Narcissist Traits – Religious, But Not Truly Moral or Righteous

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Matthew 23:23 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

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Matthew 23:25 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

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Matthew 23:27 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

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While not all of the Pharisees were narcissists, enough of them were narcissists that the group could be effectively labelled as such.  There is much to learn about narcissism and dealing with narcissists through a study of the Pharisees and how Jesus interacted with them.
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In each of the above warnings, Jesus described the Pharisees as appearing very “religious” in their outward practices – making things appear good – all while being inwardly rotten.  They were the opposite of what Jesus’ said at the beginning of His public ministry on earth:
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Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

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Their greedy, immoral, self-exalting hearts made it impossible for them to have a clear view of God and His love, goodness, mercy, justice, holiness, knowledge, wisdom, power, etc.  They were in no condition to lead others spiritually, even though they had put themselves in the position to do just that.  They appeared outwardly righteous, but inwardly were immoral.  As a result, when faced with a choice to get what they wanted vs. doing what was right, they would default toward their fulfilling their own desires.
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“They’re immoral, even if they’re religious.”

“……….A recent study surveyed 385 undergrads who identified themselves as either skeptical, nominally religious (ie. not showing up at church all that often), or devout. The study authors asked them to evaluate the ethical status of situations like “an underpaid executive padded his expense account by about $3,000 a year.” Nominally and devoutly religious folks turned out to be more ethically strict than their skeptical counterparts — unless they had high levels of narcissism. Says study author Chris Pullig, “Both the nominal and devout groups show degrees of poor ethical judgment equal to that of the skeptics when accompanied by higher degrees of narcissism, a finding that suggests a dramatic transformation for both nominals and the devouts when ethical judgment is clouded by narcissistic tendencies.” So basically, being a narcissist brought religious folks right down to the level of the godless. Previous studies have found no difference in moral judgment between religious and non-religious people, so it’s interesting that this study did find a discrepancy. Regardless of what you think about religion and morality, though, it’s interesting that narcissism appears to cancel out love-thy-neighbor values.”

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[from  http://jezebel.com/5893239/five-ways-narcissists-screw-everything-up  which is taken from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312140254.htm]

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Please see “Putting ‘Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism’ Into Perspective” for an overview of what this blog is about

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