The Pharisee Shield
Often when a person does not have a defense for his/her position, but wants to guard their errors, they have invented a handy device that works wonders for their conscience. I call it “the Pharisee Shield”. This is how it works. First, you imagine that anyone who challenges your novel ideas of a subject are Pharisaic if they want scriptural proof for your beliefs. You imagine that God doesn’t care what you believe as long as you do not believe in strict obedience. The only spectrum of faith that really upsets God is those who demand scripture for everything they believe. To guard against this pathetic crowd, you can grab “the Pharisee Shield”. What this shield does is call people names in the place of giving a Biblical answer to their questioning of our belief or practice. It also salves our conscience. The ONLY reason anyone would ever question our position is because they have a PHARISEE mentality. If they could or would get rid of that Pharisaic attitude, they would KNOW that it doesn’t matter what anyone believes about anything. Grace is all that matters, and it covers everything anyway. The Pharisee Shield can be used conveniently when someone asks us to PROVE that grace is all that matters or that it automatically covers everything anyway. We do not have to “prove” anything as long as we can keep “the Pharisee Shield” handy. We can pretend that we know and appreciate the grace of God better and that we love the brethren more. But, we can get pretty ugly toward “the Pharisees” among us.
Use the shield when brethren insist that we “prove all things and hold fast that which is good”. Use it when brethren insist that Jesus has ALL authority and that we must do all things whatsoever He said to the apostles. Use it when you subjectively judge that the issue being discussed is “petty”. Use it when you feel like you do not know the “truth” about something and you cannot allow that anyone else knows the “truth” either. They are PHARISEES, and that should end all discussion of the matter.
On your side of the shield you have your unprovable ideas of God’s “grace” and “love” to keep your conscience seared (I mean protected) against the “truth” that only PHARISEES would dare to insist on. You know with your imaginations of “grace” and “love” that only the PHARISEES could be so pathetically mistaken about so much.