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Showing posts with the label #Hypocrisy

Keep (most of) your prayers private.

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Matthew 6.5-6. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, Matthew 6.5-6 KJV 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are : for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Which is why we don’t see the streets of our nation lined with Christians, their arms raised and heads to the sky, praying as loud as possible so as to let everyone know we’re devout, and that we’re praying for our land. Well… we don’t usually see this. Although I remember this one trip I made to Washington D.C. where we saw it all the time . I was chaperoning some kids on a civics tour, where we went to the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian,

Hypocrisy versus inconsistency.

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HYPOCRISY hə'pɑk.rə.si noun Pretense: Practice of claiming beliefs or moral standards which one doesn’t truly have. 2. Inconsistency: Practice of claiming beliefs or moral standards, but one’s own behavior demonstrates otherwise. [Hypocrite 'hɪp.ə.krɪt noun , hypocritical hɪp.ə'krɪd.ə.kəl adjective .] I reposted the definition from my original article on hypocrisy because I need to remind you there are two popular definitions of the word: Pretense and inconsistency . When Christians talk about hypocrisy, we usually mean pretense: Someone’s pretending to be what they’re not. When everybody else talks about it (and many Christians are included in this group), they mean inconsistency: A person says one thing, but does another. And yeah, some of this idea is found in the gospels. Right before Jesus went on a rant about Pharisee misbehavior, he pointed out how inconsistent they were. Matthew 23.1-4 NLT 1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his discipl

Confession: Breaking the chains of our secret sins.

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CONFESS kən'fɛs verb . Admit or state one’s failings or sins to another [trustworthy] person. 2. Admit or state what one believes. [Confession kən'fɛs.ʃən noun , confessor kən'fɛs.sər noun .] The way to defeat hypocrisy, plain and simple, is authenticity. We’re not perfect—none but Jesus is—and we need to say so. And in many cases need to say more than just the generic “I’m a sinner,” with no further details: We need to give some of those details. We need to tell on ourselves. We need to confess. The practice of confession—heck, the very idea of confession—is controversial to a lot of Christians. ’Cause we don’t wanna! And I’m not even talking about people with deep dark secrets. Plenty of folks have little bitty secrets—stuff everybody kinda knows already, or can figure out easily—but the very idea of publicly admitting to such things, they find far too humiliating. Fr’instance. Back in college, in one of our men’s bible studies, our group leader was t

Hypocrisy in leadership: It can get really bad, really fast.

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Most Christian leaders know better than to let hypocrisy grow among their leadership structure. It’s poison. It’s how scandals start, ruin churches, drive people to quit Jesus (or at least give ’em an excuse ), and give all of Christianity a lousy reputation. So they take great care to keep hypocrites from ever being put in charge. Others take no such care, and are full of hypocrites. I used to single out particular churches, with particular leadership structures, for being particularly hypocritical. And yeah, it’s much easier for phonies to hide in churches with few to no accountability structures. (Or even with tremendous accountability structures, like the Roman Catholic Church… but the catch is their structure only offers forgiveness, not consequence , and that’s why so many evil leaders can get away with what they do.) It’s almost a given you’re gonna find hypocrites in anti- denominational churches : They want no oversight, no one to tell them to behave. But it’s hard

Loopholes.

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Popular culture, especially popular Christian culture, uses the word Pharisee as a synonym for legalist. That’s what we presume the Pharisees’ problem was: They overdid it on God’s commands. They were so careful to follow every single one of them perfectly (and in so doing, earn salvation ), they created all these extra doctrines and traditions as kind of a hedge around the Law. Supposedly they spent so much time fretting about the extra stuff, they’d never get around to breaking the Law. Yeah, that’s not why Pharisees had the doctrines and customs. Wasn’t what they were doing at all. If you want to know what the Pharisees were about, you gotta read the Mishna , a compilaton of what Pharisees were teaching as of the early second century. (Which of course includes what they taught in the early first century, i.e. Jesus’s day.) The Mishna is the core of the Talmud, one of the two main books of present-day Judaism. (The other’s the Tanakh, which we call the Old Testament

Hypocrites. They’re everywhere.

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HYPOCRISY hə'pɑk.rə.si noun Pretense: Practice of claiming beliefs or moral standards which one doesn’t truly have. 2. Inconsistency: Practice of claiming beliefs or moral standards, but one’s own behavior demonstrates otherwise. [Hypocrite 'hɪp.ə.krɪt noun , hypocritical hɪp.ə'krɪd.ə.kəl adjective .] The Greek word ὑπόκρισις / ypókrisis literally means “over [the] face.” In the ancient Greek religion, whenever someone claimed they spoke for the gods, they’d put on a bit of a show. When a man claimed Zeus spoke through him, he’d assume a deep voice, exaggerated gestures, and perform a sorta impersonation of Zeus. (Since we’re talking about fake gods, it was totally an act.) Comic and tragic masks. Wikimedia This “prophetic” acting evolved into Greek drama. Certain “gifted” poets, whom the Greeks believed had some divinely-inspired prophetic ability, would have actors memorize their “revelations” and present them to audiences. So the audience would kno

The street-corner show-off.

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Matthew 6.5-6. Throughout history people have prayed publicly for various reasons. Some noble, some not. And a regular problem throughout history has been the person who gets up and prays publicly, not because they legitimately wanna talk with God, or call to him for help. It’s because they wanna be seen praying. They wanna look religious. Usually so they can look more religious than they actually are. In other words hypocrisy. Nothing annoys Jesus like hypocrisy, which is why he tries to discourage his followers from doing this. Although you know some of us do this anyway. Matthew 6.5-6 KWL 5 “When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites who enjoy standing in synagogues and major intersections, praying so they might be seen by the people. Amen! I promise you all, they got their credit. 6 When you pray, go into your most private room with the door closed. Pray to your Father in private. Your Father, who sees what’s private, will credit you.” Standing was how the an

The yeast of hypocrisy.

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Mark 8.14-21, Matthew 16.5-12, Luke 12.1. After the most recent encounter Jesus had with Pharisees —namely where they wanted an End Times sign from him, not because they wanted proof Jesus is Messiah, but so they could shred his “sign” as bogus—Jesus decided to remind his students what sort of people they were dealing with. Not that all Pharisees were this way… hence his choice of metaphor. Mark 8.14-15 KWL 14 The students forgot to take bread, and they hadn’t one roll with them in the boat. 15 Jesus instructed them, saying “Listen. Watch out for the Pharisees’ yeast and Herod’s yeast.”   Matthew 16.5-6 KWL 5 Jesus’s students, coming to the far side of the lake , forgot to bring bread. 6 Jesus told them, “Listen and pay attention to the Pharisees and Sadducees’ yeast.”   Luke 12.1 KWL During a gathering of a crowd of ten thousands— who were trampling one another— Jesus first began to tell his students, “Watch out for yeast among yourselves— which