The Pharisee series is dedicated to someone very close to me; that person being... well, me. It is an analysis of myself and the Pharisee who is always peeking his head out, trying to take away the joy and freedom I have in Christ.
If while reading this series you saw a bit of the Pharisee in you as well, then welcome to the club. If you didn't; well then, I am sorry for you. You are delusional and need to re-evaluate the "magnificence" that is you.
The Pharisee is not partial to the white Christian fundamentalist Baptist, reformed Presbyterian, or other white polyester suit wearing male of your main-line denominational choosing. The Pharisee also likes to show up in those who feel hurt or marginalized by the church. He especially likes those who say, "We're not like those other 'denominations'...", mostly because there he finds the heavily fertilized (yes, I do mean "shat" upon) ground of discontent, anger and self-righteousness hidden in the cloak of "deeper" spirituality.
Tim Keller, in his study of the book of Galatians, says "The gospel teaches us to say:
'I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe'
'I am more accepted and loved than I ever dared hope' "
Yes my friends it is true; sexual deviance is a horrible and hurtful sin, but so is moralism and judgementalism. Either way, you are a sinner. Either way, you are contributing to your own self-destruction and causing division and strife.
At the same time the grace and love that God extends to one, he also extends to the other.
There is hope for the silly little bearded Jewish man in us all.
I leave you with this great song by Steve Taylor from back in the day:
Strike this little pose
Chin up in the air
Lips together tightly
Nostrils in a flare
Now look like you care
Practice in the mirror
Brushing back a tear
A promising career could begin right here at home
If you've got that smug...That smug...
Hey mama hey mama lookee what your little babies all have become
Hey mama hey mama don't it ever make you wish you'd been a nun?
Vain and fickle, were we weaned on a pickle?Is it in our blood?
Rome is burning
We're here turning smug
Strike another pose
Swallow their conventions
Get your power fix
We love to mud wrestle
We love to be politically Koreshed
Practice that smug
Post it like a man
One part Master Limbaugh
Two parts Madame Streisand
Now pretend you're in a band
My, my, we're looking smug
Very very very very
All you smug-starved millions in the thick of the search
Welcome to our church
Whatcha wanna solve?
We can help you evolve from merely self-righteous
To perfectly smug
Strike the proud pose of our country club brethren
Friendly as a tomb
Fragrant as the bottom of a locker-room broom
Now what's the matter?
Hey...get off your knees...that part don't come 'til later...
God will not be pleased...
Rome is cooking
My, we're looking smug