey estimated that 31 percent of the country’s population, a number exceeding 400 million people, practiced a religious faith of some kind. Each religion has an organized, government-sanctioned hierarchy that is headquartered in Beijing and under the direct supervision of the Chinese Communist Party.
Even with that structure in place, the government has occasionally felt the need to further exert its control over the country’s religious life. In recent years, this trend has intensified. In 2007, Beijing passed a law prohibiting Buddhists from reincarnation.
(The government has thus far not revealed whether there have been any violations.) In Tibet, government minders have replaced monks as supervisors of Buddhist temples throughout the region, reversing a long-standing policy.
In the far-western Xinjiang region, whose 9 million ethnic Uighurs practice a mild form of Sunni Islam, Beijing limits permission of Muslims to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, while in July China banned fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. And this month, in Karamay, the local government said residents wearing Islamic clothing, and men wearing long beards, could not legally board city buses.
China’s religious repression in Xinjiang and Tibet has a clear political purpose: Beijing regards both regions as separatist threats, and has invested large sums of money in cajoling Uighurs and Tibetans toward loyalty to the Communist Party. But Christians, who do not have a specific geographical base in China, also experience persecution. In Wenzhou, government officials in April abruptly shut down a popular church without explanation, while police tore down crosses from thousands of churches throughout the city.
China’s attempts to micromanage Christian practice in the country have done little to stem the religion’s popularity: By 2030, one influential pastor estimates, China will have nearly 250 million Christians. That would, at current projections, give the officially atheist country the world’s largest Christian population.
For now, the Chinese government appears to recognize it cannot return to the Maoist era, which largely suspended all religious life in the country. But the creation of a bespoke Chinese Christian theology is an attempt to co-opt China’s newfound devotion into an explicitly patriotic enterprise.
Still, in a country where Web searches for Jesus far outnumber those for President Xi Jinping, Beijing may have a major challenge on its hands.
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/August20/204.html#pvtvx5BkshMtGwLS.99
Aug 22 2014
August 22, 2014
“Children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung and crucified. Entire Christian and non-Muslim communities are being decimated by the radical Muslim group, ISIS.” These are the words from reporters out of Iraq. What is our obligation to those under fire from Islamic terrorists? Prayer is good, but not enough. Words of support are welcome, but not enough. What can one do when terrorists are not moved by our prayers or words of support for the hunted? Our religious obligation is to fight.
We fight because self-defense is a mandate from the Bible — the Torah, called by many the Old Testament. We fight to defend life. Because life is precious, the ultimate, we must defend it. The very definition of self-defense is permission to kill the one who is coming toward you to kill you. Self-defense is not simply our right to pray or support with words, but do whatever is needed to stay alive and protect our families.
Those pacifists who are willing to personally die and would rather be butchered so as not to kill their butchers are free to so choose. But no one is allowed to demand or suggest that someone else allow himself to be killed so as to spare the life of the one presently doing murder.
A war to defend and stop those coming to kill you is a moral war. It is called a Just War. And we defend not only ourselves, we defend others. The Bible, the Torah that is, says, “Do not stand idly by while the blood our brother is being spilled”. We also have permission to kill those coming to rape a woman. The Bible, Old Testament, tells us so in Exodus. It is our obligation.
We have recently heard from some religious leaders that “No war is ever acceptable”. In contrast to some in today’s Catholic hierarchy, the Catholic college I went to 40 years ago talked about the Just War. My Protestant clergy friends used to agree about the right to self–defense. I call it more than simply a right, like the right to assemble. Indeed, it is a religious obligation, precisely because we venerate the life of those created in the image of God. Innocent life, that is, not the terrorist while terrorizing and killing. He must be stopped.
Pope Francis says that “violence is never the answer to violence”. I disagree: the justified war is the answer to wanton, barbaric slaughter. It is a religious obligation to eradicate the fire of Evil. Well, at least in the Torah it is.
Sending a papal emissary to Iraq is a nice gesture, but a better gesture is to affirm to the world that it is morally appropriate to physically fight so as to save tens of thousands who will otherwise surely be killed. Tell the world to take up arms. Instill the world with moral confidence to stop the barbarism of the Crescent before more Christian communities are wiped off the face of the earth.
Religion cannot simply be about the next world. It has to care about living life in this world as well. It can’t simply be about lofty spiritual concepts, but a flesh and blood willingness to defend and fight for one’s right tolive. It can’t only be about salvation and the Kingdom Come, but defense of the living in His earthly Kingdom here.
Over a million Christians have been slaughtered by those doing so in the name of Islam in Africa alone. The Church has had a decade to condemn this, and do more than pray. But, up until last week it has been much too silent. Entire Christian communities have been decimated by Islam in the Middle East and parts of Asia; hundreds of women have been raped with glee by young men feeling entitled to do so because the women are “infidels”. Nothing much was said. I hardly remember any protests throughout the last years in front of the White House.
What good is it to boast that one’s hands are pure if such purity allows the bloody massacre of tens of thousands of Christian victims? Before worrying about the purity of one’s own soul, it is important to worry about how one cansave the life of his brothers and sisters. Suchpacifism may be a comfort to those who wish to be above criticism, doing so at the expense of saving the lives of others. Thank God, the Israelis are willing to fight, physically fight in self-defense against the Islamist Hamas, which wants to destroy them. The Torah does not celebrate pacifism, it values innocent life. Innocent life is a category above these ersatz, high-sounding platitudes suited for ivory chambers.
Religion is more than doing the nice things such as visiting the sick and healing the wounded. That’s Religion 101. Religion demands that we be a whole person, capable of the gut-wrenching actions in saving people, to begin with, from those who would make us wounded and sick. At times, God describes Himself as a “Man of War” to let us know that He expects us to physically defend ourselves and vanquish evil. This contrasts with President Obama who recently remarked regarding bombing ISIS that “We should not want a victor and a vanquished.” That type of moral relativism is anti-Biblical, will doom the entire Western civilization, and makes us glad Mr. Obama was not around when we had to fight the Nazis and Communists.
We hear very often from the religious community regarding the absolute need to protect the life in the womb, the life of the unborn. Well, how about protecting the life of the already born, the living?
Who will be the Christian religious leader who will boldly assert that it is a Christian principle, a religious obligation, to wage war to defend oneself from merciless attackers? How many more millions of Christians must die at the hands of Islam until a leader arises and says “Love is not only about loving your enemy, but loving your life aswell. Love demands that you physically fight for your children, your family and your friends. ”
I cannot believe that God demands from his devotees that they allow others to kill them. Actually, Martyrdom in battle is the best form of martyrdom for a Cause. Leaders should not make others feel morally guilty or spiritually deficient for physically defending their loved ones.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, a theologian, is author of Push Back and president of Caucus for America.
Aug 16 2014
by A.W. Tozer
The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better…
That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.
We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, or the world of sports, or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.
God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross.
Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him.
What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus?… He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die… The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.
To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul’s day to the present.
Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God’s approval.
Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.
-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic at the following website-
Aug 09 2014
Thousands of Assyrian families have lived in Iraq since before Jonah preached to Ninevah, and their communities embraced Christianity 2000 years ago. After the Muslim radicals of the Wahhabist “Islamic State” (IS), formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), overran Mosul in June, they took little pause before turning on the Christians of Iraq’s second largest city. The victims’ choices are few: convert to Islam, pay a cruel tax, leave their homes, or be killed. The few who tried to remain have already been pressured into abiding by the Wahhabist lifestyle, and according to Breitbart, the last of the Christians piled out of Mosul on Saturday.
“They took everything: the television, computer, money, gold. I had a chicken I wanted to take for food, but even that they did not let me take,” an elderly Christian man told the Kurdish newspaper Rudaw.
The IS invaders have slaughtered countless civilians, pillaged homes and torched ancient Assyrian churches without concern for their history or beauty, and the international community has hardly blinked. The Iraqi government has shown little power or will to fight off the IS, and the ancient Christian populations of the Middle East are being uprooted.
Tera Dahl, Executive Director of the Council on Global Security, interviewed refugees streaming from Mosul. “Several people I have spoken to in Iraq reported that members of IS speak foreign languages and are not from Iraq only,” Dahl wrote at Breitbart.com. “One person said an IS member was speaking an Afghan language and wearing Afghani clothing. Another person said they heard dialects from Pakistan, Libya, and even English.”
The problem isn’t confined to IS abuse. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to leave their homes in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, and there have been 61 attacks on churches across Iraq during the past 10 years. Islamic terrorist groups have plagued the new Iraqi government since its formation, and many of those escaping Mosul blamed the US government for abandoning the new country so early in its development.
For now, the Christians have found refuge among the Kurds. The Kurdistan Regional Government has opened its arms to the fleeing crowds, providing temporary housing and food. However, the Christians fear they will simply have to move again as the IS rages through the area.
The West Bank and Gaza
The problem isn’t even confined to Iraq. Christian communities throughout the Middle East face extinction due to brutal Islamist practices.
Historically, the West Bank towns of Ramallah and Bethlehem were primarily Christian. Ynet News reports that prior to the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Ramallah was 90% and Bethlehem was 80% Christian. Thousands of Muslims were moved in from refugee camps in the ensuing years, and Christians have been forced to either support the Muslims against Israel or face attacks and death. Christian shops and schools in the Gaza Strip were firebombed after Israel withdrew in 2005, and Christian communities in the Holy Land have been constantly harassed by Muslims.
All about Allah
While the violence from Gaza appears to be the result of Palestinian suffering, the true fight has always been about Islamic hatred of the Jews and Christians and any other religion that rejects Allah as God. Hamas is bombing Israel out of hatred for Jews. The Assyrian communities are being pillaged in the name of Islam. These are energized Muslim believers attempting to bring their lands into subjection to Allah, by force if necessary, and they don’t intend to stop when they reach Baghdad. Ultimately, they believe the whole world will bow to their god.
In 2009, Egyptian cleric Sheik Said Al-‘Afani called the Jews “snakes and vipers” on Al-Rahma TV, saying:
“Our hatred of them is purely on religious grounds, and not because of the pure, sacred land, which was blessed by Allah, or because of Gaza… Not only because of Gaza… not only because of Al-Aqsa and so on. We hate them, first and foremost, because of their enmity towards Allah, and because they slayed our prophets.”
Sheik Muhammad Abd Al-Salam agreed with him, matter-of-factly stating, “Let me clarify that it is our duty to hate them, as part of our faith. People have become confused about this. Some think that it is a territorial or a national issue, or that it has to do with the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the issue is much broader — it is a matter of faith.”
Even as Hamas refuses a cease-fire and a truce with the Jews, the IS will refuse mercy to anybody who does not bow to Allah. As one refugee warned Dahl, the IS won’t stop. “These jihadists will eventually go home to their countries, to Canada, England and the U.S.”
- Bethlehem’s last Christians?
— YNet News
- No End to Christian Suffering as Iraq Staggers in Turmoil
- After 2,000 Years, The Last Christian Is Forced To Leave Mosul
Why Muslims hate Israel?
Jul 03 2014
The United Church of Christ (UCC) bills itself as “the church where God is still speaking.” Apparently, God’s Word is falling on deaf ears of the leadership.
The UCC, which considers itself a mainline Protestant denomination—claiming over 1 million members and about 5,200 congregations in the U.S.—proudly announced it will serve as a major sponsor of the Gay Games. The UCC will now go down in Christian history as the first major denomination to sponsor the homosexual Olympics when the games roll into Cleveland, Ohio, in August.
I guess my jaw shouldn’t have dropped when I read the news, considering the UCC in April filed a gay marriage rights lawsuit in North Carolina. But not only did my jaw drop, I’m shaking my head. J. Bennett Guess, one of the UCC’s national officers and its first openly gay church executive, calls it a social justice issue and says the denomination prides itself on “being a bold voice for progressive Christianity.”
In case you aren’t familiar with what the term “progressive Christianity” really means, let’s take a moment to define it. Progressive Christianity has a strong focus on social justice and environmentalism. Progressive Christianity focuses on concepts like “collective salvation”—where entire cultures and societies, rather than just individuals with faith in Christ, are redeemed—and bends toward a Marxist economic philosophy. And Progressive Christianity does not subscribe to the biblical doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture.
That last line explains a lot. For example, it explains why the UCC was the first mainline denomination to affirm equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. It explains why the UCC was the first to ordain an openly gay man. And, overall, it explains why the UCC has fallen into the deception of sponsoring events that celebrate LGBT people instead of trying to love them to Christ.
But even denominations that don’t consider themselves part of the Progressive Christianity movement are falling into this deception. The Presbyterian Church (USA) last week voted to allow its ministers to perform gay weddings in states where it’s legal. On Tuesday, Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son’s gay wedding, was fully reinstated and the Moravians voted to ordain gay clergy. My research shows there’s a long and growing list of gay-affirming denominations, including the Affirming Pentecostal Church International.
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playing out right before our very eyes. It’s called the Great Apostasy and it’s well underway. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/July02/023.html#OczMhFRP8dOGWhTr.99
Jun 26 2014
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Saying, the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat.
All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say and do not.
1] Demand respect as teachers [v2].
2] Teach, but do not practice [v3].
3] Demand service, not give it [v4].
4] Seek praise of men [v5].
5] Parade their religion [v5].
6] Seek chief banquet places [v6].
7] Seek chief places in church [v6].
8] Glory in personal attention [v7].
9] Glory in titles [v7].
10] Rob men of truth and life [v13].
11] Reject truth and life [v13].
12] Take advantage of widows [v14].
13] Exhibit long prayers [v14].
14] Are zealous to win men to their sect, but not to God [v15].
15] Root and ground converts in hypocrisy, not in God [v15].
16] Profess to be the only guide in religion, but are blind to truth and practical
17] Propagate those parts of religion from which they receive most personal
Gain and honor [v16-22].
18] Strain at gnats and swallow camels; stress minor details and omit the
Fundamentals of religion [v23-24].
19] Glory in bodily cleanliness, but live in moral filth [v25-26].
20] Exhibit outward religion and self-righteousness and ignore inward
Holiness in life and conduct [v2, 7-28].
21] Pretend to be more righteous than their forefathers [v29-33].
Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible – Page 34