"Marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness."But we all know what the key word is: "hypocritical". Today's society enjoys labeling as "pharisaical" anyone who is caught saying one thing but doing another. This is apparent whenever some famous televangelist has an affair or when a politician exploits his religious affirmations for personal gain. Pharisees definitely have the reputation of being hypocrites; in fact, Christ labeled the teachers of the law as such on numerous occasions. But just because some Pharisees are hypocrites does not mean that all hypocrites are Pharisees. And it certainly does not mean that all Pharisees are hypocrites. What is a Pharisee, anyway? The word used in the NT comes from a Jewish root word: parash. It is not surprising that the word has nothing to do with hypocrisy (after all, the Pharisees would not have named themselves "hypocrites"). Rather, "parash" means "to separate, distinguish, or scatter abroad." This came from the separation that the high-and-mighty Pharisees had from the common Israelite. In Romans, Paul explains that the Law was created to show man his sin, and thereby his inability to get to God and his need for salvation. The Pharisees should have known this; Psalm 19 says that the Law of God exists to convert the soul. However, they deliberately distanced themselves and the Law from the common people and used it to control. Romans says that the works of the law can never justify a man. However, a close study of the actions of the Pharisees will show that they controlled the people by dictating what the law was and why one needed to follow it. This earned them many rebukes from Christ. John the Baptist even called them a "brood of vipers." So how does this relate to the Roman Catholic Church? In the same way that the Pharisees took the Law and made themselves its figurehead, the hierarchical system of the Roman Catholic Church has trapped the doctrine of Grace in a web of sacraments and ritual. The Pharisees told the people, "You must obey the Law, so do what we tell you." The RCC says, "Salvation is by grace through faith, but in order to get that grace you must obey us and follow all our rituals. Jesus said that the traditions of man make the Word of God useless. This goes for both Law and Grace. The Roman Catholic Church promises that we can obtain grace by doing what they tell us to do. But God's Word says that there is but ONE Mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ. In Him, David S. MacMillan III
Is the Roman Catholic Church Pharisaical?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "pharisaical" as follows: