I mentioned in my first blog that I am a big reader. I’m currently in the midst of getting beat up pretty bad by Larry Osborne. His book, “Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith” has really been a complete sucker punch. I highly recommend it!
I know what you are thinking. I couldn’t possibly be a pharisee, so what is so bad about the book? I know. I thought the same thing. I figured I’d read the book because I probably knew some pharisees and I’d be able to identify them easier.
Well, as it turns out, the truth is a much darker place. I have some pharisee tendencies. You probably do, too. Anything that is our pet issue can cause us frustration with those who don’t see things the way we see them. We can even believe they aren’t as good of a Christian because of it.
Want some examples? I’ll give you a few. If you are very big with memorization of scripture, you might think that those Christians who don’t put it as high of a priority aren’t really serious about their faith. Christians that drink wine at night may not rank very high in the eyes of a teetotaler. What about those who live simple lives? It may irk them to see a Christian driving a brand new car that they financed?
There is a big difference between things that make us a Christian and the things we feel convicted about as Christians. We have to be very careful that we don’t add extras to Jesus just because of our own experience. Jesus is enough by Himself. When we add rules on how to be a Christian, legalism and exclusivity get in the way. There is freedom in Christ. We need to make sure our call to unity isn’t turned into mandatory uniformity.
FPC, as a church, strives to remove the “extras” between us and Christ. We have to make sure that we don’t add them back in on a personal level.
I highly recommend this book to all Christians. Think of it as a mirror. Let God use the insight that Osborne has brought out in this book to check ourselves against an easy trap.