Today, I am reading and commenting on Acts 23-25.
When Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin for a hearing about the riot, he realized that those running it had no intention of allowing him to present his case. As a result he immediately exploited the divisions among those on the Council. He did so by pointing out that the objections of the Sadducees to Christianity applied equally to what the Pharisees taught. By doing this Paul was able to get his enemies to argue among themselves. The Pharisees and Sadducees were united in their opposition to the teachings of Christianity, yet the differences between what they believed were greater on a fundamental level than that between Pharisees and Christians. There is value in pointing out such differences, both as a tool for reaching others for Christ and as a defense against persecution.
Ultimately, Paul’s captivity was extended because the teachings of Christ were a threat to the power of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which both considered more important than the differences in their professed beliefs. The combination of religious and political leadership lead those leaders to sacrifice their religious beliefs in order to advance their political power. When someone uses religious arguments to advance a political position we should always examine which came first: the religious argument, or the political position.