Monday, November 15, 2004

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Pharisee

Being an effective Pharisee is not as easy as it might sound. Sure, the fathers of the Pharisee movement speak with such ease that their hypocrisy is almost undetectable. But it did not come by mere gifting. They had to work long and hard to achieve their position. Here are a few pointers meant to help hone your Pharisaic presence in this world, and believe me, this world needs some more Pharisees.

1. Use God for self-promotion - You will never become anything as a Pharisee if you overtly promote yourself. No. All language must be couched in God-language. If you can speak religious words in humble tones, then you can promote yourself all you want. When a person believes that you are promoting God, then self-promotion will be easy.

2. Let Other People Do The Heavy Lifting - Once people believe that you are promoting God, then they will do just about anything you want them to do. They'll not merely do your heavy lifting, but they will lie for you, condemn others just to please you (I mean God, right?), just about anything that you want that you can make sense of for them.

3. Promote Intermitent Insecurity - If people who look to you become too confident of their salvation, you lose power. Never let them be sure they are saved. Let them be sure they are saved if... You fill in the blank. And whatever you fill in the blank with, make sure it appears to be within their reach, but is not.

4. Create Legalists - Give them every single minute fact of the law and tell them that this is how God likes it. Their success is to measured only on results of follwing the letter of the law. Never let them dwell too long on grace or mercy. Sure, let them use these words, but reframe them into laws to follow. Grace is dangerous to the Pharisee in care of souls.

5. Live By Technicalities - This is your insurance policy. There will no doubt come a time wehn someone starts questioning you. Obviously these are rebellious and ignorant people, but they must be dealt with gently in order to maintain their help for the cause. Know your law and your reason for doing what you do. If you cannot explain what you do, then be prepared to be humiliated. Always be able to quote something that explains your actions. One good way to do this is to have special knowledge that no one else has. Let them come to the conclusion that they are too stupid to understand. That works mush better than telling them.

6. Micro-obedience Masks Macro-defiance - Several little obediences that are observable by others is enough to convince people that your heart is Godly. "Tithe in pennies," as the old proverb goes. You will avoid 99% of all questions if you follow this principle. You'll get people so busy either being impressed by you or copying you that they will not question you. Image over integrity works every time.

7. Perpetuate Hypocrisy - Consistently make sure you appear to be something everyone else longs to be. Never let them see you struggle. There is no struggle in our way of living. They must believe this. If there appears to be struggle in our way of living, we will lose credibility. We cannot afford that. We must always leave them desiring to be one of us. We must appear worthy of worship. That is our best position. Then we become desirable and unattainable at the same time. There is no greater power than that.

8. Emphasize Content and Process Will Not Matter - Always focus on what, but never focus on why. Be correct in content and the things that you do. Never let the process bother you. The reason you do things is because those things are right, end of discussion. Compassion, forgiveness, mercy, and love only complicate matters. Keep things black and white and pretty much on the surface. The last thing you need is to get into a discussion of process. It'll be your doom.

9. Condemn the Past - This technique is effective. When you condemn past hypocrites or anyone in general, it is very hard for someone to call you a hypocrite or anything bad. Rant on and on about how foolish people used to be, thereby implying that you are in no way foolish like them. It is also a good way to indirectly condemn the people you speak with. You know good and well the foolishness of the past is going to be repeated. So, when you condemn poeple from the past, the people of the present won't dare disclose that they struggle with the same thing. They will feel like they should have gotten past this by now.

10. Creative Blame - Probably the best weapon in your arsenal is blame. However, people are catching on to blame these days, so you'll have to get creative with it. Clumsy blame will get you discounted. Creative blame will get you revered. The best blame is condescending encouragement. Use it with the people you mentor. It'll keep them coming for more.


jegtogo said...

This is great - did you make this up, or were you inspired from something else?

Sadly, there is a great deal of this going on these days. Moving towards Christ is being fought every step of the way by Satan, even if it means using the good things against us.

Love it.

Fajita said...

I read Matthew 23 and pretty much took what Jesus said about the Pharisees and changed the perspective on it.