The Pharisee Inside Me

I spoke this week in our weekly chapel service at InterVarsity, about Jesus’ harsh words to legalistic Pharisees in Matthew.  Tune in for a poem, some personal confession, and some serious questions for myself and the people with whom I work.

Speaking at InterVarsity Chapel Feb 23, 2011 2_23_11 9_06 AM 1

The executive summary:

Jesus often spoke very harshly to Pharisees, teachers of the law, and scribes.  People (like me) in full-time Christian work for churches and non-profits occupy the same space in society as the Pharisees did back then.  Therefore, we should read those hard passages carefully and consider what they mean for us.  I looked at Matthew 23, a scathing monologue directed at the Pharisees. 

I struggle in this personally: a desire for recognition, wasting people’s time with off-the-wall ideas, pushing forward my preferences rather than actual inspiration, focusing on my little tasks rather than the epic vision, hiding (rather than dealing with) my deficiencies…

And I ask some hard questions of my colleagues in InterVarsity:

Do we live up to our Vision Statement, Purpose Statement, and Core Values

Are we closing the door of God’s kingdom in people’s faces, like Jesus said the Pharisees did?

Are we pushing “InterVarsity culture” or “Jesus culture”?

How do we “strain a gnat and swallow a camel”?

Are we dealing with our own selfishness and wickedness?

How do we receive our critics (prophets, wise people, teachers)?

Take a listen and let me know what you think.

  • Jessica Fick

    good stuff man! I have often felt (and repented of) that InterVarsity culture can be regarded higher than Jesus culture within our organization. We all have our golden calfs whether it’s manuscript study, meyer-briggs typeology or simply how “we do things here.” Hopefully with the help of the Holy Spirit those good things that can become idols can be rightly viewed in light of the larger kingdom.