Beware of the yeast of the pharisees and being a mother isn't always fun
I wrote my daughter a letter this week. I explained that being a parent was not always fun. I wish I could say, "Do whatever makes you happy" and "Eat all you want!" and "Watch whatever. It doesn't matter." It would make my job as parent much easier.
But I've always felt one of the important roles I have as parent is that of gatekeeper, monitoring what comes in and keeping the bad stuff away. That worked great when she was two. It's a job I'm realizing, only lasts a limited time. All too soon you can't shield them from everything. They get to make choices. You can't be around all the time and they'll watch and listen and eat what they want.
Jesus told the disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees. Yeast puffs up (through a process which excretes carbon dioxide), spreads throughout and breaks down (protein into amino acids, starch into sugar and fat into fatty acids).
False doctrine does the same thing. It strips believers of their peace, as they cling to worldly philosophy, philosophy like "God wants me to be happy." That's not in the Bible; in fact, Jesus warns us that in this world we will have trouble. But false doctrine creeps in and we buy into it, because we want that happiness. Then cancer or death or financial trouble come, and we're left with a problem. Either God isn't real or He doesn't love me, cause I'm not happy. Bad philosophy leaves me broken down.
It strips the Bible of it's power, because false doctrine has us thinking we are the answer. God's given us all we need so we can go do great things. (Tower of Babel anyone?) The Bible has to be outdated and the church needs to change to fit culture. Set it aside and use our own wisdom, embrace whatever culture is embracing, because surely we are better and wiser than those before us.
There's just one problem with that. David reminds us that "surely we were sinful from birth, sinful from the time our mother conceived us" (Psalm 51:5). Talk to anyone who knows a "great" person. They aren't quite as great when you have to put up with their weaknesses.
The Bible's purpose is to reveal God's plan for salvation (and it's not us, thank you, Jesus) and give us a guide for Christian living. The world can't come up with anything better, because God's plan was perfect. It can only fool us into thinking it can give us something better, which is why we have to be on our guard. The stakes are high and Satan will do just about anything to gain a soul.
I'd love to give my daughter miles of independence with a pat on the back and a "have fun." The day will come when I send her off, but I won't be saying "have fun." I'll be saying, "Be on your guard" because I know a little yeast goes a long ways and if you aren't careful, it will spoil the whole batch.