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God Loves Hypocrites?

July 27, 2014

We just finished studying the book of Nehemiah. In chapter 10 and 13 we see that the people in Jerusalem made vows and weren’t living up to them. Isn’t it a shame that the Bible is so outdated and out of touch with people! (Note the sarcasm, please). The Israelites claimed to know God, but they weren’t living like they believed what they claimed to believe. In other words, they were hypocrites.

The Origination of Hypocrisy

I’ve been told that the Greek word translated as hypocrite originated in the Greek theatre. The same actor would play different roles and, in order to do so, he or she would wear different masks. A hypocrite came to be known as someone who was two-faced, someone who lived and acted in different ways depending on their audience; a person who held certain beliefs, but choose to deny those beliefs through their own behaviour.

Religious Hypocrites

Religious people are always accused of being hypocrites. ‘I left the church because the church was filled with hypocrites.’ That is probably true. The church is filled with hypocrites. But, allow me to ask a probing question, ‘if the discovery of hypocrites is enough to disengage from a group of people, where then do you go? To the place where there are no hypocrites and everyone is perfectly consistent?’

Really? Say ‘hi’ to the tooth fairy when you get there. Also, consider that you may ruin the place if you actually found it.

The truth is we all have ideals that we sometimes fail to live up to because we are sinners and, in that way, we are all hypocrites. I mean, when you hear the church is filled with hypocrites you shouldn’t think, ‘I’ll never go,’ that is self-righteous! You should think, ‘oh, the church is filled with hypocrites who admit it, finally a place where I can belong.’

Who Am I?

I know, I know, who am I to tell you what to think about hypocrisy. I realize hypocrites in the church have damaged some of you and that is painful and I don’t want to minimize that hurt. I know Jesus took religious hypocrisy very seriously, but why do we always assume Jesus is talking about someone other than us. Sometimes Christians seem like they are just looking for an excuse to bash the church and I want to caution us about using the accusation of hypocrisy so flippantly. After all, ‘when we point the finger at someone else three fingers are pointing back at us.’

Jesus

We are not saved and made right with God because of our consistency but because of Christ. And Christ, through the Spirit transforms our hearts, so that we become more consistent in our obedience to God and that is a life-long process and we are all at different stages on the journey.

So let’s get off our hypocrisy-bashing high horses, repent of our own sins, help one another, and seek to allow God’s transforming power to have its way in our lives.

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One comment

  1. I am grateful for a YOU. A Pastor who is real, authentic, and committed to leading us through God’s word, tough times and in celebration of the Gospel. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Becoming a servant is refining, difficult and oh so transforming. You lead us well.



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