Wednesday, November 17, 2010
VOTE TO END all prejudice against Pharisees NOW!!
Pharisees are good people. They make great neighbors and good citizens. They do not steal, cheat, or lie. They are not given to idleness and are, in fact, quite industrious. They are not deviants and harbor no prurient interests. They don't cheat on their spouses and are really good parents to their children. They go to PTA meetings while the rest of us are home in front of the TV and they organize sales and fund raisers for all sorts of good causes. They go to church religiously, they pray and don't just talk about it, and, best of all they tithe -- dutifully!! They are fair and just to friend, foe, and stranger all alike. So stop crapping on the Pharisees!
Pharisees are good, solid folks. They are believers through and through and they put their money where their mouth is. They are not depressed or anguished souls but happy -- happy with God and happy with who they are. They don't whine or complain but hold everyone to the very same high standard they hold for themselves. They are solid middle class types who work hard, who don't waste their money on foolish things, and who are generous with those in need.
Why compare the Pharisee in working clothes, driving his Chevy, to that flashy Publican in a shiny suit and gaudy tie, riding in a chauffeur driven limo, drinking high priced booze, smoking real Cubans, with a couple of $1,000 flashy trash on each arm and which one do you want moving in next door or slipping down the pew to sit next to you???
You have just met up with a person on a personal quest against the unfair characterization and denigration of the fine, upstanding Pharisee. If you don't want them, send them to me. We need volunteers to weed the church gardens and clip our bushes. We need painters for our worn walls and teachers for our Sunday school, and cooks who bring huge pans of hot, delicious lasagna to our pot lucks. We need ushers and choir members, Bible study attenders and greeters -- who don't look down their noses at a pledge card when it is offered to them. Yeah, give me your tired, your Pharisees yearning to serve freely... I'll take as many as I can get.
Seems to me they have only one problem and it is not with me. Their problem is not with me but with God. You see, they look great and do good. But it just ain't good enough or great enough to impress God. All that darn scandal of grace stuff... You have to check your works at the door or you don't get in with God. Why, the Pharisee looks better than anybody else but it is not enough. You have to have more righteousness than a Pharisee to open God's gate. In the scandal of grace, the Pharisee and the Publican are the same. The best looking rat in the rat race is still a rat. So says, God, anyway... Goodness gives way to grace as the only card accepted at the heavenly gate -- grace, pure grace, and only Christ's brand will do...Grrrrrr.... Argggggg.... Ahhhhh...
What more can I say than "On Christ the solid rock, I stand... all other ground is sinking sand..."
A few thoughts inspired by Capon on the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican who went in the Temple to pray. . .