There once was a deacon who carefully guarded the doors into the church sanctuary. Whenever young boys forgot where they were and ran down the aisles, he pointed an intimidating finger at them with an angry scowl. Sometimes he even did this to adults who spoke too loudly in the foyer. He felt it was his duty to guard the reverence of the church service and he did this with great pride and the attitude of a bulldog guarding a car lot.
He actually believed he was doing a good job. One day the pastor and elders visited to remind him that God’s house is not a car lot and the church has more precious inventory at stake. The pastors and elders explain how love is the only way to encourage reverence, but the deacon only took this to mean the church leaders were all soft on sin and against him and God.
This narcissistic deacon was blind to the needs and feelings of other people. He had no empathy for the children, their parents, the elders or pastor. With self-righteous indignation the mindset of a Pharisee, he believed it was his moral duty to cleanse the temple as Jesus did of everyone who didn’t meet his standard.
Raging over the sins of other people is another symptom of religious narcissism. Many people are hypocrites, but the narcissist takes hypocrisy to a new level. He is not worried about what he sees in the mirror, because he rarely looks at his own faults. He’s addicted to venting his anger and likes to vent about the sins of others. He imagines he is working for God which allows him to justify his unchristian behavior.
The narcissist’s anger might seem to boil day and night as they obsess about the people who offend them, but the issue with narcissistic rage is it’s not about really about anger, it’s about control. When the narcissist can’t control people with force, he uses God as a weapon by threatening hell and judgment on those who refuse to meet his standards.
Nothing looks less like Jesus than a Christian who condemns other people. The religious narcissists were the people Jesus tried to wake up while He was on earth. Such Pharisees sadden the heart of God unlike any other, because they are blind and cannot see their own need for God. The people who killed Jesus were commandment keeping Sabbath keepers who didn’t recognize God.
The religious narcissist uses God’s name for their self-righteous indignation and so-called justice to get revenge on their enemies, but their justice is nothing like God’s justice. God doesn’t condemn or get even with people.
God looks exactly like Jesus. Jesus told us to love our enemies. God’s justice is to seek reconciliation as long as both parties are safe, but when someone is unsafe, there is nothing God or we can do, but let them go their own way.
This survival of the fittest mentality never comes from God, so if you know a Christian who practices such behavior, walk away. Remember, Jesus told us to shake the dust off of our feet wherever we are not wanted.
Chances are even if you walk away the narcissist isn’t through punishing you. He may have decided to involve your friends, so watch out for flying monkeys because they will soon be landing on your doorstep.