10 Signs you’d be more comfortable with the Pharisees than with Jesus (pt. 4)

1. You can tell a sinner that unless he repents and believes he is going to hell, but you won’t love him through the process of understanding the implications of these truths.

2. You only want to “hang out” with Christians who are as serious about the Christian faith as you are.

3. You protect your personal ministry because it is your identity.

4. Your conscience is etched in stone.

5. Your goal in conflict resolution is proving the other person wrong.

The Pharisees were great debaters.  They were experts in their field, and very rarely did anyone prove them to be wrong in a debate.  This doesn’t mean that they were wrong, it means that no one was smart enough to overcome their tactics in a debate.  No one, that is, until Jesus showed.  The Pharisees tried every trap they could think of to trick Jesus and defeat him in the court of public opinion.  None of them work.  There is much that we could learn from this, but I would like to point out to you that the Pharisees were only interested in proving their opponents wrong.  They were interested in the truth, they weren’t peacemakers, they were really good debaters.  If your primary goal in a conflict (with your wife, kids, friends, church members, unbelievers) is to make yourself look good by proving the other person wrong, then you would have fit right in with the Pharisees. Jesus wanted, and still wants, his followers to be peacemakers who are interested in the truth and God’s glory.

6. You end discussions by saying “this is the way we have always done it.”

The Pharisees rejected Jesus and the clear teaching of the OT, in part because it was new.  They would have had to change their ways. They didn’t like that idea.  They were completely happy to continue doing things they way they had always done them because, well it was their way which made it the best way.  True followers of Jesus are willing to accept change.  Not change just for the sake of change, or to be innovative.  But change dictated by Scripture.  Think about it, when the Pharisees herd Jesus expound upon the OT they should have changed the way they did things.  But they didn’t, because it wasn’t “they way we’ve always done it.”  True followers of Jesus can accept biblical warranted change because they trust the one who is Sovereign over the change.