Woe to You Pharisees

Josephine King

This is Josephine King. She is a 92 year old shut-in that has been removed from the membership roll at her local Baptist church, where she has been a member for over 50 years. According to a letter she received, signed by the pastor, she has been non-supportive in the areas of “constant and consistent financial and physical participation.” Did I mention she was 92 years old? You can read the full story here.

On the one hand: Every local Baptist church, even those in the Southern Baptist Convention, are for the most part autonomous. If they have a written policy outlining what one must do to become and remain a member, such as be physically present and pay a regular tithe, then they are well within their rights to remove her from fellowship. It is the responsibility of each member to know and abide by the institution’s rules and regulations whether the rest of us agree or not. There is not – nor should there be – any state board or denominational council that can force a local church to change their policy on membership.

On the other hand: This is the kind of thing that would have Jesus flipping over tables and declaring woe unto the Pharisees. This is exactly the kind of thing going on that caused Jesus to say “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” Luke 11:42

Now, I am not in a position to go that church and tell them they are wrong. But as a leader in my own church I will point to this example and say “We will never do that.” And if I were a church member and not in a leadership role, I would go to the leadership and say “Would our church ever do this?” If so I would look for another church to join.

If this woman lived closer to us than Baibridge I would call and invite her to our church. And offer her a ride. I wonder if anyone in her church ever thought of that.

4 thoughts on “Woe to You Pharisees

  1. Maybe just maybe if these same Pastors visited this lady they would have offered her the support that she’s given them over the many years she was member….. Yes the church needs money to pay for the various financial needs, but when money supercedes the commandment that Jesus gave us ‘to love God and others’… then something is not right within the church…. in my humble opinion… Diane

  2. The letter the elderly lady received proves where the heart of that church lays. Christ put the boundaries of the Mosaic Law at the stake and liberated us from the many chains. He does not need to be paid for the offer he brought, neither does God has to be paid, for everything already belongs to God.

    Holding church or keeping meetings may cost money, but it is not to those organising these meetings to request money for it. Those coming to the gathering should be free to contribute or not. Nowhere is there any rule given for the goyim or for the followers of Christ to give any tithing.

    To exclude certain persons because they contribute not or do not give enough to the church is totally out of order and proves of not having the love of Christ, which every bearer of the name “Christian” should have.

  3. Tithing is Old Testament Law. New Testament believers are instructed “to give” just as they are instructed to love, support widows and orphans, etc. Paul makes an argument for supporting full time pastors so they can devote themselves to the work of ministry. But yes, this church went far above and beyond what is expected of believers in the scripture.

  4. Pingback: Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #6 Sunday or the Lord’s day | Free Christadelphians: Belgian Ecclesia Brussel - Leuven

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