Spiritual leaders have an important role in bringing the spiritual pollution to people’s attention! Sometimes those who can speak the truth about the spiritual climate, avoid it or justify it, and as a result the pollution remains.
Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. Mark 7:1-9
Jesus was living in era of time that the religious leaders had been majoring in minors. The above passage tells us how concerned they were about the Jewish people washing their hands before they ate. They saw this as spiritual defilement if the people did not do it. They were also concerned about proper washing of cups, pitchers, etc. as if that would bring people anyone closer to God. The religious leaders of the day were concerned about the external matters that did not impact the heart of condition of the hearers neither did it do anything about the spiritual pollution in the air.
We can be very clean on the outside and act like we have it all together, but on the inside we still can be polluted by rejecting God’s commandments and allowing ourselves to be defiled.
Similarly, today’s religious leaders can be distracted. Some of them are into social justice and helping those who have experienced various disadvantages. Some of them are into politics hoping that the right politicians or policies to save this country. Those things may help the society to some degree, but they are still not snatching people from the pit of hell. The priority should be teaching the truth that cuts, heals, convicts, and restores.
Our spiritual leaders should be like skilled physicians who work under the authority of the Great Physician diagnosing people’s spiritual ills and helping them find their way back to God. Once they find their way back to God, then the process of growth, sanctification, and discipleship begins.
If all the preachers and pastors do is to fight naturally, they have not done anything to fight the spiritual pollution. People may like those kinds of pastors and feel good about their leaders, but, at the end of the day, they have not been exposed to the truth of the gospel.
There is pollution in the air, and God’s people and His leaders need to speak out about it. We cannot ignore it or hide ourselves in our churches, so we can protect ourselves from the pollution. It is everywhere, and we need to ask the Lord to help us skillfully share the good news and help people see sin for what it is.
Let’s pray and declare that they days of just making people feel good in the church are over. Christian leaders need to be frontrunners in this battle against spiritual pollution. We also need to pray for unity of voice. The more the church is divided in its messaging and preaching, the more confusion for the people. Furthermore, they will gravitate towards those churches that makes them feel good. People tend to think that whoever makes them feel good, are the ones who are accepting of them, but that is a lie. I would rather be confronted with the truth of my condition than just make feel good knowing that I am out of line in my spiritual life.
When Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he fasted, prayed, and asked the Lord for forgiveness of his sins and his fathers’ sins. The spiritual walls in our nation are broken down at many levels, and there is much chaos, confusion, and broken families in the land. There is pollution in the air, and people need to hear the truth from the spiritual leaders.