5 Signs Of Modern Day Pharisees

In our modern time, communication and conversation within the body of Christ oftentimes goes awry.  We’ve fell into the trap of letting our communication come from a place of condemnation and judgement rather than anything else.  Most of our messages leave you wondering, “Is this message aligning with scripture?  Is this approach or delivery acceptable?”  To make matters even worse, social media has allowed a very critical, harsh communication a normality.  It puts us on full display as being those judgmental, self-righteous Christians that everyone thinks we are.

It’s essential that we should have the embodiment of Christ in everything we do, especially our communication.  Listen, Christ wasn’t a pushover nor a "softie" but he made sure to direct his message right at those who needed it.  We have to do the same, sending the message to those who are in need of hearing.  That’s why it’s so important to notice how we oftentimes show traits of being a modern day pharisee.  Statistically, 51% of the Evangelical community display Pharisee tendency/attitude towards the church.  It means we aren’t being led by the spirit of Christ, but more so head knowledge.  

So what is a Pharisee?  A pharisee is defined as a self-righteous or hypocritical person.  So how do we define a pharisee by modern day standards?  Here are 5 ways to notice modern day pharisees.  

Pointing Fingers Without Self-Reflection

A more correct name for this indication should be “Judging on a Curve.”  Individuals tend to love correcting everyone else but themselves.  You’ve seen someone who will call out someone’s sins or judge without first checking the skeletons in their own closet.  It’s easy to lean on the fact that you can call someone else out for their indiscretions but turn a blind eye on what’s wrong with you, personally.  

They also tend to correct out of self-righteousness; the need to appear right instead of doing so out of love.  The whole essence of being Christ-like is to love, for Christ is love.  Correcting someone because they need to be right essentially takes all glory from God and places it on yourself.

Teach and Pray, Just For The Appearance

Today, many people get into the habit of teaching and praying so that others may see just how smart they are instead of teaching for love and obedience of God.  This is exactly the opposite of what God tells us to do!  God tells us that we shouldn’t make a spectacle out of our personal prayer time.  He teaches us to find a quiet space where we can be alone and pray.  Even if we are praying for others or in public, it should be like the Gentiles and Pharisees of old.  It shouldn’t be for the show.  There shouldn’t be these extravagant words used for appearance or a spectacle made to make it look as though you are the most high of high.  Christ didn’t teach in that manner and neither should we.

Putting Trust In Their Own Words

Many people fall into the trap of thinking their word is the highest authority without ever cracking the bible.  Instead of leaning on God’s word, they tend to lean on what they know as the truth.  You’ll see people on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook declaring to be God’s personal speaker until you find out that none of it is based in scripture at all nor God-led.  It’s a personal “Look at me” statement and it harms the word of God even more. It’s a tendency that makes people scoff at the notion that Christians truly lean on the word of God.

No Real Concern For The Lost

Modern day pharisees tend to lean on the notion that appearances are more than bringing the lost sheep home.  Okay, so let’s set the scene for an example…

You’re in a situation where you’re listening to someone try to explain how to solve (insert whatever) and boy, they’re on a roll.  They got the speech down to a T, man I’m talking about the fact that they’re accentuating every syllable in every word.  You really need this advice, your overall well-being and sanity depends on it.  The more you listen, though, the more you understand they have no clue what they’re talking about and honestly, could care less if they help you or not.  They just want to appear as though they are caring, you know so everyone sees it.

I’ve actually had this happen where I saw someone preaching the good word on Twitter.  Though I wouldn’t quantify myself as lost, I did need a helping hand with something so I answered the “call” they put out to reach out.  Well long story short, I noticed they only “helped” certain people and the rest, they could care less about.  If people do that to people who are in need, that lost sheep or prodigal child is left, out there, looking for help.  Modern day pharisees have no real concern for helping; they only preach for appearance or what it can get them.

Very Critical Judgment

Lastly, modern day pharisees are prone to be very critical of others, lending no room for loving correction.  They come at other christians or non-believers in a very critical, harsh manner that tears them down rather than lovingly correct them.  This is the same tendency old-age pharisee exhibited.  They weren’t ones to lend a hand for those who were in need.  They felt that they were higher than others and therefore, had the right to judge and be critical.  Fast-forward unto today where text messages and computers; social media and other things make it easy for people to say or judge whomever, whenever.  

Call To Action

It’ll be simple…Love, before you judge;  listen, before you speak;  learn, before you teach.  Learn how to be discerning, you know not what someone else may be going through when you choose to come at them in a not so loving manner.  Understand, the God we serve in Heaven sees all that you do and the intention you do it with.  Be better; be better people in a day-and-age where this is a rarity.  Dive into your word, the bible was made for a reason.  Learn how to act just as Christ did.  Christ wasn’t a pushover, he just knew how to handle himself.  He knew when to open his mouth in love just as well as when to open his mouth to teach.  We have the perfect present that helps us with this all, the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  My heavenly Father, in a world of so much wrong;  I just want to be that which is so much right.  Teach me to conduct myself as Jesus, both in my actions and in my words.  I want to be that which is pleasing to you rather than that which brings the kingdom down.  I pray, I pray through every fiber of me that those who behave as the pharisees of old become as the those anew.  That they drop their tendencies and walk with Christ, become like Christ, and lead towards Christ.  I ask these and all other blessings in your son Jesus name, amen.

Scripture to Ponder Upon

James 1:19

Colossians 4:6

1 Corinthians 13

Romans 15

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