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12 Signs You Are a Modern-Day Pharisee

Modern-day Pharisees do the same. But they turn around and use the knowledge to convince others why they are wrong. The Bible is their personal weapon. Modern-day Pharisees use it to throw rocks at all the misguided, evil sinners in the world.

To modern-day Pharisees, the Bible is not a means to grow into the image of God. It is a means to convince the world of fallacies and misguided theology.

9. You believe outsiders should conform to a certain lifestyle before they are accepted as “Christian.”

This is a Pharisee trademark. Before non-Christians can be considered “part of the group,” they must conform to a certain lifestyle. Stop all of the cursing and drinking. And stop doing all the stuff “bad people” do.

Once potential Christians “fix their lives,” modern-day Pharisees gladly welcome these people into their family. Just don’t revert back to “sinning” again. Membership in the group is always conditional.

Instead of meeting people where they are, modern-day Pharisees force people to come up to their level. And until these people live up to the standard, they will be on the outside looking in.

10. You don’t know the difference between a convert and a transfer.

Modern-day Pharisees get just as excited when someone joins their church as they do when someone joins the kingdom of God. In fact, they don’t see much distinction between the two. They celebrate a baptism the same way they celebrate a family moving from across the street.

This is why no real desire for the lost exists. The church is adding “members.” But they are being added to the directory of the local church, not the directory of the Kingdom. Modern-day Pharisees don’t care. As long as the “church” is adding people.

11. All of your Christian friends look and act just like you do.

What is a Pharisee? Pharisees are exclusive. They pick and choose who enters the group. But Jesus never valued exclusivity. Just look at his chosen 12. A tax collector (Matthew). A doctor (Luke). Fishermen (Peter and Andrew). A Zealot (Simon). That’s a conglomerate of guys from many different backgrounds.

So, look around at your group? Is it essentially a collection of men and women cut from the same mold?

12. If someone tries to rebuke you, you get angry and offended.

Remember what happened Jesus rebuked the Pharisees? Their hearts broke. They repented. And Jesus used them to start the church.


When Jesus called out their sins, the Pharisees crucified him. Modern-day Pharisees see any rebuke as a personal attack. They immediately go on the offensive. Some get angry and storm off. Others proceed to make a list of sins to the person rebuking them.

Regardless, modern-day Pharisees refuse to have a heart receptive to rebuke. It undermines their external righteousness. And it undermines the lie that they are perfect.


Understand the reason I can write this post answering the question, “What is a Pharisee?” is because I have experienced all 12 of these in my life. I want to draw people to Jesus. I want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. I hope you do as well.

I ask you to pray for me and my struggles. If you have a comment or another sign of a modern-day Pharisee, respond below.

I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!