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The Importance of Thinking Critically About Religion

January 7th, 2007

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”

(Luke 12:1)

Introduction: “Christian Living” has come to mean just about any-thing anymore. However, in Luke 12:1-3, Jesus encourages critical thinking—not hypocritical thinking, but critical thinking. Modern liberals have equated the two, but Jesus never did. So, what is the leaven of the Pharisees? Three concepts deserve our attention:

1. Hypocrisy in failing to differentiate between _______________
judgment and ______________ judgment (6:37;12:57; Jn. 7:24)

2. Hypocrisy—in that they were adept at hiding personal iniquity
(see Luke 11:39)

3. Hypocrisy in taking away “the key of knowledge”
(see Luke 11:52,53)—the Messianic application of the O.T. (see
Matt. 16:19; Acts 2:14-41)

Jesus aroused some strong hostility here (Lk.11:53,54).
But, all who refuse to recognize the “beware” statement of Jesus in Luke 12:1 is a downright fraud. And, anyone who would aspire to live the Christian life must reject the leaven of the Pharisees and its modern counter-part of religious pluralism (the other extreme where anything is okay). “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24; Luke 12:57; Hebrews 4:13). Would you live the Christian life?

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