Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pharisees of today

Jesus compared the pharisees to tombs, 'whited sepulchres.' They were clean and presentable on the outside but inside they were filled with corruption and decay. The same applies to any pretenders who claim to be better than they are by keeping up appearances, which is not the same as living up to them. And some of the best examples are the political poseurs who claim to show the rest of us the way.
What strikes me in particular is this. Some righteous, politically correct people have the most exhaustive social conscience, and make sure they tell others. They don't drink coffee if the beans were picked by exploited workers. They don't wear clothes made in a sweat shop. They don't buy things exported from a country with a government that breaches human rights. And when it comes to their sexual behaviour they have no scruples at all. Even if they are as good as they say, doing all the fine things to save the planet, their behaviour can be a betrayal of others and do huge hurt to those they claim to care about.
In Australia, a member of parliament from the Greens party, married with three children, has been caught having an affair with a member of the Liberal party. Both are married, and they represent different sides of politics. But they can both go behind their partners' backs and carry on with this thing in secret. Them and hundreds more. They say all the right things, claim to stand for what it good and then just indulge themselves, in a way that hurts those close to them and denies what they claim they stand for.
I have to remember my own sins, and the words "Judge not, that you be not judged." My own record will be no great credit to me on the Day of Judgement. But the longer I live the more believable are the words of the Prophets, and of Jesus Himself, condemning the vast sin of the world. It is a bad mistake to start thinking humans are not really so bad, and that the Christian Gospels are too harsh in what they say; and that a loving God would not condemn, and all that. Because if I look around me or inside myself it is not a pretty picture. God must love me all right, to not have abandoned me long ago. And that goes for us all, the more so the proud ones who think they will prove their worth while denying God. You can see people about to bring fearful wrath down on themselves, and they don't know it or refuse to see it. Like the pharisees, if they keep the outside clean and polished, what do they think the inside matters?
But you can't fool God.


Nitewrit said...


There is a difference between judging a person and judging behavior. It is not loving to ignore bad behavior because we have our own sins. Much has to do with how we live our lives. Do we recognize our sinning, regret it and attempt to repent or do we embrace our sin and try to hide it or embrace it. (Or do we try to pretend we are not sinners and elevate ourselves falsely.) When we point out bad or risky behavior in others it is not a judgment on that person or their soul, but if we ignore such behavior we may well be condemning them.


Andrew Clarke said...

I agree, Larry. The Christian approach is to reject the sin, not the sinner. If we don't reject sin, in ourselves and others, we end up legitimising it and it becomes ingrained. My point is that legalistic self-righteousness can take so many forms, and it is very dangerous to forget that God is not fooled by appearances. Also, there is so much scorn directed at Christians, often by moderrn day pharisees;and the people who direct it are just what they condemn Christians for being.

Farrah said...

Excellent post. Politically correct is nothing next to Biblically correct. One is for appearance, and the other is life-changing. :-)

God bless you, Andrew!!

Andrew Clarke said...

Good to hear from you, Farrah. As you say, political correctness changes nothing. I keep wondering why people still bother with it.