The Mustard Tree and Leaven parables as warnings for us today
A few weeks ago we began talking about Jesus speaking the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. This was one of the few parables he actually interpreted for his followers, and in that interpretation he revealed it was a prophecy about the difficult future of Christianity. He spoke of false Christians and an entire age when the true and false would grow together – outwardly indistinguishable from one another - until the "harvest" time. We traced some of the corrupting influences through the long history of the church and began to see how the gospel was treated (and mistreated) along the way. Jesus, after speaking the Wheat and the Tares Parable, spoke two other parables. We believe they further described the corrupted condition of Christianity. So, what do these other parables tell us? Are we in danger of being deceived? Is the gospel even intact here and now in our present world?
We can begin to get to the core of the issue by saying that although the Gospel itself has always remained intact and pure (though often hidden) the generally-accepted present representations of that Gospel are severely compromised. The fact that this compromise was spelled out in Scripture, specifically by Jesus himself in the three parables of Matthew 13, (the Wheat and Tares, the Mustard Tree and the Leavened Flour) makes it all the more dramatic - and in some ways all the more surprising. If we were to objectively look (and I know that being objective can at times be really difficult) at the way churches operate now and compare that to the way the “church” operated in New Testament times we would actually be horrified. Yup, I said horrified.
Let me voice one major difference that has caused me to be personally disturbed. Many churches and denominations of Christianity have made their church building and its contents into what I believe the Scriptures label as idols. Before going further, let me say that I have no problem with having a place to meet together to study, learn about and apply biblical Christian principles. My issue is making the building and its images, paintings and windows objects of worship. And don’t get me started on even having statues as part of all this! There is zero indication in Scripture that Christians should elevate “things” to such a level. There is massive indication in Scripture that idolatry in any form at any time and in any place is abhorrent to God. Because we live 2,000 years after Jesus walked this earth, our present brand of Christianity has over that time adopted pagan thinking and ritual, and most of us have no clue it even happened!
Check out our February 19, 2018 podcast, “Has the Gospel Been Corrupted?” Part 2 and see for yourself as we walk through Jesus’ own description of the corruptions that would plant themselves within Christianity. Follow along as we attempt to be objective (again, that can be a hard thing to do) and list out many of the stark differences between 21st century Christianity and 1st century Christianity. This information may very well change how you view your own Christian faith! Click here for Part I of "Has the Gospel Been Corrupted"?
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