Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I’ve been listening to some sermons by Tim Keller. (You can find a good list of audio files and documents at D. J. Chaung’s site.) He was talking about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). But he made a point that we are all subject to self-righteousness.

If we are not aware of our own tendencies to self-righteousness, we are like the Pharisees who claim to be able to see and thereby put themselves beyond Jesus’ ability to heal their blindness (John 9:41).

Like the Pharisee in the parable we pray, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people, those who
  • don’t preach the true gospel.”
  • are lost in emotionalism.”
  • are too intellectual.”
  • are legalistic” (double irony!).
  • are not passionate about their faith.”
  • are bound by traditional ways of doing church.”
  • are unkind in their treatment of people with new ideas.”
  • have a flawed theology (one different than mine).”
  • say bad things about the people I like.”
  • are people pleasers and say good things about the people I don’t like (teach ‘error’).”
  • don’t care enough about the poor.”
  • spend all their time focusing on social issues instead of focusing on the gospel.”
  • aren’t clever like me.”
  • don’t spend enough time doing spiritual disciplines.”
  • practice the wrong spiritual disciplines.”
I could go on. But you get the point. We all justify ourselves in our own eyes. (If you just said, “I don’t do that,” gotcha!) But the point is not to call out others. The point is to expose our own drive to justify ourselves. We who have the spiritual oversight of others need to be especially careful (Galatians 6:1). And we who appoint ourselves as “prophets” to point out the errors of others on the Internet need to be even more circumspect.

So what do you think?

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

No comments: