In part one of this series, we’ve already heard two ways to be holier than thou from our Pharisee coaches at the Holy Roller Pharisee Consultancy. But we’re just getting started. Here are two more ways to be holier than thou out of John 9:
[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]3) Be skeptical about miracles[/highlight]
When something happens that is out of the ordinary (and the healing of a man born blind in John 9 seems to qualify) it is crucial to be skeptical about miracles if we want to become holier than thou. The danger in miracles is that they are out of our control, and being holier than thou is all about control. Pharisees don’t “go with the flow,” people! So we must have a posture that judges each possible work of God as a possible work to deceive us. The Pharisees, our holier than thou consultants, knew this: “They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.” (v18) If we are ever to become effectively holier than thou, we must skeptically demand proof of all potential signs from God. We have found that 99.9% of the time God wants us to run the religious business without his interference; otherwise we couldn’t be holier than thou in the first place. So be skeptical about miracles if you want to be holier than thou.
[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]4) Encourage a betraying culture[/highlight]
In John 9 the parents are brought in to prove that the man is indeed their son who was one born blind. Our consultant Pharisees, justifiably skeptical and holier than thou, want to ensure he is not some double that this Jesus fella planted in the crowd. This is the moment when an important tactic to becoming holier than thou becomes evident. When pressed about the potential miracle, John records what happens: “‘We know he is our son,’ the parents answered, ‘and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.’” (v20-21) It takes quite a lot of pressure to make parents throw their son under the bus this quickly while on trial. The key is for us to encourage a culture of betrayal if we are to be holier than thou. People need to know that we will harass them for their beliefs if they take any stands contrary to our own. In doing so, they will succumb, and even betray their own family members. This is a crucial holier than thou step which takes time to cultivate but works beautifully as it did in John 9.[divider type=”dots”]
*Just in case it’s not obvious, this entire piece is satirical and inexcusably sarcastic. But perhaps our Pharisaical ways need a little poking fun at from time to time, eh?