Jehovah’s Witnesses: What Really Defiles A Man?

What Really Defiles A Man?

I was reading in my bible this morning in Mark 7.

I put reading one chapter of the bible per day on my “things to do list” every morning and do my best to fulfill that before day’s end. Usually it is the very first thing I do when I sit down to my desk to work. There are lots of ways to read your bible and many resources online that can aid you in this: www.bible.com is an excellent resource and offers many different versions of the bible that you can choose from and read from your desktop, laptop or smartphone.

I thought it was interesting that the Pharisees had the same, fanatical devotion to traditions of men that many religions including the Jehovah’s Witnesses do.

Mark 7:1-23 (The Message Bible)

1 -4 The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. They noticed that some of his disciples weren’t being careful with ritual washings before meals. The Pharisees—Jews in general, in fact—would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scourings they’d give jugs and pots and pans).

5The Pharisees and religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?”

6 -8Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact:

These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
but their heart isn’t in it.

They act like they are worshiping me,
but they don’t mean it.

They just use me as a cover
for teaching whatever suits their fancy,

Ditching God’s command
and taking up the latest fads.”

9 -13He went on, “Well, good for you. You get rid of God’s command so you won’t be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions! Moses said, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel out of that by saying that it’s perfectly acceptable to say to father or mother, ‘Gift! What I owed you I’ve given as a gift to God,’ thus relieving yourselves of obligation to father or mother. You scratch out God’s Word and scrawl a whim in its place. You do a lot of things like this.”

14 -15Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you— take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.”

17When he was back home after being with the crowd, his disciples said, “We don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

18 -19Jesus said, “Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you see that what you swallow can’t contaminate you? It doesn’t enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed.” (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.)

{by the way the words in parentheses above aren’t mine. That is included in the bible scripture and was Mark’s assertion as to what the meaning of Jesus’ words were!-Ed.}

20 -23He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”

So what was Jesus really saying? He was stating, in fact, that ANY food was fit for consumption and that nothing that enters into a man defiles him but what comes out of the man’s heart does.

Where does this leave the issue of blood transfusions, organ transplants or smoking or drinking (in moderation)? Squarely with the conscience of the person who is making the decision to do so…period!

Any attempts by religious leaders to bind the free will of a Christian by forbidding any of these things flies directly in the face of what Jesus so eloquently stated above!

What He stated about these religious leaders is worth reading one more time:

“Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact:

These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
but their heart isn’t in it.

They act like they are worshiping me,
but they don’t mean it.

They just use me as a cover
for teaching whatever suits their fancy,

Ditching God’s command
and taking up the latest fads.”“

The calling card of those hypocritical religious leaders in Jesus’ day as well as our own, is making a huge show of their “service” to God while teaching commands of men as doctrine. I can think of many religions that do that and Jesus’ flatly condemned them all!

Yours in Christ,

Doug Shields
www.thewatchtowerfile.com