Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is orthodox doctrine the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees? Part II; Read and Do vs. Be and Believe.

In the last post we looked at Jesus warning concerning the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We showed how their doctrine of scripture was a main part of the leaven. In this post we will look at the method of reacting to scripture. The Pharisees and the Sadducees had a *read and do* concept of obedience. On the other hand, Jesus, his followers, especially Paul taught a *be and believe* concept of obedience. The *read and do* construct brings about reformation in an individual and the *be and believe* facilitates transformation. However, in order for the *be and believe* construct to work; the *read and do* construct has to be completely eliminated.

The foundation of the *be and believe* construct is imputed righteousness. It is the result of the righteousness of God imputed to individuals based upon their trust in God. Being declared righteous is the all important ingredient in the *be* component of *be and believe.* It brings about “state of being” righteousness. It also allows one to truly love God. From this love of God comes the fertile ground for *be and believe* obedience.

Likewise, the *be and believe* obedience is brought about by relationship with God via Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is the definition of transformation; It all stems from faith and trust in God. Jesus desires to have intimate relationship with each of us. When one believes this and participates in the relationship with Jesus via the indwelling Holy Spirit or Spirit of Christ The closeness of the relationship blossoms and, the fertile ground for *be and believe* obedience is enhanced and transformation takes place.

Conversely, the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees in orthodox Christian doctrine has the believer locked into *read and do* obedience. It was never meant to be this way but this is the precise reason that the metaphor of leaven is so perfectly descriptive. Just like yeast permeates dough, the doctrine of *read and do* obedience has permeated Christian doctrine completely.

Certainly our common sense, the knowledge of good and evil that works in us tells us that *read and do* obedience is correct and that *be and believe* obedience is silly. Certainly we cannot just be and believe we think. There must be a read and do that we must perform. This is precisely the problem that Jesus came to overcome. He came to overcome our commons sense; The common sense that realizes that God could not possibly love or approve of us; The common sense that tells us of course we must *DO* something to be acceptable to God. Yes friend, the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is the common sense that has us improperly interpret scripture. It is the common sense that demands that reject the redemptive focus of Jesus and his followers and adopt the *read and do* method of Moses.


  1. I want to post an e-mail I received from a discussion list. I will allow the person to be anonymous... "Joe, what I have been seeing is that being precedes believing. Christianity
    teaches that in order to "be" we must first "believe". This teaching is the very
    heart of error from which all other errors find their basis. It puts man in the
    driver's seat and God in the backseat. The simple truth is that God initiated
    and completed redemption in the completed work of Christ for all of humanity
    without any human faith involved. It was a completed work before any human being
    believed in it. Every human being on the planet already is everything that God
    meant them to be, believing allows us to see what God has already done."

  2. Based on the above comment I changed the article from *believe and be* to *be and believe.*

  3. are you saying you believe in universal salvation for everyone?

  4. I personally do believe in universal reconciliation. Is it possible that some will not be reconciled and merely annihilated? I suppose it is. Is it possible that God has chosen some for salvation and some for damnation? Definitely not! Is it possible that some will not chose salvation? This takes the sovereignty away from God and makes mankind its own savior and I doubt that. Election is specific to God's choosing Israel to bring about the redeemer. It is not cut and dried but,the current orthodox doctrine of salvation is wanting.

  5. Commenting on your blog: I concur. But we still need to read in order to *be and believe*. The way to form a relationship is to get to know the person that you want to form the relationship with. One important way for us to do that is to read the scriptures and learn of God. The key thing we can do to be accepted by God is to believe in Him and His Son.


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