Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beware the Judaizers!

Ever find yourself in a spot that you realize later you should have seen coming? Ever spend days, weeks and even years with folks to find out they are not who they appeared to be? Well, you're in good company!!
Paul interrupts a very encouraging letter to Philippi with a sudden, rather abrupt statement: "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers". On its face value, in some small towns with an overwhelming (at times) population of canines, this may seem to be an appropriate warning. But further examination clearly reveals that the heart of this is pointed at the Judaizers of the day. But these were and are not restricted to the date and time of the Philippian letter, but still prevalent today in many places, including small towns with a plethora of canines.  They come in many packages: coy little, songwriting apostates; over exuberantly energetic mockers; massaging lawless builders, two faced judases and even rabbinical cloakers under the dominion of their Sara Silverstein promoting wives.  They work hard to draw, not from the lost, but from within the churches to build their followers. Taking to satiate their unsatisfied lust, using to crop up the house of sukkots and other huts, treading the Name and Grace of Jesus into the dirt for their internet fueled fantasies and religiousocity. Playing upon the innocence of those who long for social acceptance, providing a welcoming spirit as long as there is no debate of what is spoken or taught by the women driven their husbands. At the heart of the core members of these Judaizers is a woman led spiritual house in each case. Men who, like lost animals follow the every direction and speak the words prepared for them by the goddesses they serve. To beware of? Absolutely! There is a repetitive pattern in each case. The dependence on the Word of God is thrown out the door for dependence on the righteousness found in the law. But how can that be bad? Isn't the law of God good, one might ask. Absolutely, it is the best for doing exactly what God intended it to. Prove to man that you (man, woman, child) cannot, under any circumstances do of your own will and power, that which Christ would complete and fulfill in EVERY circumstance in His own power. That's why we KNOW we need a Savior! Paul makes this clear in the next few verses...all the righteousness found in the law is as rubbish (or in other words dung!). Measure it if you must, but the yardstick of measurement is Christ, pure and simple. No ifs, ands or buts, just Jesus! 
Speaking of Jesus....
Oh, yes I love to! And daily I find it a battle to focus on Him, because the efforts and energy of the judaizers draws hard upon the mind. They are so visible that to ignore them is not an option. To fight them, not a God option. To beware of them, absolutely the solution. To teach others the Word of God, always the best choice. I only pray that God will do to them according to their works, as Paul mentions regarding the actions of Alexander the coppersmith. May the division they have brought be held to their account. May the lives damaged by their lusts be restored by the power of God and be guarded from their attack. Beware the judaizers, my friends. They just might be headed your direction...or pastoring your local baptist church, or opening their own food/fun cult in your local neighborhood.
Speaking of neighborhoods....
Starting to look a lot like Christmas! Haggai the prophet three times lays out a day that will be a component of God's redemptive plan. A day in which God would set His choice as signet ring into the earth, to shake heaven and earth once more. That day? The 24th day of the nineth month (Kislev)....December 24th.  Yes, Christmas eve the birth of Christ! Thank You, Jesus!!  

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