Are we the new Pharisees?

I wrote this in response to a blog that I read giving ideas for revisions to allow for the drinking of “de-alcoholized wine.” These would’ve been revisions for the manual in the Church of the Nazarene. If you’re not Nazarene don’t think that this can’t apply to you. Many American Protestants hold on to the same beliefs about alcohol. This is really for all Christians who hold on to this stance.

This is all absolutely ridiculous. The stance held by the denomination (as well as other protestant denominations) is completely pharisaical. I’m sorry but as I read the Bible, the pedagogical nature of the law has been fulfilled in Christ and is no longer the way things operate. Protestant Christians, at least in America, have not caught on. We’re afraid people may sin so we make new laws that prohibit them from doing something that is not a sin.

I think if God wanted us to not drink alcoholic beverages He would have told us not to partake. More importantly if He didn’t want us to partake, then He most definitely would not have used it as an element for the sacrament, Eucharist. God is clearly okay with me drinking alcohol, why is the Church of the Nazarene (and so many other Protestant Denominations) against it? Aren’t we supposed to be on the same side as God? Instead we’re on the same side as the Pharisees. We tell people that they can’t be a member of our “holy club” if they partake of alcoholic beverages. We make them feel as if they can’t be part of God’s church, as if they’re not Christians or something. We make up our own laws, rules and regulations to try to “help” people live holy lives. Our intent may be good, but it is still wrong. Instead all we really do is alienate a world that can’t understand why we won’t let them in when our own Bible doesn’t condemn it and when our own God doesn’t have a problem with it.

I am reminded of the words of Jesus, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.”

How do we think we know better than God?

I would conclude that we are the new Pharisees. The only problem with that is that they even saw no harm in drinking alcohol.

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