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The Church

Christians Are Today’s Pharisees, Coda

I want to tell you a personal story that illustrates why I get so angry that we’ve allowed ourselves to become known by the spirit of pride and condemnation.

Before I get there, I should recognize that I’m often critical of the church in my writings. People may get the impression I hate it. I don’t. I actually love the church. And like I said earlier, I recognize there are multitudes of us who quietly go about our lives being merciful, showing charity, and being a real light in this world—the whole world, not just our own little Christian circles. I’m fortunate to know lots and lots of you like that. My friends at Journey Church saved my belief in this.

But like James says, teachers are called to higher accountability, and when it comes to those who don’t follow Jesus, we are all the ones in the role of teacher. Most people in your life will form their opinion of Jesus not by logical, rational contemplation but by watching the news and watching you.

That’s quite a responsibility. And it leads into my next point:

I strongly believe that the most dangerous threat Christians in America face today is not not gay marriage or Democratic presidents. It’s the spirit of the Pharisee within.

Our greatest peril today isn’t them. It’s us.

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The Church

Christians Are Today’s Pharisees, pt. 2

In America we Christians, fairly or not, have collectively become known to our culture to be like Pharisees. All of us, Catholics and Protestants alike, need to hear and learn from Jesus here:

“Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

Matt 9:13

Jesus calls to sinners. He doesn’t convict them. He gives hope, healing, and mercy to anyone. He loves furiously and he offers good news to bad people. And the sinners flocked to him by the thousands.

They still do today, by the billions.

Categories
The Church

Christians Are Today’s Pharisees

I love Matthew 23. It’s Jesus laying down a no-holds-barred smackdown on the self-righteous Pharisees. It blows the caricature of a flannelgraph, mild-mannered inoffensive Jesus out of the water.

Here’s the thing, though.

Today, he’s speaking those words to us.

We are today’s Pharisees.