It’s the trendy thing to say, “Screw you hyper-religious, rule-following, prodigal-hating, church-idolizing, works-righteousness, legalistic Pharisees …!”
We earn points by slapping around the Reformed book-nerds who blog all day about doctrine and never really love Jesus nor serve the community nor give their life to charity. I’ve done it too. We secretly think lesser of people who grew up in church and were homeschooled and sheltered and wrote the Bible by hand every year and went to the safe Christian college five miles from home. It’s easy to pick on them.
Hey: God loves the legalists, too. We’ve boxed them in the same category as Nazis and pedophiles and rapists. But just as much as the Father loved the prodigal who came home, he loved the smarmy older brother who pooped on the party. Just as much as Jesus loved the blind, the beggars, demon-possessed, lepers, and outcasts, he also loved Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and Martha. He was just as straight-up with the disciples’ stupidity as he was the Pharisees who interrogated him.
It’s not cute to “piss off” religious people. It’s not clever to make fun of Bible-reading checklists, QT books, the latest Christian worship hits, Sunday dress-your-best, or a stodgy older generation who doesn’t “get it.” They need grace, too. They need Jesus like you and I need Jesus. They’re loved in spite of them and in spite of us.
Jesus loved the religious and the rebels: what he came to destroy was self-righteousness, and that one runs in every human heart.
Former atheist/agnostic, now a pastor and professional rambler. Have a B.A. in Psychology and M.Div from SEBTS. Both degrees negate each other, i.e. I'm still a dummy. Have a fifth degree black belt and I can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting. A recovered porn addict, skeptical Christian, loves Jesus. I gave away half my salary in 2012 to fight human trafficking, and you can help. Have a mixed German shepherd named Rosco, have two toenails growing out of one toe, and I'm addicted to coffee, ginger ale, and tomato juice.
Christ Is King.