PAUL’S PHARISAIC PERFECTIONISM
MADE HIM JUDGMENTAL
Study Series: Paul Altered Christ, Part 4
Another teaching of The Savior that has been overlooked by many believers is His non-judgmental outlook. Over 700 years before the birth of The Lord, Isaiah already prophesied about Him being non-judgmental:
18 “Hear, you deaf;
And look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My servant,
Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the Lord’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”
The prophesied blind and deaf Servant who is perfect was the sinless Son of God, Jesus-Christ. He is not blind or deaf literally as He could see many things as well as His ears are open. He is prophesied to be blind and deaf because He does not observe nor care to hear about any one’s situation. He does not judge nor condemn anyone, and this is the life that He lived and preached:
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
The fact that The Lord Jesus is love is further cemented by His non-judgmental outlook towards people. Although unto Him is given the authority to judge the world (Jn. 5:22), He delegated this task unto the Holy Spirit (Jn. 6:63/ Jn. 12:46-48) and focused on His other task of saving man instead. Should not all of His believers be like Him? But why is Christianity such a judgmental religion?
Going back to Isaiah’s prophecy, there is another blind and deaf personality who was compared to the perfect blind and deaf Servant of God. That is fulfilled in a disciple who truly lives the love of His Teacher and put on His non-judgmental mindset. However, those of Christianity who are judgmental in nature cannot be His disciples. Whose disciples are they? They are Paul’s, as he was the one who continued with his Pharisaic outlook and remained judgmental. Paradoxical as it is, Paul maintained a judgmental outlook despite his rejection of the laws of Moses.
(1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NIV)
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
While The Christ preached against being judgmental, Paul encouraged it! He said rhetorically, “are you not to judge those inside?” Preachers and apologetics from different Christian traditions rush to the defense of Paul by justifying how it is alright to judge those who are already among the believers for the fact that they should already know better. This is the very foundation of many churches in their practice of excommunication or expulsion their members who are found living a life which is against their perceived Christian tenets. But is it really advised to judge others as long as they already ‘inside’? Only if you are a disciple of Paul. For anyone who judges others, whether they are already believers or not, The Christ Jesus does not want them to even call Him Lord:
46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?
PAUL REMAINED A PHARISEE
Although The Christ Jesus was perfect in such that He did not sin, yet, He has shown much disgust on a certain group of people. Who are they and why?
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
The Savior was very disgusted with the Scribes and Pharisees! Why so? The Lord generalized them as hypocrites – not some, but all! What is one thing that qualify them as hypocrites in the consideration of The Christ? For ‘shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men’, meaning they install gates or obstacles to make things harder for man to receive God’s reward of heaven. Why is this one thing that truly bothered The Savior? Because this is the outlook that is very much against the WILL of God, and the very reason He was made to be mankind’s salvation (Isa. 49:6/ Jn. 3:16). How so?
39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The WILL of God is that those whom He gave unto His Son and everyone else who believes in Him may have everlasting life. And The Christ did His all for the WILL of God to be fulfilled by tearing down any obstacle that continues to separate man from God’s grace, thus making His salvation very attainable by all (Jn. 3:14-18/ Jn. 4:36-38).
How does Paul qualify among those whom The Christ felt disgusted?
6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”
5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Paul acknowledged Himself to be a Pharisee despite having preached about The Savior for many years. He made this declaration after his meeting with the other apostles in Jerusalem when he was arrested at the temple, as well as in his letter to the Philippians years after his arrest. He has not given up on his Pharisaic outlook but instead pride on being ‘blameless’ – an integral ingredient in making him such a judgmental person!
What further proves that Paul stick with his Pharisaic outlook even though he has been preaching about The Christ?
(1 Corinthians 5:3-5)
3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Even in his absence Paul judged the sinner to the extent that he encouraged ''DELIVERING HIM TO SATAN FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH'! What is this destruction of the flesh that he encouraged to be done unto the accused person of sexual immorality? Unbeknownst to many, it refers to a PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT that could potentially be the old Judaic and Pharisaic paradigm of STONING SOMEONE TO HIS DEATH!
MANIFESTATION OF PAUL'S PARADIGM
What resulted because Paul mixed his judgmental and Pharisaic outlook with The Lord's non-judgmental teachings?
16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began…
The result of mixing the precepts of The Christ and fundamentals of Pharisees is Paul’s own gospel. One may argue that it is not Paul's but The Savior's Gospel that Paul pointed out as his gospel. However, that is not the case as proven by the fact that Paul mentioned in the same sentence BOTH HIS GOSPEL AS WELL AS THE PREACHING OF THE CHRIST.
LORD FOREWARNED ABOUT THE LIKES OF PAUL
Even before Paul heard about The Christ Jesus, The Savior already has foretold about people who are of the same stature like Paul:
52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
In this instance, The Lord started His statement with ‘THEREFORE’, showing how He made a sweeping generalization concerning the likes of Paul who are scribes (they are also Pharisees). Scribes are lawyer-like Jews who were very learned with the Mosaic laws. In this conclusive analogy of The Lord, he compared them with a householder who showcases his new as well as his old treasures – in the case of Paul, his old judgmental Pharisaic mindset with The Lord’s non-judgmental outlook.
Was The Lord excited or feeling frustrated when He uttered His statement describing every scribe who receives His teaching? He was feeling frustrated because that is not what He wants His followers to feel about His teachings. What proves this?
44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.
In this parable, The Lord Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a field with a hidden treasure, a pearl of great price and a dragnet. He wanted us to forsake everything we have had and desire to acquire it – 1) like the man who sold all that he had to buy the field with a hidden treasure; 2) like the pearl merchant who sold all of his pearl collections just to buy the one pearl of great price; and 3) like those who only kept the good catch from the dragnet. The only way to acquire the Kingdom of Heaven is ONLY through the words of The Lord Jesus.
THE NEW WINE AND THE NEW WINESKINS
How else did The Savior show His desire to be the only reference of faith? How did He teach the need to forsake all other’s perspective for salvation, that His outlook can never mix with the old paradigm?
(Luke 5:33, 36-39)
Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?”...
Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’
The teachings of The Christ were too radical and even liberal for the Jews to accept. One reason for that is their very limiting and judgmental outlook based on their wrong understanding of God’s Commandments unto them. How did The Lord differentiate His way of living God’s DIVINE WILL? In the His parable above, He talked about not sewing a new garment to patch an old torn one, nor should one put new wine into old wineskins. The NEW GARMENT and NEW WINE in His parable is His non-judgmental way of living God’s love – or simply, His teachings. The old garment and old wineskins (or vessels – 2 Tim. 2:20-21) represent the people who still possess the old judgmental mindset. As He stated in this parable, the new garment will just make a tear because it will shrink once washed, and it does not match the old. The New Wine continues to ferment and expand thereby bursting the old wineskins, and what do you get? A spilled wine… and who benefits?
The non-judgmental way and truth of The Christ will not match with the judgmental mentality of people as well proven by the response of the Jews. How then can people benefit from the non-judgmental way and truth of The Savior? They need to be reprogrammed and be remade into new wineskins. They need to completely stop being judgmental and possess the non-judgmental outlook of The Savior. And only through the non-judgmental teachings of The Lord that one can truly benefit for the salvation of his soul and attainment of eternal life.