Modern Pharisees -- By: Monroe Parker

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 01:4 (Winter 1958)
Article: Modern Pharisees
Author: Monroe Parker


Modern Pharisees

Monroe Parker

President of Pillsbury Conservative Baptist Bible College

Owatonna, Minnesota

In recent months we have heard a great deal about the Pharisees. There has been an effort on the part of some men who have prostituted God-given leadership and preaching genius in self-gratifying compromise with liberalism to equate courageous, earnest,, true contenders for the faith with the Pharisees whom Jesus denounced. It has been insinuated that the fundamentalists of our day fit into the mold of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. As one who is not ashamed to be called a fundamentalist and who is cognizant of the fact that* anybody, liberal or conservative, can be guilty of the selfishness and bigotry which characterized the Pharisees of Jesus’ day I wish to express myself on this subject.

The Pharisees were not the fundamentalists of their own day. They were the liberals. Even the Sadducees, although they more closely qualify, cannot properly correspond to fundamentalism. The Sadducees accepted only the Law of Moses, the first five books of the Bible as of divine inspiration; and although they misinterpreted the Law of Moses and failed to see in it the fact of angels and the hope of resurrection, they erroneously rejected the other thirty-four books of the Old Testament and held rigidly to the books of Moses as the only authoritative rule of faith and practice.

The Pharisees were far more liberal. They not only received all of the Old Testament books, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, as of divine origin but they also added to the authoritative revelation of God the “traditions of the fathers.” They were so liberal that they exalted the words of men to a place of equality with the Word of God. The Bible became for the Pharisees more of a symbol of authority than a rule of faith and practice, and their traditions became their guide.

Recently I heard a man of great influence, who preaches the cardinal doctrines of the Bible but himself associates with the liberals and thereby brings many fundamentalists to frustration under the modernistic leadership which he supports, say in a radio message that Jesus did not criticize the Pharisees for what they did or did not believe but for what they did not do. It is true that Jesus said to the Pharisees in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew that they had “omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith”; but it is also true that in the same chapter He called them “fools and blind” because of their false teaching. It is also true

that in Matthew 16:6 Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of ...

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