Deliver me from the evil
Of religion for show;
Of pesky piety
And veneer of holiness.
Fire me through with living truth
That will burn up my own reputation
So your image will shine through.
You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness.
NOTE: I realized lately that one form of legalism is judging people's Christianity by what kind of good works they do, instead of by whether and why they do good works. For example, some Christians are strong on helping those who come across their path, but never help those who are far away. Some Christians are the opposite. Some Christians campaign against abortion, but are have no concern about the environment. Others are the reverse. Some Christians are zealous for world missions but not compassionate to a fellow-believer who's in emotional pain. Some are the opposite. May we each follow the Lord so thoroughly that by his grace we'll do good, and do more good, and not condemn one another for doing good in different ways.
Poem and photo ©2008 James L. Swindle