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WHI-1092 | True & False Piety

Posted by on in 2012 Show Archive
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In Matthew 6, Jesus warns his followers about various forms of "showy" righteousness: "Beware of practicing your righteousness before others in order to be seen by them." Elsewhere, Jesus criticized the Pharisees for similar reasons, saying that outwardly they were like beautiful decorated tombs, yet inwardly were full of dead bones (Matt. 23:27). On this program, the hosts discuss this section of the Sermon on the Mount and evaluate some of the ways in which contemporary Christians are guilty of breaking this command.

Who Am I Really?
Michael Horton

The Higher Life
Michael Horton


Zac Hicks

[audio:http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2012whi1092mar11.mp3|titles=WHI 1092|artists=White Horse Inn]



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  • Dr. Horton,

    In light of your comments during this episode, I would be interested to hear your opinion on the military Chaplaincy. Your comments on civil religion seemed to suggest that you are not in favor of prayer for any public events, for any reason. As an Army Reserve Chaplain, I must pray at public events such as change of command ceremonies, promotions, etc. However, I also am able to spend a significant amount of time sharing the Gospel, unhindered in worship services, counseling, etc. Would you consider this an unacceptable trade off?

    Matt McCraney

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  • Guest - Michael Horton

    Pastor McCraney, this is a great example of how complicated it can be in application: a case in which your ministry is under the auspices of the US Armed Forces. Others may be more helpful on this question, but I'd suggest that as long as you can minister freely in the name of Christ and on behalf of Christ's kingdom--rather than in the name of the U.S. and its interests--you're on solid ground. Thanks for your service!

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  • Thanks for your response! My experience has been different from much of the popular Christian media's portrayal. I recently prayed at a promotion ceremony standing next to a two star general "in the matchless name of my Lord, my Savior, and My God, Jesus Christ." I haven't been ordered not to pray in Jesus name, pray generically, or to do anything violates my conscience. There are pressures, but most I have found comes from liberal Christians outside the Military. In some ways, I almost feel more free in my proclamation of the Word than I do in my civilian church, as I am dependent on the church for my salary. I am sure that there are some who feel unwarranted comfort from the "religious man's" prayers in the public square, though I could say the same thing about people in my church. While I work hard to be there for every surgery, procedure, and hospitalizations, some feel as though God has not blessed them until the pastor shows up. Some take a great deal of comfort from public prayer with the pastor, leaning sometimes more on me than on Jesus. In my mind, the church folks are not much different from Patton making his fair weather prayer request to his Chaplain.

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