AUTHOR - BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 - BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT
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*Special thanks to Shila and
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Being a writer of “short books” pertaining
to spirituality from a Christian perspective, there are times when
I’m not totally sure if a particular subject should be
addressed. To proceed, I must first have an honest and pure “desired
result” in mind otherwise I become part of the problem.
My question to myself: What is to be gained by bringing
attention to that which should likely be ignored? Let’s face
it, the underbelly, guttural, and obviously prevalent,
“un-pleasantries” of my faith, is very “un-flattering”
to my Lord, so why mention it?
Do I think for a single moment that “speck
inspectors” will cease because I find them distasteful and
grotesquely un-representative of the heart of Jesus that I so love?
No! Apart from a divine intervention they can’t stop based on
the “why” they do what they do. They have a powerfully
addictive motive folks. FLESH!
So this book isn’t written for “speck
inspectors” but rather those who innocently fall under the
“cloud” of their spiritual toxicity. If a person hasn’t
yet truly experienced the wonderful heart of Jesus, how can they
differentiate flesh from spirit?
While thankfully having nothing to do with Jesus, this
never-ending dilemma does reflect on Him, leaving lasting negative
impressions regarding Him and His church, thus my conclusion to have
a little chat about it.
To be honest I’m not a “writer” in the
truest sense of the word, but more of a “talker” in
print. So let’s talk about this very unfortunate issue on the
basis of: “For what it’s worth”.
This book’s intent is not to cast dispersions but
rather cause us to soberly consider this truth: We are accountable
for what we say! Our walk with God is not a free-for-all of
one-upmanship. We each have been given gifts from God. We are
responsible for their application.
We’re not a political party. We are the sacred
spiritual body of Jesus Christ! While politicians are allowed to
“grip it and rip it” with no accountability for their
statements, that’s not us. I’m not convinced we believe
A Pharisee will always represent one of two entities.
Themselves or the temple but never God! It was from both, that we
find the resource by which Judas was paid his thirty pieces of
Caution: We being humans, all have a little D.N.A. of a
Pharisee in us, some more than others. Having it isn’t the
problem. Allowing it to rule the day is! Make no mistake: A Pharisee
is not a person but rather a spirit that is far from new. It ruled
the day when It killed the prophets of old, crucified Jesus, and
executed His followers. Thus, it’s not to be entertained as
The strange thing is, this spirit is obvious in its
vocabulary. It doesn’t hide itself very well at all. Its
dialogue is always centered around elitist speck-like fault finding
with no fair accounting for “praise worthy” information
regarding its target. You see, that’s not its point for
existing. We mentioned political parties earlier. Can you see the
similarity in conduct. Never praise the one you are attacking! Never
give credit when credit’s due. You see, that would defeat the
purpose. My goodness, what a terribly sick purpose to attach to one’s
Sorry - Wrong Day
Matthew 12 - 1 & 2: On that time Jesus went through
the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began
to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this
they said to him: “Look! Your disciples are doing what is
unlawful on the Sabbath”.
Matthew 12 - 9 > 14: Going on from that place He went
into their synagogue and a man with a shriveled hand was there.
“Looking for a reason” to bring charges against Jesus
they asked Him, “is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath”? He
said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a
pit on the Sabbath will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How
much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful
to do good on the Sabbath. Then he said to the man, “stretch
out your hand”. So he stretched out his hand and it was
completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees
went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
The key six words in our scripture as indicators of a
Pharisee’s mindset: “They were looking for a reason”.
They couldn’t have cared less that a man had his withered hand
healed. Who cares and not the point! That wasn’t giving them
I’m so thankful that Jesus healed the man knowing
it was going to cause trouble. It tells me that there is no Pharisee
on this planet that can impede God from doing what God chooses to do!
Toxic “Speck Inspectors” do not intimidate nor sidetrack
our great and mighty God, although they can leave a distasteful
residue on the palates of our souls with their dark intrusions. We
are responsible for what we ingest. They will provide a “feeding
frenzy” with their banquet of discoveries, but that doesn’t
mean we have to sit at their tables and eat!
Mis - Click
By now you must be wondering what in the world got me so
uptight regarding the subject. Well my distaste goes way back and has
never truly died ( why would it ) but only a week ago I got an
infusion of energy into my disgust for the mindset.
I accidently came upon an internet link concerning a
highly respected ( by me ) Pastor. One who has truly ministered to me
and has enhanced my walk with God greatly. I was simply searching for
his most recent message and clicked on the wrong link.
There it was in all its ugliness! An absolute tearing
apart of a man and his ministry in an article written by a very young
man for a “Christian” publication. The man being ripped,
has more fruit hanging from his branch than I can even imagine on
mine, on my very best of days so needless to say, I was somewhat
shocked at the attack.
I should have had the sense to move along but decided
instead to observe the others involved with their responses to the
A few challenged the writer. Their viewpoints were
summarily dismissed as being inferior on an intellectual level and
for the most part the others were up to their necks in the muck.
By the way: When did “mega church” become an
all-inclusive derogatory label and what is the sacredly prescribed
number of attendees to retain “Holy Status” in our
buildings? I think we’ve forgotten that “multitudes”
followed Jesus. Wasn’t it also the Pharisees that found that to
be intimidating and a source of jealousy? Here’s another one:
Televangelist, as in “has to be bad”. Why? Would we
prefer that all gospel content be removed from TV viewing?
Here’s my personal favorite: The “feel good
gospel”. As opposed to the “feel bad gospel”? It
all sounds a little Pharisaic to me at times. We need to be careful
throwing around inflammatory clichés at random and without
It’s all covered over nicely by recruiting the
word ”discerning” into our actions but I think the
Pharisees were thinking along the same lines as they “looked
for a reason” to “discern” Jesus. Besides, I have
no idea what we are hoping to accomplish with all of this. Isn’t
it reasonable to assume, we must have something better and more
productive to do with our time, like “bless someone”
rather than “attack someone”.
Back to my internet experience: The internet is
accessible to anyone including non-believers. If one had happened
onto what I saw, they would conclude: “No thanks” and
justifiably so! Do we care is the ultimate question, or does our
incessant need to vent get top priority in our alleged minds. We are
called to be representatives of the Holy Son of God folks! This isn’t
some foolish, ego driven, intellectual game we’re playing.
People’s eternity and souls hang in the balance!
What I observed on-line the other day was as sadly
mis-representative of Christ as it gets and yet condoned by a
“Christian Publication”. That should scare the daylights
out of any thinking person! We not they, are responsible for
ourselves and what we partake in. We should be very careful to think
before we speak. Think what? Am I representing Jesus, or myself, or
the temple label I am affiliated with. If the answer to that question
isn’t Jesus and Him alone, please allow me to share one more
quick story that may get your attention:
The scene is the post resurrection “shoreline”
encounter between Jesus and Peter. Jesus has asked Peter three times:
“Do you love Me”? Peter answered each with the
affirmative: “Yes Lord I love You”. The third time Peter,
getting a little frustrated with the same question being repeated,
responds differently with : “Yes Lord I would die for You”.
Jesus prophetically confirms what Peter has said with,
and I paraphrase: “You are right Peter you will, and here’s
how” referring to Peter’s upcoming crucifixion. Peter
then turns to John and asks Jesus: “What about him”?
And here it is folks as Jesus responds to Peter’s
query: “Who is he to you”? I paraphrase: He’s none
of your business Peter, he’s My business. Poor Peter, always
stepping in it. He had just been forgiven regarding the “denial”
issue. I have an affinity to Peter so I can relate.
But I wonder if there isn’t a huge lesson in the
story for us? Could it be that far too often we invest ourselves,
with questionable motives, in things that aren’t our business
and in doing so neglect that which is? Could it be that we sometimes
go “looking for a reason” simply because we don’t
happen to like someone, their denomination, or their ministry. Could
it be that Jesus has given us something of importance to do and it’s
being ignored as we choose to spend our time scrutinizing others as
if thinking that “talent evaluator” is a legitimate
When we set off on our “fact finding missions”
are we purposely blinded to the “good” we observe in
order to stay focused on our desire to find fault. “Looking for
a reason” is a “speck inspectors” addiction. Like a
drug it satisfies the flesh while hiding itself in alternative
Christian terminology. It’s not judging according to the
participants, merely discerning. Boy we discern a lot! If we only
loved as much as we discern! I think Jesus mentioned that as a
I’ve often wondered what the point might be, in
that nothing changes based on one’s findings. I now believe the
satisfaction is found in the “finding” not the
The concluding statement in the scorching article spoken
of, written by a very unwise and full of himself young man was this
and it really does say it all: “It’s not so much what he
said but what he didn’t say that is my problem”. Really?
And who would you be?
Communications are like never before in the history of
the world folks. Instant everything is on the menu for our perusal
The “death to self” teachings of Jesus and
their application have never been more needed. We must pause before
speaking or writing and ask ourselves this important question: Can I
imagine Jesus saying or writing this? If we hesitate, more often than
not the answer is no. If that be the case then perhaps it would be in
everyone’s best interest to pass!
“Death to self” means: I’m not here to
represent myself nor my opinions but rather the heart of Jesus, and
His heart alone! That’s a serious calling folks!
Pharisaic spirits cannot be eliminated but they can be
ignored. They exist in every building we attend on Sundays. They
co-habit everywhere Jesus is. They followed Him two thousand years
ago but not as “followers”. Nothing has changed!
In closing, a quick lesson on how to deal with them.
Many years ago while attending a certain church, a young couple
walked through the doors with their two little ones in tow. They
looked ruff so I greeted them and stayed close throughout the service
in that they were brand new to the church or any church for that
matter. Post service I had the opportunity to hear their story which
included drug rehab and all kinds of drama. It seems they were
walking by the church and wondered if God could or would help them.
Isn’t that amazingly and beautifully innocent! Nothing planned
just hi God can you help us, we’re a mess but we don’t
want to be.
Well, I assured them that God was very interested in
their well-being and applauded their courage for walking through
those doors. I gave them a hug and my phone number with an open
invitation to call whenever they needed anything. And off they went
with me thanking Jesus for the opportunity He had provided. Lovely
story don’t you think but then it happened.
A long time lady attendee at the church came up to me
and said: “I can’t believe what those people were wearing
to church”, deeming it completely disrespectful. And then she
asked me: “what do you think”?
Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery and
the Pharisees wanting to stone her as they brought her before Jesus
with the million dollar question: “What do you say”?
This felt kind of like that, leaving me wondering why I
was being asked. So, I responded: “You can’t believe what
they were wearing and I can’t believe you even noticed. That
you did notice says far more about you, than what they were wearing
says about them”. She never spoke to me again! That’s how
you deal with a Pharisaic spirit!
As I rummaged through this despicable internet display
of egos salivating over their pound of flesh, I thought to myself: Is
this what Jesus had in mind for us when he hung on a cross? That His
body would go out of their way to cannibalize each other in public
for all the world to see!
Perhaps the spirit that drives those who participate in
such behavior doesn’t much care what Jesus had in mind anymore
that it cared that a man’s withered hand had been healed on the
Sabbath. Having found their “speck”, their addiction is
satisfied for another day. As they rejoice in their discovery, the
world laughs at what they perceive as a galactically dis-functional
A group of irrelevant, self-absorbed, “nit-pickers”
who can’t get their act together long enough to truly care for
a desperately needy world, sadly becomes our mantel of wearing. We,
being seen as much too busy finding fault with each other to care for
the lost, is the perception left for others to ponder. They wonder:
If I do commit my life to Jesus, is this the monstrosity that awaits
me? Those who don’t fit the mold of “speck inspectors”
are left to explain those who do. Trying to explain the
un-explainable can be an exhausting waste of valuable time.
In thinking themselves wise, they become fools! While
promoting themselves as scripturally knowledgeable they conveniently
ignore Paul the Apostle’s words of clarity: “The ONLY
thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love”.
From the same pen: “If you have not love you have NOTHING”.
Equally ignored is our Lord’s words: “By THIS they will
know you are Mine if you love one another”.
Is it not fair to say, what I saw on the internet the
other day, which is only the tip of the iceberg, can be correctly
translated in this reverse fashion: By THIS “they” will
know you aren’t mine!
My remaining concern: Will “they” be able to
discern flesh from spirit? By God’s all-sufficient grace, I
pray it would be so.
As for our young writer: He “demanded” an
explanation regarding that which “wasn’t said” to
his liking. There’s an old saying that rings true: “For
those who demand explanations, none will suffice. For those who
don’t, none is necessary”.
When we think things through, within the spirit of
fairness ( fairness meaning no questionable motives ), we seldom need
explanations! If we are simply looking for fault, we will find it.
But I wonder if we are equally willing to use the same measuring
device on ourselves as we do with others? Jesus said: As you have
been treated by Me, treat others in the same manner.
Critical is The New
It’s so very easy to sit behind the comfort and
safety of our laptops constantly scrutinizing those in the spotlight.
We judge, evaluate, and share our lofty opinions regarding their
every syllable, while never having experienced the pressures of the
spotlight ourselves. If God were to put us in their shoes, most of us
including me, would fold up like a cheap suitcase in ten minutes.
They would find us in the “fetal position” cowering in a
corner somewhere! Let’s be honest, it’s true! Is it even
imaginable what it would feel like having every word you “say”
or “don’t say”, policed by the denominationally
motivated religious elitists demanding that you explain yourself?
Church: Our faith is like none other. It was purchased
on a cross through the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus and
gifted to a group of unworthy sinners. A group we are now privileged
members of “by grace”. We should be more cognisant of
representing His sacrifice in a manner appropriately worthy of its
worth and not dragging it into the gutter of back-biting.
God would have been legally “correct” in
condemning us all to an eternity in hell. He certainly would have
been justified in doing so but He chose to meet His holy requirements
by being the fruition of those requirements Himself! His compassion
for our hopeless state superseded His need to be correct and in doing
so, remained “perfectly” correct. Jesus said: “Be
perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. Perfect in this
context means to us: I have my feelings about certain things but they
do not transcend nor have prominence over Your feelings Jesus. Thy
opinion not mine! Thy love, not mine! Thy will, not mine!
Brothers and Sisters: We above all others, should walk
and talk within the context of sweetly fragranced humility rather
than the awful stench of fault-finding, prideful “arrogance”,
keeping in mind, our first allegiance is not to ourselves nor our
denominational affiliation, but rather to Christ and Christ alone! We
aren’t here to justify any other “relevance” apart
A recent quote I heard from a young man while sharing
his parents advice as he embarked on his gospel music career: “Don’t
honor God first, honor Him ONLY”. Powerful advice folks! It
offers a simple antidote to the dilemma if so desired. Hopefully food
for serious consideration! Bottom line and perhaps the greatest truth
of all: We are called by God to inspire not inspect! Perhaps
investing “more time” being thankful, will leave us “less
time” to be critical?
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