Accidental Pharisees

Once a month I try to review my notes from a book that greatly impacted me when I read it. This month, I’m reviewing Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne and thought I’d share some of the best quotes with you.

“When we think of having overzealous faith and being a jerk for Jesus, we picture someone with bad breath, bad theology, and no people skills. So it never dawns on us that we could be included.”

Jesus “went out of his way to show himself to a doubting Thomas. And he didn’t show up to kick him off the team. He showed up to help him overcome his doubt.”

Writing about Joseph of Arimathea, the undercover follower of Jesus who stepped up to claim the body of Jesus after the crucifixion and give him a proper burial:

“Frankly, if I came across a modern-day Joseph, I’d be more likely to call him a fraud and phony than a disciple. … Who am I to blast a “secret disciple” as unworthy if Jesus didn’t? Who am I to write off the not-yet-fully-committed if Jesus didn’t? Who am I to say that God can’t use the kind of people he actually used?”

“Right at the top of his “I hate it when you do that” list [in Proverbs 6:16–19] is “haughty eyes,” the disgusted and disdainful look of arrogance. … If this passage really means what it says, God would rather have us struggling with porn than with pride.”

“I’ve also noticed something strange about this sin that God hates most. It’s usually found among people who think they love God most.”

“To keep from falling into that trap, I try to regularly ask myself if there is any group of people or Christians for whom I am developing a knee-jerk response of disgust, disdain, or aversion. If the answer is yes, it’s an early warning sign that I’m headed down the path of arrogance.”

“The truth is that Jesus didn’t come to raise the bar. He didn’t come to weed out the losers. He came to turn losers, laggards, and enemies into full-on sons and daughters of God.”

“The absolute worst thing about legalism is what it does to mercy. It casts it aside, then walks away. It leaves people who need mercy most to fend for themselves and castigates those who offer mercy as spiritual compromisers who water down the gospel.”

“None of the people Jesus healed on a Sabbath were in grave danger. All of them could have waited until sundown — easily.”

“God has always drawn straight lines with crooked sticks. Abraham was a liar, Moses a murderer, David an adulterer, and Peter a denier.”

“God chose John Mark to write the gospel of Mark, which means that God considered him worthy to write part of the Bible, but Paul didn’t think he was worthy to go on a short-term mission trip.”

“The problem comes when our boundary markers of who’s in the kingdom and who’s out become narrower than God’s.”

“The Bible calls Satan the accuser of the brethren.5 Jesus is called our advocate.”

“Evangelists, pastors, teachers, ministry leaders, church planters, and missionaries have a public platform that makes it easy for them to present a model of discipleship that looks an awful lot like them.” <Ouch!>

If these quotes make you want to read the book, and I hope they do, you can find it here.

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