Let’s begin by defining the word “hypocrite.” I’ll use the www.m-w.com definition stated below:
Etymology: Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritēs actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
Date: 13th century
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feeling
Here is a sample of verses that use the word hypocrisy. Note, not all the verses are translated with the word “hypocrisy;” the idea of hypocrisy involves lying or pretending. In fact, the Greek word used is actually the same word used for “Actors!”
Matthew 23:28; Mark 12:15; Luke 12:1; Galatians 2:13; 1 Timothy 4:2; James 5:12; 1Peter 2:1; Luke 20:20
The following verses all depict Jesus calling someone a hypocrite, and always with disdain:
Matthew 6:2,5,16; 7:5; 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13,23:14,23:15,23:23,23:25,23:27,23:29; 24:51; Mark 7:6; Luke 6:42; 11:44; 12:56; 13:15;
I point this out for one reason, and that is to show that if prevalence of occurrence in the Bible means anything at all, (and I’m convinced it does), hypocrisy is one of the worst sins imaginable. It is mentioned, especially by Jesus’ own mouth during the incarnation as often as other sins for which I’ve searched.
So what’s the point of this post then? Well, I’m here to say that I was never a hypocrite! As long as I went about my life before Christ, I never had a false appearance of religion. I really acted in harmony with my stated beliefs. In fact, one of the fears I have of the result of evolutionary teaching is that we will raise a nation of people who are not hypocrites, but have the false belief in molecules to man evolution! People who are taught and believe that they are nothing more than animals fighting to survive end up being able to justify horrible atrocities like school shootings, theft and lying and cheating, and adultery.
Don’t misquote me, I’m not saying that ONLY people who believe in evolution commit these sins; I’m saying that an evolutionary belief system allows a person to justify these acts, as these acts are not wrong according to their worldview! And I, being a good evolutionist, God-hating American before His grace took over, was never a hypocrite. In fact, my only goal in life was the pursuit of hedonism and I sought it fervently. Oh, if we all sought Christ with the fervency we clung to and pursued sin!
Here’s my concern then. The only reason I was NOT a hypocrite before, is that I had no standard in the first place! I couldn’t “live below” my own standards, (hypocrisy means to “under judge” in a sense), because my standards were so low that would be impossible. In fact, the closest I came to hypocrisy was if I would restrain myself from immediate pleasure, which I learned to do, but only because I thought it was best for me; never was it for the sake of righteousness.
The fear now is that I actually have standards, so hypocrisy is easily accessible to me! For the first time in my life, I am not only claiming to believe in a high standard of righteousness, but I am preaching it. My fall will be much further now than ever before. So I must be on guard. This is interesting to me. I mean, when I was saved, I had so much despicable sin in my life that I was fending off; the thought of fending off a new sin was out of the question. And now, I’ve realized that this new sin is one I’ve never dealt with. Ultimately the sin is pride and deceit. Hypocrisy, at its root, denies the omnipresence and omniscience of God. It is an act of putting what other men think of me OVER what God thinks. I can lie and deceive men into thinking I am better than I am, but not God.
True hypocrites, in their hearts believe they are deceiving both, even if they don’t know that’s what they believe. The hypocrites of Jesus’ day, the Pharisees, were outwardly very religious. In fact, they professed many things that were truly righteous acts, but in their hearts they still sinned. Being able to clean up the outside is easy, what none of us can do is cleanse our own hearts; that requires the work of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 17:9, John 6:63, 1 Corinthians 2:14
Some will read this and say, He is a hypocrite! I know he’s sinned! True, but I don’t think that a single sin makes a person a hypocrite, even if it was presumptuous. The nature of hypocrisy, (as well as the other sins mentioned in the New Testament that truly regenerate men are now free of) is that the sin is continuous; that is, there is a pattern of sin in the man’s life. Christians still sin, but in their hearts, there is a change. The desire or need to cover their own sin, to hide it from God and even other men is gone. Laying our sins at the foot of the cross, walking humbly and trusting Christ alone for forgiveness, not our own works or penance is what separates believers from non-believers, the righteous from the wicked. Have I violated God’s commands, yes! Have I violated commands that I’ve even preached or taught others they should not violate? Yes! I’m not proud of this, I’m ashamed. But the point is that the law of God is righteous and true regardless of this servant’s inability to perfectly follow. Dear Christian, do your best and rely on Christ. Work hard to study to know His Word that you might not sin. (Psalm 119:11) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In conclusion, I was not a hypocrite, by the Grace of God and largely due to my own lack of righteousness. I never was a false convert. Am I a hypocrite today? I’m sure at times I have been, but my heart’s intention now is to be cleansed and forgiven, and because God is just, I know I am cleansed and forgiven. Romans 8:1, 1 John 1:9
Please don’t make the mistakes I’ve made; allow God to search your heart for the hidden sin that is in you, that you might never be accurately called a hypocrite.
Here are some examples of hypocrisy you may search for in your own heart:
Do you speak or preach against sin such as homosexuality, yet foster lust in your heart or even act it out? This includes heterosexual pornography, sex outside marriage, even “just looking.”
Do you tell people they should be out witnessing or passing out tracts and you don’t do it yourself?
Do you tell people to trust God in all things, like their finances or when they’re sick, but there are still areas of your life where you don’t fully trust Him, like your workplace or your marriage?
Do you fantasize about certain sins that appeal more to you, while showing disdain for the sins of others that maybe aren’t as big an issue for you? For example, maybe you think about getting drunk on alcohol, and you think it’s not a big deal because you aren’t actually doing it, but then if your spouse was thinking about another person, you’d be pretty offended wouldn’t you?
Do you tell people they should worship the one true God, and then you participate in activities like yoga or listening to music or watching movies that blasphemes God’s name or depicts sin in an enticing, attractive manner?
Ultimately, do you tell people that you love Jesus; that you are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone, and then live a life the exhibits a greater love for the things in this world that the things of God? 1 John 2:15-17
Do not do these things! Repent – change your mind about your sin and give it to God. He can carry the entire burden; he already has! Christ has paid it all, and He wants it all, and He deserves it all, all your life that is! Today is the day of salvation for someone, and for many it will be the day to enter eternity; where will you spend it?
Elizabeth McDermott says
What is wrong with Yoga?
Hey Elizabeth – Yoga is a spiritual exercise and should not be practiced by Christians, just like any other religious ritual that is not Christian. I realize this can be a sensitive topic. What I can say is that in my own experience, I was a very active yoga participant before I was saved and that continued after my conversion for a few months. I eventually found myself unable to do it any longer and I didn’t totally understand why.
The article below I found is the best article I’ve ever seen that describes the biblical reasoning. Let me know if you have more questions.
You should write more about Excel.
Hey Bill – Any particular excel topics that you are interested in?
Elizabeth McDermott says
I don’t agree with you. I guess we have a different way of looking at things. I consider myself a Christian, although you may not. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I am a “super market” Catholic, meaning there are many thing I like about being Catholic and many things I do not. I take what I like and leave what I don’t. My thoughts on the Bible are it is a great book with a great message. But it was written, by men, a very long time ago, translated multiple times, by men. So I don’t believe it needs to be taken word for word. But I try to follow the general message of it. I sin, I do bad things, but I try to live a life I can be proud of. I know the day will come when God will judge me and I will have some explaining to do. But my God is a merciful God who will embrace me despite my sin. I try to teach my children right from wrong and not to judge others. As for the yoga. I couldn’t disagree with you more. I love yoga. I feel closer to God doing yoga then I feel anywhere else. Yoga gives me time to be in the present. I can thank God for everything I have right now. I am not consumed with thoughts of the past or thoughts of the future. I leave feeling renewed and ready to tackle my tasks of the day. I am a better mother to my children and a better wife to my husband. Our nanny came from Oklahoma and she had these same “yoga is evil thoughts”. I told her meditating is when you are silent and wait for God to talk to you. Always interesting to hear about others beliefs.