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Gamaliel's Desk
Sunday, November 06, 2005
For those of you who are working hard to be a better Pharisee, I’m attaching a checklist for you to self-evaluate your progress.

How do you relate to other Christians who are making their way toward Heaven?

How hard are you willing to work in order to maintain a Christian appearance?

How much importance do you place on your appearance?

How proud are you to be a Christian?

How exclusive are you and how do you relate to those in error?

How merciful are you?

How personally evangelistic are you?

How closely do people have to resemble you in worship style and expression of their faith in order to be right with God?

Wow. The last answer to each question is supposed to be the "right" one.

Well, let's think about this: except for, "I am honestly baffled and humbled as to why a holy God would send His son to die for me," these final answers are THE MOST SELF-RIGHTEOUS!!!

(Although even that one, in light of the others, seems a little too rank with false humility.)

Don't ya see it?!? The "right answers" are WORSE than the "wrong" answers because the persons believing they are actually doing/thinking these lofty and "right" things 24/7 are being presented as the ones who are being REAL and HONEST WITH THEMSELVES; whereas the persons committing the sins of the other answers, are being presented as, obviously, the believers who have made self-deceit a lifestyle.

Well, if you can HONESTLY affirm each final answer-- go back and carefully read them again and really think about that-- then according to this quiz You Are a True Christian. Congratulations!

And from your noble position, would you please pray for the rest of us, man?
Hi, photini. Nice to have you visiting.

Try not to think of the last answer as the "right" one. Think of the answers in the aggregate representing an attitude scale with the first and last responses representing the directions one can go.

And you find the final answers self-righteous? This leads to a question I might ask. How would you portray genuine righteousness in such a venue as a self-graded quiz? I hope you can see my difficulty. Besides, the adjective "honestly" is my qualifier that prevents it from being merely self-righteous rhetoric. If the "honestly" is genuine, then they truly are humble. If it's not genuine, then it is indeed hypocritical. So back to my question: How can you design a self-graded quiz that distinguishes from self-righteousness and genuine righteousness?

As for the remainder, I think you're missing the forest for the semantic trees. The vehicle here is a self-graded quiz. Did you notice that I didn't provide a final score that lets you rate yourself on a Pharisee scale? This was no accident. I'm uninterested in how someone scores on the quiz and hope no one really uses it to score themselves (you did note that this is a satirical column, right?). Instead it is intended as a thought-provoking post and it appears to have worked - at least on you. You've given thought to the issue and taken the time to respond. Thank you. Now if we can just get the people who need this the most to give it as much thought as it warrants.

And who might those people be?

The ones in the mirror, of course.
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