The allure of becoming a Pharisee is quite attractive and downright delightful. The personal benefits of becoming one are endless. You get to control what you do, make sure others are behaving, withhold compassion from people that you do not like and initiate personal vendettas against people that are not following your book of rules.
The fanfare that you can create around yourself while learning how to be a Pharisee will further inflate your disproportionate ego that has no intention of bursting. People will know you as the final arbiter on any and all things, regardless of your expertise or level of knowledge. If someone does not like what you are doing, no problem, you can just point to your past accolades and magnificent peaks that have been masterfully scaled by you, for your pleasure, using your own abilities and relying on your own charisma.
Here is a six step process, which if followed rigorously, will allow you to become a full fledged Pharisee with little to no effort. I assure you, it is a proven method and you will have absolutely no trouble in completing the program.
Step One: Be Born. If you are reading this, you have already completed the first step and well on your way to becoming a Pharisee. I want this step to serve as an encouragement to you. I want to relieve you of worry and constant anxiety. Instead of actively trying to avoid becoming a Pharisee, realize that you were born one (Ps. 51:5.) You had absolutely no choice. You and I were conceived as Pharisees. It is a sad truth but it is nevertheless, a lucid reality – but not without a clear way out. Avoid asking yourself derailing questions such as “How can I avoid becoming a Pharisee.” Instead, ask yourself the question: “How can I recover from being a full blown Pharisee.”
Step Two: Elevate Tradition Above Scripture. Why go through all of the hassle in dealing with difficult texts, looking at the specific context and poring over archaic commentaries and original language lexicons. It is much easier to simply do things how they were always done. If someone questions your method and brings up Scriptural arguments, simply turn on your defense mechanism and tell the other person something like “Everyone has their own truth” and “I like my way of doing it better than your way of doing it.” Make sure to not ever respond to a person with an unbiased perspective. Always assume that whoever you are speaking to is attempting to sabotage your position in some sort of way. Misuse Scripture consistently and twist biblical text so that it fits your argument and defames the other person.
Step Three: Be a burden provider. Make other people do things that you never do. You are far more righteous than everyone else to stoop so low as to do a servants work. Never do anything below your pay grade. Enable others around you to do all of the work for you. Be alert in hearing a call for help and make sure you never volunteer for anything. Avoid creating any type of inconvenient situation for yourself. Inconvenience others for your own personal benefit. Force other people to do things that are hard to bear and do not provide any opportunity for respite.
Step Four: Insist on everyone showing you PDA. PDA stands for Public Display of Affirmation. Remain ostentatiously conspicuous when you are involved in doing something good. Others around you most surely need to see this. All of your deeds you do must definitely be seen by others. How else can you maintain your authority as a burden provider than to make sure everyone knows about your public display of righteousness?
Step Five: Demand honor from all and render honor to none. Demand that people give you the seat of honor at any and every event. If you have an opinion, it is a given that people should listen to it and unflinchingly agree with you. Do not tolerate anyone who thinks differently than you do. This way, you can maintain continuity in the quest to demand honor from everyone. Exalt yourself among other people. Make sure there is a constant group of people around you, applauding your actions and ascribing you constant accolades. Expect nothing less and render to others nothing at all.
Step Six: Rely heavily on indoctrination and avoid at all cost application. Subscribe to every single spiritual literature piece you can get your hands on. Buy every single new book that comes out. Make sure everyone knows about your extensive library. Quote smart people constantly and cite Scripture to prove your point incessantly. Be a hearer of the Word of God but worry less about actually doing it. After all, that takes too much effort. Remain a fervent hearer and an avid listener but a passive doer. Remain inconsistent in your application of biblical truths. If you do not agree with someone else’s methodology, make sure to instantly label it “un-godly” “un-Christian” “un-holy” or borderline heretical. You do have the ultimate knowledge and you possess the spiritual gravitas to weigh in so heavily on matters you know nothing about.
In order for you to stay true to pharisaical form, some of the aforementioned items will need to be perfected over time. Therefore, they must be rigorously practiced. Your reputation depends on it. Your righteousness is grounded in it
Question: What other steps would you add in addition to the above? What are some quicker ways one can become a Pharisee?