Pharisees

December 6th, 2009

Inspired by Liberal Angel’s excellent comment on HuffPost, and by the passage below from Matthew 12:10-14.

 

“And, behold, there was a man with his hand withered. And the Pharisees asked Jesus, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.” – Matthew 12:10-14

 

Same-sex marriage is against God’s law, all True Christians agree

(Just like inter-racial marriage was, until recently).

Opponents say their reasons are religious, not discriminatory or political

(Otherwise, their opposition would be hypocritical).

 

In the ongoing debate about same-sex marriage,

The Religious Right does often gay rights disparage.

Of course they’re not homophobic, they say in a loud voice,

But their respect for the Bible gives them no choice.

 

It’s not that the view homosexuals with fear and/or hate,

It’s just that the Bible requires that they discriminate.

They have to do what the Bible tells them to.

As proof, look at all the other things the Bible makes them do.

 

They’d never, ever get a divorce,

Or eat shellfish, or pork, or wear cotton, of course.

They never eat crops from fields of mixed grain,

And of course they from pre-marital sex abstain.

 

Adulterers must be immediately stoned.

Slavery’s OK, but birth control’s not condoned.

And every 49 years, you see,

They forgive all their debtors for the Jubilee.

 

It’s all written down in the Bible, plain and clear,

And they follow all these rules, so you know they’re sincere.

We’re a Christian Nation (as they Christian define),

So even if you’re not Christian, you must follow their Law Divine.

 

Me, I don’t believe the Bible should be interpreted literally,

And I have it on the best possible Authority.

It’s someone who constantly engaged in Biblical rule-breaking behavior.

I’m speaking, of course, of our Lord and Savior.

 

In Jesus Christ’s day, the Pharisees

Saw themselves as God’s sole appointees.

They too believed only they had the right

To interpret what the Bible decreed was wrong or right.

 

So tied up they were in their rule-bound traditions

That they wouldn’t even consider alternative positions.

They criticized Jesus because he disdained their rules.

They tried to trick him, but ended up themselves looking like fools.

 

They criticized him for healing on Sabbath Day;

He asked them if their sheep fell into a pit then, would they just walk away?

They quoted the Bible when his hungry disciples on the Sabbath picked corn;

He replied that the Sabbath was made for man (not vice versa), with scorn.

 

So modern day Pharisees, your Biblical claims ring hollow–

Don’t be so sure when you say what rules others should follow.

Otherwise, you never know

Where you’ll end up when it’s your turn to go.

***

Here’s the music video of what Jesus and the Bible have to say about Pharisees, from the musical Godspell. Click to buy the DVD and/or CD from Amazon. Even if you’re not religious, it’s a good lesson in Biblical themes, and a reminder of how revolutionary Jesus and his teachings were.

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4 Responses to “Pharisees”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Was Jesus Gay? Says:

    […] And those that slavishly followed them he showed to be fools. […]

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Our Young Earth (or, Shorter Days of Our Lives) Says:

    […] are a bit shorter since Chile earthquake (Washington Post 3/03/10). Also read our earlier post “Pharisees” for more on literal interpretation of the Bible, watch the videos, and read the further (prose) […]

  3. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Love Came to Town Says:

    […] Human interpretations of things we didn’t understand […]

  4. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Sexual Sinners Says:

    […] follow-up to Pharisees, here’s a list of all the commandments, criticisms, strictures, and judgments which Jesus laid […]

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