"It may be time to walk out of your church"

by Charles E. Carlson
From Pharisee watch

Why Pharisee Watch?
Jesus addressed the Pharisees of his day;
the job of Christ-followers is to address the Pharisees of our day.

A friend recently wrote to us saying he likes what we say but:
"can you consider changing the name to something a little less automatically offensive to Jewish people, a little less terminally (if unintentionally) anti-Semitic, than Pharisee Watch? The insensitivity of this name boggles the mind."

The writer expresses himself plainly, so he should appreciate Jesus words.
We chose "Pharisee Watch" as the title for our Internet journal about three years ago, not in order to place blame on the ancient Jews, but to place it squarely on the Christians of our day.
Our church leaders are the Pharisees.
Of course there are exceptions; we leave it to you to find them, and we want to hear about them when you do.

Pharisee Watch is about those who say they are Christians. If the shoe fits Jews, let them wear it. It is intended to be strong, in response to the real ill in our society. We have written about 150 Pharisee Watches, and any fair reader will have to admit we blame the Judaized-Christianity leaders of present day evangelical churches for their anti-life public policies, whether Democrat or Republican.

We could name and blame many celebrity icons who are trampling Christianity into the gutter of racism. One amazing case will be mentioned later, but we prefer to talk about your pastor: He is the real problem and the only one you can change.

Having said this, we would be remiss not to note that no one has reason to enjoy the demise of Christianity more than the Rabbis, since Judaism by definition denies Christ.

Our language cannot be too plain when dealing with the enormity of what we are trying to get across. When we call your church leaders "Pharisees" we are not talking about someone else s church. We are talking about yours, and we are asking you to do an organized, tactical withdrawal from your church, unless yours is an exception. Tactical withdrawal mean, first, confront the pastor privately; then, write a good-by letter to everyone you know in your church stating why you must leave; and then walk out to stay. This is the only way change can happen.

A word to the not-evangelicals

Mainline and Catholic churches are not normally evangelical, or "dispensational" as the popular self described term introduced by Cyrus I Scofield calls them, but if Mainliners and Catholics fail to speak out, they are no better than evangelicals who openly support war. By their silence, they affirm, and they open their members to being brainwashed in "home bible studies" conducted by mass marketing dispensational organizations such as Precept Ministries, to name only one, where Dispensationalism is sold as the only way to salvation.

Jesus set the standard for challenging religious leaders.

In talking to Pharisees, Jesus said (paraphrased):
"How terrible it is for you teachers of the law, Pharisees, you hypocrites! You lock the door of the kingdom of heaven in other people s faces, but you yourself do not go in nor do you allow in those who are trying to get in."

Jesus told the Pharisees they were unfit for the kingdom of heaven. These are firm words found in Matthew 23:13. The entire chapter is startlingly direct. In Jesus time the Judeans were predominantly Israelite-ish in at least the pretext of their religion, but it appears they were confused and apostate in their practice of it. Those who were honest knew they could not follow all the 600 odd laws found in the 28the chapter of Deuteronomy, and they also knew the Pharisees and others had corrupted what was supposed to be the faith of Abraham into a hopeless man-controlled religion. The source of their corruption was the ruling faction Jesus referred to as Pharisees and condemned to hell in Matthew 24.

By contrast there are now hundreds, perhaps thousands of Pharisees in churches for every one in the synagogue. Our political leadership today depends on Judaized Christians (the so-called Christian Right) for their rock hard political support. Pharisaic-Christianity is every bit as political as Judean Pharisaism was. The Pharisees were in bed with the Romans. The evangelicals are in bed with the Israelis and with every politician who is more patriotic to Israel than to their own USA...

We Americans claim to be 80% Christian, perhaps 1/3 of these are "evangelicals." Politicians and parties depend on the votes of that 1/3 because they tend to vote in a block, other Christians tend to split. This in no way diminishes the power of AIPAC and other Jewish groups who exercise their clout in our government. We Hold These Truths published a scholarly book named One Nation Under Israel on this subject. But it is the evangelicals who have the numbers and the media access to prop up the faltering war agenda based on what they believe to be scriptural grounds.

The Pharisees of our day repeat the error of the 1st century Pharisees, who Jesus said, "shut themselves and those who follow them from Christ s the Kingdom of Heaven." It is hard to imagine why Jesus would not hold us to as high a standard when it comes to the shedding of innocent blood, for the Pharisees shed His blood only hour after He challenged them.

Why Judaized Christian Pharisees support serial wars

Judaized support for serial wars hinges upon the 100- year old altered scripture found in study bibles and scores of related popular novels, which place the focus on Israel instead of Christ

The modern State of Israel borrowed its name from an ancient story of the lineage of Abraham, called Israelites. They were not called "Israelis." The political State of Israel came into existence 40 years after the first Scofield Reference Bible heralded its coming. Either Mr. Scofield was a prophet, or someone who knew about Zionist plans helped him write his pseudo-bible. The Zionist state of Israel and evangelical Christianity are a strange pair of Siamese twins, inseminated at the same time, but born after different gestation periods. Neither came about as a result of Immaculate Conception.

Israel existed very much in the plans of the World Zionist movement in 1908 when a Zionist-friendly Oxford University Press published the Scofield s book. In its footnotes it legitimized a Jewish "return" to Palestine and the tale of God s unfulfilled promises to give the land of the ancient Canaanites to the ancient Israelites. Scofield helped an absent-minded god remember his long-forgotten promise, (they claimed) not to the ancient Israelites and their descendants, but to the European immigrants to Israel.

Oxford University Press gave evangelicalism its first big promotional boost. It did it by loading the evangelical s seminaries with Scofield Bibles. When the State of Israel was finally born in 1948, Oxford rewrote the book to welcome the return of the European "Israelites" to Palestine, proclaiming it to be the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophesy.

Political Zionism--a movement to establish political rights to land for a Jewish state--was legitimatized by respected European, Theodore Herzl. His 1895 books, Der judenstaat, promoted a plan to raise money to buy out the land from the residents of Palestine, and he promised that no one would ever be cheated or displaced. But more aggressive Zionists, beginning with Chaim Weisman, took over the movement, and Herzl died unhappy, ended up in the trash bin of world Zionism, later to have a mountain named for him in Israel.

Today, the strongest support for the most ruthless wing of the Zionist movement comes from "Christians" who preach it in thousands of churches. These support endless wars in the Mideast, wars that Israel lets them know to be beneficial to its interest, for example, the destruction of Iraq. Evangelicalism is now a giant cross-denominational sect that Pharisee Watch has named Judaized-Christianity. It has been politicized into the largest and most unified voting block in America, centering not on Christian morality but on the political wants of the most radically racist and bloodthirsty factions in the State of Israel.

One such international Pharisee in the news is Kay Arthur, the founder and leader of Precept Minisries. Its dispensatinal, Isael first teaching are claimed to reach into 120 countries and the majority of Ameican churches, including Mainline and Catholies. At a Jerusalem interview in early June she told of plans to lobby the Israeli Knesset against Israel giving any concessions to Palestinans. She is one of those who seems to belives the Paletinians must go, on foot or in body bags. She told Haaretz; "God has chosen Israel above all the nations of the earth, and because I love God, I have to follow Gods heart and be dedicated to the land and the people of Israel." Arthur reaffirmed her previous statement:

"if I had to choose between America and Israel, I would choose Israel."

Kay Arthur s Israeli Patriotism is her own business, but the blood on her hands is staining those who follow here, and her political lobbying for war costs live and lot of dollars everywhere. It is our business. She operates tax free.

Evangelicals are taught that the Old Testament is fulfilled in the creation of the political state of Israel. This is blasphemy. In contrast, for two thousand years followers of Christ have always believed that only He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Why? Because Jesus said so.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus called the Judean Pharisees "a generation of vipers." But he also left the door open to any individual among them who had the courage to leave Pharisaism and follow him. Among those who did were the Apostle Paul and several others who are named. Among those who failed the test were a high priest and the rich young man found in the parable of the camel and the needle. Jesus never rejected any individual who was willing to follow him, but many rejected him. He condemned the Pharisees to hell because they rejected him.

"You snakes and children of snakes, how do you expect to escape from the condemnation of hell?" Matthew 23:33

Pharisees are, by Jesus definition, the leaders of most (but not all) evangelical churches. Their mission is every bit as deadly and bloody as those Jesus challenged almost 2000 years ago. These leaders can change.

Words for your friend s pastor (if not your own):

My dear friend and pastor, I know by your words and acts that you are enablers of war in the Mideast. I know you sincerely believe that war is good for Israel, and therefore a duty to America. But I can no longer ignore the suffering and death of so many. It puts too much innocent blood on my hands when I support you, not to mention your hands. I am pro-life; I cannot tolerate this death and war in the name of religion anymore. Now I ask you to change and let this church know you are changing. I want to know right now if you can and will do so. If you cannot do it, I must leave." (You will also find many letters to pastors on our Project Strait Gate page)

Where do I go if I leave my church?

If you don t know a church that follows Christ toward peace, and you probably do not, you might join the unincorporated home church movement; its growing fast. Several of our Advisors have started one called Strait Gate Ecclesia. Ecclesia means church. Save your money and tithes. It is not Godly to give to the ungodly.

Project Strait Gate is confrontational because Jesus was. He said he came to "divide; He said meant by this to divide those who would follow from those who would not. Jesus was speaking of the corrupt religious system of his day when he said: "Come out of her, my people, that ye not partakers of her sins and that you receive not her plagues." Might he be saying the same thing to us today? (Revelations 18:4)