When Jesus was speaking in the synagog to the Pharisees (the religionists of the day), He said, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you”. Now, that is a remarkable statement. Webster defines ‘self-righteous’ as “regarding oneself as being morally superior to others” which, of course, is how the Pharisees viewed publicans, tax collectors and harlots. If we can just step back and observe the Gospel message of the New Testament (as a whole) as Jesus brought it to us without being dragged down into doctrinal debate, we can see that He never condemned the sinner. Even when a woman was caught in a vile act He said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. His purpose was not to judge … but He was extremely hard on the self-righteous religionists of the day. In a sense He did judge them when He called them hypocrites, vipers and blind guides.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” … “for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”

The problem is that we, Christians, have a tendency (although self-consciously perhaps) to look at these things as if they apply to someone else when the fact is that WE are the guilty ones as WE say to ourselves ‘I’m sure glad I’m not like that’. Pursuing this line of reasoning, it could be correctly argued that we, Christians with our self-righteous attitudes, have done as much to destroy the true cause of Christ as any other group on earth. If we, who claim to be Christians, could see ourselves as we are, cease telling the world to stop living like they do and change to live more like us, but rather simply project the love of God to all without placing requirements on them, this world would be a different place. The sad thing about all this is that almost no one sees the error of our ways in this, but, be assured, none of us are innocent of charges made here! Let us never forget that only as we come to the end of ourselves will we see the truth and light.

If thou wouldst have the dear Saviour from heaven
Walk by thy side from the morn till the evan,
There is a rule that each day thou must follow,
Humble thyself to walk with God.

Humble thyself and the Lord will draw near thee,
Humble thyself and His presence will cheer thee;
He will not walk with the proud or the scornful,
Humble thyself to walk with God… (Humble Thyself to Walk With God)

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