5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t Your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?” 6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 7 They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ ”

8 “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” 9 And He said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! (Mark 7:5-9)

New Traditions For A New Christianity

The discerning Christian today will be able to notice what appears to be a very careful avoidance of words like repentance and the conspicuously absent title “Lord” for Christ Jesus in these pragmatic user-friendly centered on the self churches of the new and definitely not improved new evangelicalism. Instead what you find is a heavier emphasis on your purpose and what God can do for you–for your “abundant” life.

This is a new pseudo Christianity, the fulfillment of the new reformation prophesied by Robert Schuller which is now focused on man. A faith geared to mankind’s own doctrines that have very quickly become the new “traditions” of the Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD). Until what you actually end up with is not really Christianity at all, but rather another religion, one that talks as if it loves our Lord when in reality it ends up rejecting true holiness focused on God.

And this is exactly the type of false religion espoused by the apostate Church of Rome, mother of the ECoD, who has also recreated exactly what we see Jesus of Nazareth reacting to above in our text from Mark 7. Now, here is Hebrews 13:8 from the translation called The New American Bible for Catholics Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

As I pointed out elsewhere to a person with discernment all of this really is quite self-explanatory. If Jesus said things like this to men who were perverting God’s Word then in order for them to observe their own traditions then He feels the exact same way today. Let us never forget that God does not change, it is men who change. However, we can also take great comfort in the absolute truth that – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And this brings us right back around to a very fundamental question which is critical to an evangelicalism that is turning its back on the Reformation through its love affair with Contemplative Spirituality. If Jesus is the same, and if the Church of Rome is also the same–as she has always been since the Reformation–then who is it that changed? Unquestionably this change has had to have come from within the evangelical Protestant camp itself.

Making Peace With Other Religions

In our lifetime we are now witnessing a horribly misguided attempt to live in peace with the Roman Catholic Church and other false religions through the forbidden practice of interfaith/interspiritual worship (see–2 Corinthians 6:14-18). And this is to the detriment, I might add, of millions of people whose only chance to escape an eternity in a literal place called Hell is the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, we can quite clearly see from our text in Mark that Christ Jesus of Nazareth our Lord did not tolerate false beliefs and false teachings about God no matter how religious some of these people might seem to be. In fact, I have often told those I witness to that I am not a religious person. Usually they express surprise. Religion I explain to them is man seeking after God. But as I then point out I have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ because Christianity is about God seeking man.

Can you see that this is a great world of difference? And it’s also why the true Christian knows that there is absolutely nothing that we can do in “religious” pursuits that will ever compel God to consider us righteous. What mankind must come to realize is that, even though we considered the loving and beneficent Creator our enemy, it has really been God Who all the while has been seeking a way to get us to understand the incredible truth: It really is the Lord Who has been the One pursuing us.

With this in mind now when you look at verses like the ones in our text you’ll understand why Jesus said so emphatically:

“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ ” (vv.6-7)

Men and women, you see must come to see that God deplores hypocrisy. He actually hates “religion” because the Lord wants to have a relationship with you. God wants your “heart,” the real you, and not the one that you put forward to the public in an attempt to make yourself appear righteous to others. The Lord is not looking for someone who is only “pretending” to know Him. And one can only know God on His terms and not through some new traditions dreamed up by sinful men.

Have Nothing To Do With These Religious People

For the Bible tells us all about those who will follow this kind of false religiosity and says that people like these will be – holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these (2 Timothy 3:5, NASB, emphasis added). Notice carefully God’s very sound advice. In fact even the Holman Standard Christian Bible, put out by the fading Southern Baptist Convention puts it this way – Avoid these people!

You might ask: Does this mean we shouldn’t join together with them in worship? Absolutely right! Christians are to have nothing to do with them and not to jump through their doctrinal hoops, bending over backward to invite them into unity with you. Yet tragically this is exactly what the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church is doing as well as exactly what we see so many of our leading evangelical Protestant ministers themselves doing today with the Church of Rome.

Instead the Bible tells us: These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit (Jude 1:19, emphasis added). These are rugged times spiritually as we even see “Evangelicals” Attacking The Atonement, as Peter warns – They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord Who bought them (see–2 Peter 2:1). And we have just seen in our text above that Christ Jesus–the LORD God Himself in human flesh–has said of these people – you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.’ ”

Perhaps you already knew this but if you look up the word “hypocrisy” you’ll find that it’s primary meaning is “insincerity.” In the New Testament it is the Greek word hupokrisis, which originally meant – “a reply, an answer” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, 316) and “the acting of a stage-player” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, 643, italics in original). And then later on it came to mean what Christ Jesus is in essence saying to these men here: “you two-faced pretenders.”

However should you decide to choose this route then you must understand that God already knows what you think inside so there’s no use in even trying to be something that you are not. The Bible very clearly tells us:

the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9)

Further it is written:

You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O LORD. (Psalm 139:2-4)

And if you still disagree then you might try wrapping your mind around this: If the LORD God Almighty can create the entire universe out of nothing then He can sure know what’s going on inside our little pea-brains, don’t you think?