Monday, May 14, 2007

Recovering Pharisee

I hate to admit it but nobody knows it better than me. I’m a recovering Pharisee. It’s like I need to be in an AA group but its for recovering religiaholics. My name is David and I’m a religiaholic.

There was a kid’s song that I heard in my early years that went like this,
I don’t want to be a Pharisee,
I don’t want to be a Pharisee
Cuz a Pharisee’s not fair you see,
I don’t want to be a Pharisee.

The tendency of a Pharisee is to make everybody conform to whatever interpretation of scripture that they are favoring at that moment. The problem with their interpretation is that it is always birthed from rules instead of love.

Birthing something from love; how hard can that be? 39,000 denominations have given it a go and failed. House churches can pop up on every corner of every city, town and village in North America and not be birthed in love.

Conformity is the name of game but its better known name is religion. There are two main ways of missing out with God, sin or religion. Both can miss the point of love as the be all and end all. Of the two, sin is easier to see. Religion can be masked in all kinds of neat words like commitment, morality, faithfulness, sacrifice… and yet at its core, still miss out on love.

I know I’m a recovering Pharisee because when I hear some wonderful truth my mind tries to formulate a plan to make myself and/or others do it. I hear rules to conform to, rather than freedom to be lived in.

I can know truths like God is our healer and turn them into accusations against others when healing doesn’t occur.

I can wallow in condemnation even when I know there is no condemnation for God’s children.

I can work harder and harder to receive his acceptance even though He has already accepted me.

I can judge those who are trapped in religious walls, while I still struggle with trusting Him with my daily bread.

Perhaps the first step in the recovery process is the most important step of all.

Hi, my name is David and I’m a recovering Pharisee.

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