Why I’m A Modern Pharisee
The world of the pharisee is one we see in scripture as villainous and evil. The people trying to oppose Jesus and stop our beloved savior from achieving His purpose. They come off as foolish, clumsy and moronic. But it’s safe to say that within the Hebrew culture: if you believed in God and were steadfast; it would have probably been easier to be a pharisee than to follow Jesus.
Pharisee or not. I love fashion. And if you’re a Christian you should get some. After all…spirit of excellence…right? I judge people in the church for not dressing cool enough. Thinking the Holy Spirit abides in skinny jeans, tattoos and plaid. This urks me since it makes me so incredibly unreceptive to a word of God that doesn’t come in the package I want. Which means I could miss Jesus at any moment…just like the pharisees. And condemn Jesus at any moment…also just like the pharisees did.
I’m a pharisee because I hold people to a standard I’m not willing to live up to. Then act like I’m living it out while people are around. Putting on a religious sit-com for the world to see but inside I’m a disaster. Inside I’m broken and what’s worse is; I refuse to talk to God about it. Since, well; I’m supposed to have it all together.
I question the bible, yet take YouTube wisdom at face value. I sin and assume forgiveness without asking. Yet I expect others to ask for forgiveness from me and God when they sin.
I take exhortation to heart and exhalation to the head. Much like the Pharisees I wear my religion as a badge of honor. Like a college degree used to give me the authority to tell people what to do instead of giving me the incentive to humble myself lower than everyone else like Jesus did as He washed His disciples feet and was brutally tortured by His own society.
I love to make suggestions and never listen when someone suggests something to me.
I love to lead people but rarely enjoy it when the Holy Spirit leads me somewhere I don’t want to go. I call this Leaderitis.
I’ve said “I” like 80 times in this article already and I’m loving it. I didn’t pray before writing this and think that if I prayed before writing there would be an anointing on the article.
I cringe when someone uplifts me thinking they are fake, and strive to do the same; finding it easier to be cynical.
As I read parables I despise the prodigal son and empathize with the older one. It’s easy to see why staying in church and working should be rewarded with more love from God! It’s a tough pill to swallow to see a new believer get saved and see their ministry sky rocket with unfathomable grace. Even though I DON’T THINK THEY’RE QUALIFIED! I’m a pharisee. I decide who’s qualified for ministry.
I can’t stand people who disagree with me.
As I wash off my face in the morning and look in the mirror I wonder how weird it is that a one time atheist could slip so far the other way and become a Pharisee. How is Jesus’ love so wide and expansive?
I looked in the mirror today and I was horrified.
I told myself I wouldn’t do it much, since it hurts so badly every time I do. Did you know (I learned this in bible study) that the first time the word “hypocrite” shows up in the New Testament, it was Jesus saying it? In greek (the original language of the New Testament) it means an actor or stage player. So Jesus was calling people actors!
hypocriteACTOR, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Something I rarely do.
But what I’m starting to realize more than ever, is that although Jesus was harsh on the pharisees; he was more so evoking a challenging love. Longing for them to discover the heart of the religion they so claimed. Challenging them to discover the truth behind the God of their theology and list of rules. It’s the same today.
Although I judge so quickly, speak so cynically and contradict myself; Jesus comes and meets me at my weakest. For me, my weakest happens to be when I think I’m strongest. A manly man who’s got it all under control, who thinks knowledge can overcome the obstacles that only God can resolve. Or a man who thinks that worldly wisdom can heal matters of the heart that only the Great Physician can.
All in all Jesus took to the cross and said the words “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” A merciful, yet all powerful plea of forgiveness from a savior; for those who wrote him off. From here on out. I choose to look to that sentence as my manifesto. And choose to not write off Jesus’ grace, His heart for the broken or even His miracles.
I am a pharisee no more.