Hypocrisy. God speaks strongly on this subject while we plug our ears.
|1. Carrell's Corner:
Biblical Studies Journal Volume 2 No. 8
October 19, 1998
|2.Hypocrites!" A Phony Excuse.||Carrell's
The sin of hypocrisy was the one sin in Satan's catalog which brought from our Lord the sternest of all reprimands. Jesus had the most compassion of any man who ever lived on earth, and His gracious demeanor extended itself to people who were guilty of all manner of sin. He loved and forgave the thief, the adulterer, the murderer; but his anger rose to heights of severe rebuke when He focused on the hypocrite. No passage of scripture seethes with rage quite like Matthew 23, where Jesus unleashes a tirade of condemnation against those who play the hypocrite. And why? Because hypocrisy is an act, a stage play, a put-on, when the actor knows better. You can help the thief, the adulterer, the murderer, who through weakness, or lust, or passion, has succumbed to his base desires. But what can you say to the hypocrite? He knows better and doesn't care.
The current  trial of a television evangelist [Jim Bakker] leaves me with feelings of disgust and revulsion. If the testimony of witnesses is true, this man bilked people out of millions of dollars, all the while himself living in luxury. One man testified to living on $400 a month and sending $1000 to this "ministry." Countless are the number of poor people who undoubtedly sent their mites and pittances, when they could hardly hold body and soul together on what little they made. And for what? For the support of greed and deception and fraud.
If those precious souls were the only victims it would be bad enough, but what of the disastrous effect which this hypocritical behavior has upon the cause of Christ? We have a hard enough time convincing the world of the validity of Christianity, but this type of behavior can only furnish its critics with additional reason for rejecting the only way of life which can have meaning in eternity. I can counsel the wayward, sympathize with the struggling sinner, and pray for the weak, but what can be done for the hypocrite?
"Hypocrites!" a phony excuse
|Some folks give the excuse, "I don't want to
join the church. It's full of hypocrites" Or they say, "They're just going
because it's expected." The same might be said of a hospital that is said
of the church.
Imagine, for a moment, this complaint, "I'm not going to the hospital. Many of those who go don't trust the doctors and don't believe they'll get well. They're just going because it's expected. I'd rather not go than be around such hypocrites!"
The church offers spiritual healing. The hospital offers physical healing. In either instance, one would be unwise to remain sick just to avoid hypocrites.
|Jesus on Hypocrisy|
|Jesus' plea to the Pharisees is dramatic. It is filled with both passion and compassion. Here is the 23rd chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, KJV.|
|23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.|
|23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.|
|23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,|
|23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.|
|23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.|
|23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.|
|23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.|
|23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.|
|23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.|
|23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.|
|23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.|
|23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.|
|23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.|
|23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.|
|23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.|
|23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.|
|23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.|
|23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.|
|23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.|
|23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.|
|23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.|
|23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.|
|23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.|
|23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.|
|23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.|
|23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.|
|23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.|
|23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.|
|23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.|