“As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, ‘Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.’” Mark 8:14-15 (NLT)
Recently I have heard two pastors, who didn’t know each other, speaking about being alert to the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. When the testimony of two ring out it is necessary for us to take note!
Jesus said beware of these leavens! The threat is just as real today as it was when Jesus expressed it! Both these leavens have crept into the church. The leaven of Herod speaks of the political spirit that is operating and dividing so much of the church today. In our culture, left and right are not mixing any better than water and oil. There seems to be no middle ground, and no tolerance! And tragically, this is happening in the church as well. This leaven has caused so much of the church to be silent about political issues, because people are still cancelling those who are not like them. Jesus told of people being kicked out of the synagogues as the Pharisees way to control them (John 12:42).
Like our culture, so much of the church is operating under a spirit of offense and fear. And then we simply say we need to abide by the concept of separation of church and state. By the way, separation of church and state was never meant to keep church out of state but to keep the government out of the church. The tragedy is, if pastors don’t teach their congregation the biblical worldview around the political issues, who will teach them? Sadly, when the pulpit is silent church goers simply decide on the issues (i.e. abortion, borders, Israel, sexuality, etc…) based on what they hear from the lying, deceived and deceiving mainstream media! It is much like parents not taking the responsibility to teach their kids about sex, sexuality and gender. If parents don’t do it, the demonically inspired world system is more than glad to, and is doing it very blatantly in our schools across our nations, including Athens/Clark County! We cannot remain silent concerning what the bible says about current, even political issues, even if it makes people unhappy, uncomfortable and leave our churches.
The leaven of the Pharisees speaks of the religious spirit that is operating in the church. Yes, it is tearing it apart. There is so much compromise in the church, most of which stems from the view of scriptures. The error comes when we deny the inerrancy of it. Some say the Old Testament should be disregarded. Others say that God’s stance on homosexuality, gender and marriage has changed since those days long ago. After all, He is a compassionate God, and is pleased with His children no matter what they do! God has not changed! He is still holy and so is His calling for us! Just like the Disciples and the early church, today we need to beware of leaven!
Ask God to show you any place where either type of leaven is operating in your life. In some passages leaven also represents sin, among other things (1 Corinthians 5:6). Ask God to search your heart and show you any place where sin has crept in. Confess it quickly. Pray for your pastor and church leadership, asking God to show them any place where leaven has slipped in and now expanding among the body. It is very contagious! Pray that they would have Godly boldness to confess it and get rid of it from your congregation. Pray that it would be exposed and removed from the church all across our city.