Who are the Pharisees?

It seems that everyone is blogging about Drew Marshall’s appearance on Huntley Street, a Canadian Christian program. My friend Brian describes what happened:

A few minutes into the interview it was obvious that the hosts were having second thoughts. Their mouths said, “glad you’re here”, but their faces said, “get us the Program Director… NOW!” The highlight of the interview came…when Drew said that the hosts were like “Barbie and Ken dolls”. He later commented that he was referring to their good looks and was not implying that they were at all plastic or fake.

I don’t know what to make of the interview. At times I am in Drew’s corner, happy to see everyone squirm. Other times, I am the one doing the squirming. At times he speaks for me; at times he nails me, and it hurts. Which brings me to some of what Ron Martoia writes about the Pharisees in Static. We like to see the Pharisees as the bad guys as the Bible, when in reality most of us who go to church would have gotten along quite well with them. They weren’t the bad guys; they were the good guys, and Jesus nailed them. Ron writes:

Even though I have been a pastor for almost twenty years, if I’m honest I find that the characters in the New Testament who are much closer to who I am (and who the contemporary church has been) are the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day. Inside the church, we’d like to think we have been Jesus to a hurting world. But the antagonism toward the church felt by many in our society suggests that the world has experienced us more as the Pharisees than as Jesus… When I’m honest with myself, I have to admit I am more like the Pharisees than I am the blind man at the pool of Siloam. And I would fit right in at more churches than I can count. How many congregations have you seen that are judgmental, narrow, controlling–and all in the name of either holiness or pure doctrine, neither of which Jesus seemed to give a hoot about. In fact, on the holiness issue, I think Jesus would just shake his head if he were to read the sort of lifestyle statements some of our churches have people sign before they can become a part of the church. We need to rethink our definition of holiness.

Ron, like Drew, makes us squirm. Could it be that we are the modern day Pharisees?

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada