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1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD. 3 "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.
I sincerely have been hoping that after all these apologies there would be some serious changes in our churches but after what has happened in the Bronx and Rockland recently I sincerely lost almost all of my hope. I have been a disciple since 1988. I have been praying and asking God what he or Jesus would do if he were in my situation. What would Jesus really do? How would he look at all of these? Here are some of the scriptures came to my mind.
Matthew 27: 41
Here it is Jesus on the cross dying and who do we see beneath the cross, chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders. We all know that these men have brought Jesus to the cross. We speculate their reasons. They felt that their position and authority were threatened because Jesus was going around challenging them Perhaps these people sincerely felt like they had to protect Moses’ law and they were ready to sacrifice Jesus for the greater good of the people. .
The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement. He is to put on the sacred linen garments
Ezra was a teacher of the Law.
The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.
All three offices were in the bible and from God yet these men holding these titles were very wrong, abused their offices, they were crucifying God’s son in their blindness and in total opposition to God. They even thought that Jesus was from Satan John 7: 20 and that he was undermining their unity.
You will ask me, then follow the bible and just do Matthew 18, go and talk to them. I am convinced that we are past beyond this because countless people have pointed out these things to these ”leaders”. I personally talked to S. J. & S. K. face to face. You heard apologies yet they are still singing the same old tune. They are ready to close their ears. Now, it is time to take it to the church. Yet, they have the pulpit and you and I do not.
Aren’t these the three groups along with the Pharisees that Jesus had his biggest issues? Is it by accident that God wanted us to have so many scriptures referring to these groups?
Let’s look at them. They were pretty righteous people. At least they were more righteous than the average. They prayed, they read their bibles, they helped the poor, they converted people and they even were generous with their income. They indeed lived more righteous life styles than average. So when they thought of others as “sinners” they were right. At least they were trying. They sacrificed animals for the forgiveness of their sins and they probably felt pretty secure before God. If you followed their teachings much good could have come out it because they tried to obey the bible. But we know that something went wrong. Now, we suppose to learn from their mistake and not to repeat their wrongs?
I bring this up because these ”leaders” are taking credit for our righteousness that is solely due to God and his bible.
Tell me honestly who comes to mind when you read these scriptures even today.
1) 39Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
Jesus confronted these men again and again, Luke 16:14. Aren’t most of disciples’ issues today about how lavishly our “leaders” and “elder” have been living? And how to this day we do not know how much they make? My bible teaches me why men hide and conceal things. John 3:20
2) 42"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
That’s why they do not care if you leave.
3) 43"Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
This goes without a comment and I have witnessed this for 15 years.
4) 46Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
Not only we have to obey God but also have to obey man made traditions? That’s why most of us for years felt what we did was never good enough.
5) 48So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.
How many disciples have been asked to leave because they did not agree with this “leaders”?
6) 52"Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."
On top of that, they are showing the door to those that already have entered it.
Look, I am not advocating gossip for I know bible teaches it to be a sin. But if “leaders” hold the truth away from the people, the disciples will seek it out. Isn’t what we are, truth seekers, is it why we became disciples so we can know the truth. Not the half-truth but the whole truth. I do not call this gossip. Here is another scripture on this issue.
1Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
And is this precisely what is going on in our church today?
I do not know what these “leaders” intentions are these days. May be, they are sincerely trying to do what they think is right. May be, they are afraid to loose their authority and their income and that’s all they care.
Nothing new is happening here. The high priest; the teachers of the law and the elders were ready to sacrifice Jesus in order to keep a tab on this. It is happening now. These men are ready to sacrifice flocks of us. And by that they think this will go away. So they thought for Jesus.
When did we become the enemy? Up to recently, while we were giving our thousands of dollars, they had no problems with us. Now, we became an evil to be purged because we can think? Look around, most people that have issues are not the young ones but the older Christians who have been following Jesus for a long time, have been around and see the injustice. They know their bibles and know that these “leaders” are wrong. And these leaders have admitted publicly that they have been wrong, very wrong. These disciples are the faithful who have stuck while others left. Now they are shown the door. Why, because they are teaching circumcision, other ways to be saved? No, because they do not want to support these “leaders” financially nor they do not want to be lorded over by Sam, Steve K., Steve J., mere men. How unloving !!!
If I am wrong, please show it to me. If I am right, these teachings will be here in Manhattan and other parts of the church faster than you think. What is my fear?
30 "A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
Well, we will become the “Church of Sam Powell”. I will end my letter with this a question that I have been asking myself for years and recently? What would Jesus do if he were in my situation? What would he really do?