Pharisees and Tax Collectors

Or: It’s Pharisees all the way down.

One of the bright spots on Facebook is Tom Gould’s tomics, and of course everybody’s favorite “don’t be judgy” Bible reading got a comic out of him– it’s actually quite good, hit the link, it goes to his Patreon page. Please use the right-click, open in another window, because you’re likely to get lost in stuff like St. Luke’s Gospel in the style of the classics.

A less bright spot was a sudden surge of memes and comics elsewhere that boil down to “how dare you object to sin, you’re only doing that because it’s not your sin.” While yes, this is a change from the usual “you’re a hypocrite” or “you’re a hypocrite and a liar” angle, it also infuriated me for some reason I really couldn’t put a finger on.

Finally, when I saw Mr. Gould’s Pharisee comic again, something clicked:
I was infuriated because a lot of people fight all the harder against those sins they are familiar with. Exactly because they know how dangerous they are, and don’t want other folks to hurt that way.

You’d have to know their hearts to truly judge which is their motive– and you’re not God.

So it’s like the comic.

The desire to find someone you can decide is worse, and thus discount, is apparently a rather old one; gosh, it’s like Jesus knew what He was talking about, or something, eh?  😉

More to explorer


  1. C. S. Lewis said that he never talked about sins that he wasn’t tempted to do.

    As an example, he didn’t talk about gambling because he wasn’t tempted to gamble.

    And he made it clear that any sin he did talk about, he was tempted to do that sin.

  2. I love all the echoes that show up in good theology– a modern web comic says something that sounds like Bishop Sheen who quotes Chesterton or Lewis or Tolkien or someone older and heck if we can figure out which!

  3. The problem in today’s Church is that there are an uncomfortably large number of unrepentant sinners who have the boastfulness of the Pharisee and the lifestyle of the tax collector. The alphabet soup alternative lifestyle groups are a prime example. Too many sinners act like Cain after he killed Abel, and not like the Good Thief on the Cross.

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