Are We Modern Day Pharisees? 4 Simple Ways to Tell

Are we behaving like Modern Day Pharisees? The Pharisees were quick to point out faults in others but refused to see their own. They wanted to be seen and heard which is why Jesus rebuked these self-righteous people.

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In this post, we will look at who the Pharisees were and ask ourselves if we are becoming Modern Day Pharisees today! The answer might not only surprise you but change your path with Christ!


Are We Modern Day Pharisees? 4 Must Read Ways to Tell!


I have attended church for most of my fifty years. Oops, I just told you how old I am. Women aren’t supposed to tell their age. Lol! Look over that comment moving on. My point is.

I have heard many sermons and I can’t recall ever having anyone compare ME to a Pharisee but that’s exactly what my Pastor did in his Sermon. He asked if we were being modern day Pharisees?

I know what’s probably going through your mind. Exactly the same thing that went through mine. Your pastor said what! I am nothing like the Pharisees and there is NO WAY I can be part of a modern-day Pharisees outlook!

  • Really?
  • Aren’t you?
  • Aren’t I?

I didn’t think I had a modern-day Pharisees attitude either until I was truly convicted when this sermon spoke the truth to my heart.

Below is a question my Pastor made on “Are You being a Modern Day Pharisee?” Who are the Pharisees of today? Do you have a Modern Day Pharisees attitude?

What excuses do you make to “cover-up” or “justify” a Sin in your Life but are quick to condemn another for the exact same Sin? Yep, told Ya! Modern Day Pharisees we are! May we ALL be convicted and have hearts and attitudes changed.

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Pharisees Definition

A member of a Jewish sect that flourished during the 1st-century b.c. and 1st-century a.d. and that differed from the Sadducees chiefly in its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, adherence to oral laws and traditions, and belief in an afterlife and the coming of a Messiah.

A member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.

Pharisees in the Bible Were quick to point out sin in

The Pharisee’s attitude was quick to point judgment of others’ sin yet they yet at the same time they were quick to excuse their own sin, right? However, don’t we do the same thing?

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. Romans 2:1

The Pharisees were, by all means, well-meaning people. They studied God’s law and knew it well. However, they had their “OWN RULES AND REGULATIONS” of how things should be…NOT what God’s word says! Their downfall, however, came from their own self-justification and self-importance.

So do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach but do not practice. Matthew 23: 3

They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their fingers. Matthew 23: 4

What is sad is the Pharisees missed the “Whole Point”. Modern Day Pharisees are missing the whole point too.

The Pharisees completely rejected Jesus, whom God had sent. In doing so they rejected God whom they held high and were supposed to love and uphold, due to their own Pride.

They thought they didn’t need a Savior, only a King, but Jesus was that, and so much more!



The Pharisees were quick to point out sin in others but made exceptions to the rules for themselves. For instance, look how quick they were ready to condemn the woman caught in adultery, yet they dropped their stones. Why?

Jesus states it plainly in the following verse. The Pharisees knew they could not condemn her because they too are guilty. What excuses do you make for the sins you are quick to judge others for but make excuses for yourself?

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and placing her in the midst. John 8:3

They said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. John 8:4

Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” John 8:5

This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. John 8:6

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7


The Pharisees spoke long eloquent prayers to be “heard” when their hearts are far from God. They seek praise for the “good” they did and dressed in their finest Royalty because they wanted recognition and Praise from man NOT God.

As you’re serving others are you doing it for the right reasons or are looking for approval? When you pray are you doing so to be seen and heard or for the glory and honor of knowing Christ?

Giving to the Needy

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 6:1

Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. Matthew 6:2

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Matthew 6:3

So that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:4

3. The Pharisees knew “who” they wanted to keep people from following.

In all honesty, the Pharisees didn’t accept or welcome Jesus because it took the spotlight off of them. Can you imagine witnessing the healing and wonders of Jesus taking place today?

The Pharisees saw Jesus as a threat of not honoring “their” authority when it was Jesus who was King.

What is a Pharisee in the bible?

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Matthew 23: 13

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15

Pray for the Holy Spirit’s prompting to unveil your eyes to the truth if YOU are being a Modern Day Pharisee. Search your Heart and ask yourself these questions.

What thoughts come to your mind?


  • If others read and studied the Bible like me they’d know how they should live and act!
  • There would be less trouble in the world if others followed the laws like me
  • I separate myself from a certain kind of people and you should too!
  • My prayers get answered because I speak longer and more eloquently!
  • I got problems but it’s not as bad as yours so I’m good to go!
  • It’s not me that gossips and stirs up trouble you can’t say that!
  • I thought they were a Christian but I have seen them doing this and that!
  • I think they need to be bolder standing up for what they believe in like me!
  • Let them figure it out: I am not comfortable sharing the Gospel I’m keeping it to myself
  • I think they should serve the church as much as I do!

This list could go on and on. Are you thinking, WOW…..I am killing this list but I know someone who really needs to see this, not ME! Can you say Pharisee’s attitude? Yes, most definitely!


Are you feeling as much guilt as I am? This kind of thinking is wrong on many different levels. I’m going to make myself completely vulnerable and share a few of my convicted thoughts when my Pastor did this Sermon.

1. Modern Day Pharisees Attitude: Clothing

I was brought up that women are not supposed to wear pants, especially to church.

For a long time, I didn’t even wear pants at all. It’s so ingrained in me that even to this day I can not bring myself to wear pants in God’s house. The sad part is I used to look down on others that do. Shame on me because I know God doesn’t look at the outward appearance.

God looks at the heart and soul of an individual not what’s on the outside of your body. My attitude now is this: As long as your covered up and are decent your good to go. What I mean is do NOT have your hiney shining and breasts out for the whole world to see.

Before anyone thinks I’m talking about a Mother nursing their child that is completely different. Anytime I’ve seen women do this out they conceal themselves not put on a show. God made breasts for feeding their children.

2. Modern Day Pharisees Attitude: Praying

I’m the worst ever when it comes to praying out loud around other people, especially fellow Christians.

Is it just me? I have always been very backward and shy and I find this rather hard. I’ve gotten much better at it but if I’m being honest I am constantly comparing myself to other women whose prayers seem to just flow out like a poem.

I am so ashamed to admit that I find myself being jealous of that and I must STOP that kind of thinking because it sure isn’t of God.

3. Modern Day Pharisees Attitude: Gossip

I hate gossiping and I try to separate myself from it as much as possible.

That being said, it can be rather hard sometimes though and the best of intentions start off well but before you know it you find yourself smack dab in the middle of it.

When someone starts any kind of communication that you know isn’t pleasing to God do yourself a favor and WALK AWAY without an attitude!

You know the way I mean right sweet Friend? Cause the thought that goes through my Prideful mind is this: If they will talk about someone to YOU, they WILL talk about YOU to someone else. See what I mean by the wrong attitude and I will straight up admit it.

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4. Modern Day Pharisees Attitude: Music

Let’s discuss music. I use to lead Choir back in KY, do solos, write songs…Christian songs are ONLY Ok, because in “Angie’s” eyes if you listened to anything else…You are not doing as a Christian should.

Before rededicating my life to God I used to LOVE what most consider Pop music today and trust me you have no idea how much.

When I decided to turn away from the world and return to God I was EXTREMELY convicted of the music I was listening to. Let’s face it most music today is full of foulness cussing and sexual innuendos.

I prayed and asked God to remove the love I had of anything but Christian-related music. Now I can’t listen to anything but that without feeling that conviction. Be careful what you pray for Friends. Anyway, my point in this is my prideful way of viewing what others should and should not be listening to.

I thought any Christian who listens to anything else but Christian music isn’t living right in my eyes. I’m thinking God how can they say they’re a Christian and listen to the type of music that has so much junk in it. Yep, shame on me!

Who are the Pharisees of today? Is it YOU?

May God Forgive my Sinful Heart and Attitude because we are complete in Christ alone through salvation alone. See, I was being just like the Pharisees with my way of thinking in many ways.

I wanted to set rules and guidelines that I think others should be following because of MY WAY of perceiving what is right and what is wrong.

Ultimately, it is up to you and God what convicts YOU and what doesn’t not the Angie way of viewing it. Maybe you are doing the same just in different ways. That is the purpose of this particular post.

Wrapping up, Are We Modern Day Pharisees? 4 Simple Ways to Tell

I want to get us thinking about how we need to make a change in our Hearts, what we speak and how we think. We need to follow Christ’s example not what we want!

1 Corinthians 13 is considered the LOVE Chapter of the Bible. I did a whole post on modeling Christ’s example. Read my 1 Corinthians Devotional to remind you how NOT to respond like a Pharisee!

I don’t want to be held accountable for not bringing something to light when I know I should. Even if I get ridiculed, that’s Ok.

I felt the prompting to write this post because eternity is a long time so my pride can take a beating. We have a choice…Heaven or Hell? I sure hope it helps someone as much as my Pastor helped me, especially with this particular sermon.

May we all show Humility, not Judgement because only God is our ultimate judge and we have hope in Christ. Learn who the Pharisees are today!

Be Sure to Also Read:

The Making of a Modern Pharisee Source Desiring God

The Eye-Opening Truth About the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Resounding His Love Signature

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