Jesus rebuked the religious leaders that had the law and should have known better. Jesus rarely chastised the common people since many did not have the truth and depended on the Pharisees, scribes, and teachers of the law to instruct them. In Jesus’ hometown Christ went about teaching the people that lacked faith.
Fundamentals are important to build a foundation of faith, and in Hebrews believers are encouraged to mature and leave the elementary teachings of Christ and to go on to maturity. Repentance from acts that lead to death, faith in God, the doctrine of the baptisms, the laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment are basic teachings that should be improved upon.
Unfortunately there are many Christians that have not progressed passed the baby stage where they still need to be burped, hand fed, and have their diaper changed with regularity. It is pitiful that many Christians have not taken responsibility for their own spiritual development and rely on other Christians to constantly stand in for them.
However the real damage is done when unseasoned or unwise believers give terrible advice to those seeking counsel and are alienated from spiritual development by bad information. It does not matter if the advice is well intended or not, the damage is still the same.
Having a Pharisee attitude has caused great destruction in the church body. Instead of adhering to the warning “judge not less ye be judged” or “as you measure it, it will be measured against you”, people with lack of understanding will attempt to implement their own idea of righteousness into others. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to operate, those in error will take it upon themselves to determine a time table for improvement at the other’s expense.
The Bible instructs to accept others whose faith is weak without passing judgment. The Bible clearly stipulates that the Holy Spirit teaches us all things and brings all things to remembrance. The biggest mistake made within the church in discipleship is attempting to change somebody without proper understanding.
Hypocrisy can take its toll by inhibiting the spiritual development of those with a critical attitude of those around them. It is the classic worried about the speck in somebody else’s eye while there is a board in your eye. It may appear one is mature but in reality there is an arrested development in their spiritual maturity.
Self-righteous believers have the false impression of their own goodness and believe they no longer need to go through the process of repentance since there is a belief they can do nothing wrong. This pride in oneself is something God hates since this elevated opinion of self comes before destruction according to Proverbs 16:18.
There are issues that can be found in churches since people are the primary makeup of the church. It is easy to forget that Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.
Displaying the love of Christ is what separates an authentic Christian from an artificial one.