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The Top 10 Things Modern Pharisees Say Today

Pharisee = bad.

And yet the Pharisees were to some extent well-meaning people. They studied the law and knew it as well as anyone.

Their downfall, among other things, centered on their self-justification and self-importance.

But there’s evidence that some Pharisees were sincerely seeking God. After all, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, both Pharisees, arranged for Jesus’ burial. They were sympathetic to Christ and, from what we can tell, ultimately ended up following him.

Similarly, the mission of the early church was radically advanced by a converted Pharisee—Paul.

And yet, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their pride, lack of compassion and hypocrisy.

The irony, of course, is this: The people who purported to love God most ultimately killed him when he showed up.

This isn’t about Jews and Gentiles. It’s about religious people (like you and me) who in the name of God deny who God really is.

Denying God is exactly what we do when our attitudes justify ourselves more than they reflect the heart and love of Christ.

10 things Pharisees today say.

So what do today’s Pharisees say?

Based in part on the research and in part on my own experience, here are the top 10 things today’s Pharisees say.

A word of caution: As you read them, don’t think about who these phrases remind you of nearly as much as you think about how they reflect your attitude and actions.

If we all do that, we will all be better off and the church will be stronger for it:

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.