Pharisaic religion doesn’t just damage the inner soul, it also creates social strife. Pharisees need to shore up their sense of righteousness, so they despise and attack all who don’t share their doctrinal beliefs and religious practices. Racism and cultural imperialism result. Churches that are filled with self-righteous, exclusive, insecure, angry, moralistic people are extremely unattractive. Their public pronouncements are often highly judgmental, while internally such churches experience many bitter conflicts, splits, and divisions. Millions of people raised in or near these kinds of churches reject Christianity at an early age or in college largely because of their experience. For the rest of their lives, then, they are inoculated against Christianity. If you are a person who has been disillusioned by such churches, anytime anyone recommends Christianity to you, you assume they are calling you to adopt religion. Pharisees and their unattractive lives leave many people confused about the real nature of Christianity.

– Tim Keller, The Reason for God
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