John T. Willis

Monday, June 06, 2011

Lying, Deceit, Dishonesty, Trickery, Hypocrisy--Part VI

Hypocrisy is a fatal epidemic of religious people and churches. Unfortunately, this is a well-known fact, established and documented through all centuries. We human beings want to put on a good front in order to hide who we really are and do. A few reminders may alert us to this reality.

1. Matthew 23 contains a series of condemnations of the LEADERS of God's people, each beginning with the words: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES." A hypocrite is one who pretends to be one person when in reality he is another person. A classical example is Matthew 23:23-24:
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES!
For you title mint, dill, and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith
It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!"
People are hypocritical because they have a heart problem. All of us take the easy road. It is easier to highlight the sin of another person than to deal with one's own sins and faults and failures.

2. Paul says to Titus:
"To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. They PROFESS to know God, but they DENY him BY THEIR ACTIONS. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work." (Titus 1:15-16).
It is very easy to SAY one thing when one is THINKING and DOING something quite different.

3. According to Matthew 15:1-9, Jesus confronted the Jewish LEADERS of his day who reproved Jesus because Jesus's disciples did not wash their hands before they ate. Jesus replied: YOU are the ones who are hypocrites. YOU should support your elderly parents financially, but YOU claim you have already given your money to God. Jesus said:
"You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:
'This people honors me with their LIPS,
but their HEARTS are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.'" (Matthew 15:7-9; cf. Mark 7:7-8).
The quotation is from Isaiah 29:13-14. A similar text appears in Jeremiah 12:1-2.

Pretending to be one person when an individual is actually another person allows one to live for a while, but in time, God has a way of exposing the true nature of the heart and the person.

Share YOUR dreams and intentions and goals with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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