RIGHTEOUSNESS . . . What degree and constancy

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Reference: Matthew 5:20 )

Anabaptists/Mennonites, both historic and modern, believe that one should confess and profess their faith in both word and deed; in other words, in what is both said and done. In my faith systems and denominations what one says does not necessarily reflect how one lives his/her life. Again for Anabaptists/Mennonites, both historic and modern, this is misguided thinking (to use a very gentle way of expressing it). The editors of Reading the Anabaptist Bible recount an instance of questioning of a historic Anabaptist believer and his “learned” inquisitor. The historic Anabaptists felt the religious leaders of the state churches should live as they preached (which they did not) and the historic Anabaptists held them accountable for that.

Inq. [Inquisitor] “Well then, you will not hear or follow any pastors, except they practice what they teach?”

Jac. {Jacques d’Auchy, historic Anabaptist believer] “No; for it is written: ‘The light of the body is the eye; if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.’” Matt. 6:22.

Inq. “Then you will not follow the advice of Jesus Christ, namely, to do after their words, and not after their works.”

Jac. “Have you not read what the Lord says: ‘Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ Matt. 5:20. Behold, here they are already excluded; how then shall they lead others?”

Inq. “Do only after their words.”

Jac. “Have you no other pastors among you, to proclaim the Word of God, than such scribes and Pharisees, whom God has threatened with so many curses? Does not the prophet say: ‘Blessed is the man that has not sat among the ungodly’? Ps. 1:1. And Christ admonishes us to beware of their leaven.” Matt. 16:6.”

That is all that the editors recount, but you can see the points that both sides are making. The Inquisitor is in affect conceding that the religious leaders do NOT practice what they preach. But that should not be held against them, if they are preaching rightly. But d’Auchy counters with the question as to why would someone follow a leader who cannot do by example what is being asked for from others. And he is right! How can somebody be considered a “man of God” when he is not following God at all?!

Remember the quiz yesterday beloved? How do you think the Inquisitor’s religious leaders do on that quiz?

It is my hope and prayer beloved that the religious leaders you follow are good examples of righteous living. I am not saying perfect; but at least trying as hard or harder in living a good Christian life and succeeding well enough so that their followers know it is possible. May you beloved hold a degree and constancy of righteousness so that you can be called a person of God. Selah!

Advertisements

About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

Your comments are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s