Vol.XVIII No.V Pg.1
July 1981

"It Is Corban"

Robert F. Turner

By Jewish tradition, one could declare his possessions "Corban" (dedicated to the temple), and therefore not subject to lien or other obligations. Some Jews took refuge in this tradition as justification for neglecting their parents. One could say, "I can't support my aged mother, for my money has been promised to God." But God had commanded them to "honor" their parents, as well as to support the temple. The apparently noble gesture of dedicating possessions to God was destroyed by its use to escape obligations to parents. Jesus exposed their hypocrisy, saying, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me" (Mk. 7:11; Matt. 15:3-9).

Religionist like these could falsely accuse Jesus, and deliver him to Pilate for crucifixion; while remaining too "holy" to enter a Gentile judgment hall "lest they be defiled" before eating the Passover (Jn. 18.28).

Modern counterparts abound today. One "gives at church" so he feels no obligation toward a needy neighbor. Another excuses an ugly sectarian spirit because he "told the truth." In their zeal to fight what they believe to be the "fight of faith" others may throw ethics to the wind and slander and malign their brethren. God is not the author of such conduct (Jas. 1:13-15).

It is Satan who convinces us we can pit one service for God against another — that we can "do evil that good may come." We are kidding no one but ourselves when we brand our cause "Corban" — dedicated to God's glory — and think this relieves us of the need to be honorable, considerate of others, and humbled in the realization of our own weakness.

God commands us to war against sin and war is not easy. I believe spiritual warfare is harder than carnal battles, for we must curb our own flesh, and love our enemy, through the conflict. Saying we love them, as we violate God's definition of love (1 Cor. 13:4-6) is just more "Corban."

God demands clean hands and a pure heart of those who stand before Him.