Jesus addressed the Pharisees of his day; the job of Christ-followers is to address the Pharisees of our day. Our church leaders are the Pharisees. When we call your church leaders "Pharisees" we are not talking about someone else's church. Mainline and Catholic churches are not normally evangelical, or "dispensational" as the popular self described term introduced by Cyrus I Scofield calls them, but if Mainliners and Catholics fail to speak out, they are no better than evangelicals who openly support war.
Jesus set the standard for challenging religious leaders. In talking to Pharisees, Jesus said (paraphrased):
"How terrible it is for you teachers of the law, Pharisees, you hypocrites! You lock the door of the kingdom of heaven in other people's faces, but you yourself do not go in nor do you allow in those who are trying to get in."
Jesus told the Pharisees they were unfit for the kingdom of heaven. The source of their corruption was the ruling faction Jesus referred to as Pharisees and condemned to hell in Matthew 24. Our political leadership today depends on Judaized Christians (the so-called Christian Right) for their rock hard political support. Pharisaic-Christianity is every bit as political as Judean Pharisaism was.
The Pharisees were in bed with the Romans. We Hold These Truths published a scholarly book named One Nation Under Israel on this subject. Judaized support for serial wars hinges upon the 100- year old altered scripture found in study bibles and scores of related popular novels, which place the focus on Israel instead of Christ.
The modern State of Israel borrowed its name from an ancient story of the lineage of Abraham, called Israelites. The political State of Israel came into existence 40 years after the first Scofield Reference Bible heralded it's coming. The Zionist state of Israel and evangelical Christianity are a strange pair of Siamese twins, inseminated at the same time, but born after different gestation periods. Israel existed very much in the plans of the World Zionist movement in 1908 when a Zionist-friendly Oxford University Press published the Scofield's book.
Scofield helped an absent-minded god remember his long-forgotten promise, (they claimed) not to the ancient Israelites and their descendants, but to the European immigrants to Israel. Respected European, Theodore Herzl, legitimatized political Zionism--a movement to establish political rights to land for a Jewish state. Evangelicalism is now a giant cross-denominational sect that we have named Judaized-Christianity.
One such international Pharisee in the news is Kay Arthur, the founder and leader of Precept Ministries. At a Jerusalem interview in early June she told of plans to lobby the Israeli Knesset against Israel giving any concessions to Palestinians. She is one of those who seem to believe the Palestinians must go, on foot or in body bags. She told Haaretz:
"God has chosen Israel above all the nations of the earth, and because I love God, I have to follow God's heart and be dedicated to the land and the people of Israel."
"If I had to choose between America and Israel, I would choose Israel.”
Kay Arthur's Israeli Patriotism is her own business, but the blood on her hands is staining those who follow here, and her political lobbying for war costs live and lot of dollars everywhere. Evangelicals are taught that the Old Testament is fulfilled in the creation of the political state of Israel. Why? Because Jesus said so. In the book of Matthew, Jesus called the Judean Pharisees "a generation of vipers." "You snakes and children of snakes, how do you expect to escape from the condemnation of hell?" Matthew 23:33
Pharisees are, by Jesus definition, the leaders of most (but not all) evangelical churches. Their mission is every bit as deadly and bloody as those Jesus challenged almost 2000 years ago. These leaders can change.