Who has kept the new covenant so effectively under wraps that most Christians still believe their hearts are evil? Dear God—they hold to that lie as a core doctrine of their faith. To say your heart is good still sounds like heresy. Whose PR campaign made that so effective? And who convinced the church to stay so focused on the Cross that we know next to nothing about the power of the Resurrection and the Ascension? Why has the cross become our central symbol when it wasn’t the central symbol for the first four hundred years of the church? Is it any wonder that we think Christianity is primarily about not sinning and waiting to die to go to heaven? What happened to the life, the glory of God as man fully alive?

Let me ask you another question: Who did Jesus tangle with more than any other group or type of person? Who started the rumors about him to try to discredit his ministry? Who kept trying to put him on the spot with their loaded questions? And when it became clear they could not shame or intimidate him back into place, where did the open opposition to Christ come from? Who paid Judas the thirty pieces of silver? Who got the crowd to yell for Barabbas when Pilate was ready to let Jesus go?

Religion and its defenders have always been the most insidious enemy of the true faith precisely because they are not glaring opponents; they are impostors. A raving pagan is easier to dismiss than an elder in your church. Before Jesus came along, the Pharisees ran the show. Everybody took what they said as gospel— even though it didn’t sound like good news at all. But we wrestle not against flesh and blood. The Pharisees and their brethren down through the ages have merely acted—unknowingly, for the most part—as puppets, the mouthpiece of the Enemy.

 

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