Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Modern Day Pharisee

As I read through modern Christian periodicals, books, tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and more, I keep coming upon a term that I think needs expounded on.  The term I keep reading of is "Modern Day Pharisee."

Sounds serious doesn't it?  Take that you....you...you whoever that stands for.  Modern Day Pharisee?  What is a modern day pharisee and what do they do?  Now, before the thousands who read this blog start hammering away at definitions of a modern day pharisee, I think it is best to stick with our rule of thumb....WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

I suppose the best way to begin to study this is by defining what a past day pharisee was.  The "law of first mention" takes us to Matthew 3:7-8:
"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:"
So a Pharisee was one who was not saved.  They had never repented and were not ready for the wrath to come.  I suppose then a modern day Pharisee would have to be someone who is not saved.

A pharisee was also someone who was very righteous in their works.  Matthew 5:20 reads,
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter ingot he kingdom of heaven."
Apparently, they were very righteous acting (not enough to work their way into heaven-no one can do that) but they were very righteous acting.  They did things like tithe (Matthew 23:23), pray (Luke 18:11),  fast (Matt. 9:14), and was sure to look good on the outside (Matthew 23).  And you know what? The Lord never rebuked them for doing these things.  His rebuke was not that their works were wrong, but rather:
"...within they are full of extortion and excess.....within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."
The past day Pharisee was a lost man.  A religious, but lost man.  They loved being seen by men, they lied, they converted others to lies....they were lost, but knew a lot about the Truth.  

Now, we come to 2014 and read all about the "modern day pharisee."  So, they must be referring to people who know the truth but are lost and need to repent and be saved, right?  

Let's examine.  Here is a comment from Facebook from an Independent Fundamental Baptist describing the modern day Pharisee:
"To hit the nail on the head it generally seems to be those who are 'most' separated.  The outside of the platter is clean type.  Ironically it is modern day Pharisee as it gets."
So, the modern day Pharisee is one who is most separated?  I don't understand.  I would if it would have been added, "but the inside of the cup is filthy and needs to be cleansed, but that isn't there.  Then you read of others who always associate the modern day pharisee with those who have standards in music and dress, strong doctrine, church discipline, proper church polity, and separation from things in the world that Scripture teaches are wrong.

Now did the past day Pharisees pay attention to details in strict standards, Bible, discipline, polity, and separation?  Yes, but those things were never rebuked by our Lord.  Matter of the fact, He says, "these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."  Again, they were rebuked because inwardly they were lost and all the rituals in the world profit nothing without a personal experience with Christ; but after a personal experience with Christ, these same things can share light to a very dark world.

Take circumcision for example.  Some Jews were thinking that their circumcision was "what it was all about,"  Paul rebuked them in Romans 2 saying:
"For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.....But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Let me conclude....I get it.  I know what everyone is trying to say.  There are some who are so full of themselves and proud of themselves that they forget what it is all about, souls.  But it seems that the only people using the term "Modern Day Pharisees" are other believers who have lower standards of those they accuse trying to appease their conscience by casting stones at others.  The ones accusing others of being a MDP are not trying to help a brother, but tear one down.  The ones accusing others of being a MDP usually are the ones who in their heart know they are not right with God in a matter and just because another brother will not tell them they are "OK" or condone their unbiblical life, they feel the need to tear them down and destroy them.

Wait a second, the past day pharisee couldn't stand the righteousness the Lord lived and tried to tear Him down and destroy Him to cover their inward wickedness...maybe the modern day pharisee is the ones accusing others.....maybe....think about it.

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