Monday, January 5, 2009

Pharisees


I know ... A strange question but I'll throw it out there anyways ... Is it okay to hate smug, religious authoritarian hypocrites? Because Jesus would call them things like brood of vipers and hypocrites. so like, can we? Frankly, I think on the Christian walk, its normal to experience a season where we become pharisaical, then what happens when or if we too pass through that phase? It being a harder thing to realize about yourself. like most Pharisees can't see that they are Pharisees, they think everyone else is soft on sin or this or that.

"I don't want to go to that church because there are too many hypocrites there!" I'm sure you have heard this said before or maybe you have said it yourself. Well, no one is perfect and what better place for hypocrites to go than to church. The good news is that once through the phase, a person learns some humility and an ability to accept others, no matter how "stupid" they are. Nothing is easy about this Christian thing ...

Just some thoughts this evening ...

3 comments:

PCGuyIV said...

This kind of reminds me of a joke our preacher once told:

Guy#1: I don’t like going to church. There’s too many hypocrites there.

Guy#2: Then you’ll absolutely hate hell.

Not wanting to go to a church because it’s full of sinners is like not wanting to go to a hospital because it’s full of sick people. That’s where they need to be if they are ever going to “get well.”

Heidi said...

We have an interesting way of dealing with "Pharisees" at our church. Our pastor encourages us to see them as "critical spirits." Dealing with a "critical spirit" is extremely difficult, because they know all of the Scripture and can speak to you in ways that subtly belittle your own experiences.
Our pastor gives us this advice: When you encounter a "critical spirit," it is incumbent that you seek out prayer support of other believers in your dealings with that person. Your prayers are good, but you need to be supported by others.
We are taught to love the critical spirit because, as you said, many of us were like them at one point or another. But it's okay to protect the hearts of the seekers from them. In other words, if the critical spirit is a stumbling block to someone finding God, your first priority is that soul who is seeking. You see this all the time with Paul -- he was very hard on believers who fell under these categories (think about how he dealt wit those who argued about circumcision) ... but he was gentle and open with Gentiles who were genuinely seeking.
All this is to say ... love the critical spirit, pray for guidance in dealing with them, but don't allow them to be used by the Enemy to dissuade others from finding the Truth. And surround yourself with the prayer of other believers as you work through dealing with them.
It's hard -- I hope this made sense!

Wasteland Ministries said...

I believe we need to think ahead, too.

If we come across someone like this, I believe we need to provide a safe place for them to land. What will draw them out of their ways if they don't know there is a church full of people who are waiting to demonstrate their love?

If we simply reinforce to them that their views are right, they will stay where they are and we'll have to answer to God for our apathy and judgement.

And really, it comes back to this for me: I've been forgiven much, I can love much.