Today the Daughters talked about the Parable of the Praying Pharisee and the Praying Tax Collector (from Luke 18), and of course simply pointed out that the parable teaches us that we're at greater risk if we take pride in what we think is our holiness than we are if we humbly and sorrowfully acknowledge our sin.
Whoever wrote the commentary in The Word Among Us, by contrast (I would swear it was Stanford Nutting - except I'm Stanford Nutting) assures us that the point of the parable is this (I swear I am not making this up) .
Let that truth sink in: God loves you just as you are.Oh, yes. The lesson is not "he who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted". Why would that be the lesson of the parable? That's only the interpretation of the parable given by Jesus Christ, the man who told it, the man who is also God. Forget Him!
The correct reading of Luke 18:9-14 is GOD LOVES YOU JUST AS YOU ARE.
Of course, if God loves us just as we are, then He loves the prideful Pharisee, who spends his time in the temple congratulating himself for being "just the way he is", while the tax collector beats his breasts and desires to be changed so as no longer to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of his mind (see Romans 12:2). And yet what difference does it make? God loves us all the same - JUST THE WAY WE ARE!!!! Pharisee or tax collector, abortion doctor or Mother Teresa, adulterer or pure of heart, child-raping sodomite or Billy Graham - IT'S ALL GOOD!!!!!
[Apparently, I've ranted about these guys before - "Trying God". And of course the whole point of working out our salvation is that God loves us - but not just as we are.]