24 January, 2006

Hypocrites and other fake Christians

Hypocrisy is when one claims to hold a belief that they do not really possess. The term hypocrite was used in Old French as a play-actor; someone pretending to be something that they were not. Hypocrisy has its roots in Greek and was someone who wore a mask; someone pretending to be someone that they were not or someone that had "two faces" concerning a belief.

Many non-Christians see the hypocrites in the church and they are rightly disgusted. Hypocrites make up a number of the members of the church; but these people are not genuine professors of religion, merely frauds playing the role of the Christian. The hypocrites are what the Bible calls tares and Jesus is quite content with allowing the tares to be in the Church. These hypocrites have always been a part of genuine religion, and they will remain a part of genuine religion until the day of judgment when the wheat is separated from the tares. Jesus speaks of this in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew:

Another parable put he [Jesus] forth unto them [his disciples], saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

What does this all mean for you and for me? How does this apply to our lives?
-If you are a genuine Christian, someone who has professed faith in Christ's atoning sacrifice for sins and are being renewed by the power of the Holy Ghost, then you should strive to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ. We should never allow the unbeliever to blaspheme Christ and his bride on account of our carelessness in sanctification.
-If you are not a Christian, then it is my Christian duty to warn you that your fate is the same fate of those tares. Hypocrisy and unbelief will be eternal bed-fellows in the fires of hell. Hypocrite: flee to Christ for redemption. Unbeliever: flee to Christ for redemption.

"Tell me, you vain professor [of Christianity], when did you shed a tear for the deadness, hardness, unbelief, or earthliness of your heart? Do you think that such an easy religion can save you? If so, we may invert Christ's words and say, 'Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to life.'" -JOHN FLAVEL

"Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell."
-THOMAS WATSON

17 comments:

Nate said...

I had another post of the same title and content. I preferred the other one. If anyones computer saved that version could you send me a copy in HTML so that I can replace this version.

I lost 2 Puritan quotes as well. I really liked the quotes. Anyway...this should be a sobering thought for all of us...do not let the unbeliever see us misrepresenting the Gospel of Christ.

Nate said...

Thanks Mark!

Joe Schelling said...

To me, what is sobering is how hypocritical, how depraved, I really am. When I see myself for who I really am I understand the rich blessing of Christ's forgivness.

The unbelievers who say that there are hypoctries within the church are correct. Thankfully we have church to go to and grow in our walks.

We can see examples of this left unchecked in many mainstream churches in America. Hypocrasy mixed with pride can be a dangerous mixture.

Mark said...

You're quite welcome, happy to help. Good post as well. The subject is neglected by far too many, though there are obviously still some who like to go on witch-hunts.

Nate said...

Joe

I do not believe that a real Christian is a hypocrite...only a sinner.
I do not believe that one who sins is not a Christian.

The hypocrite is a fraud from the beginning. The Christian is one who takes responsibility for their sin and brings it to an ever forgiving savior.

Ellie said...

What is the source of their unbelief? Is it because God has not chosen them to be saved? Has God hardened their hearts? Is it the work of satan? Are these tares part of Gods plan? Should we try to bring them to salvation?

I am also guilty of being hypocritial. It sees to happen at the worst times and it is the work of satan!

I'm so glad God loves me in spite of my ongoing sin.Thank God for all the prompts from fellow believers to get back on track!!!!

"Once I was lost, but now I am found!!"....

edwardseanist said...

Ellie, I will be corrected (as always) but I think you are asking the wrong questions. Of course it is we, not God who is responsible for our unbelief. And it is because of Adam that we are guilty. But it is not for us to ask those why questions when it comes to God. We must shut our mouths, lest we should accuse God of unrighteousness. You probably already know that though...

Good post Nate. I am convicted, yet I hope in Christ.

Nater said...

I agree with Joe in that my life far too often does not match up with what I claim to believe, hypocrasy. Yet I also agree with Nate that true Christians will recognize their own hypocrasy, that their lives don't match what they believe, and turn in repentance to Christ.
A hypocrite refuses to acknowledge the disconnect in their lives between their words and their actions.

Droll Flood said...

"Of course it is we, not God who is responsible for our unbelief. And it is because of Adam that we are guilty."
-Then are we guilty of Adam's sin or just our own sin or...?

-Does the creator have to answer to the creation or is it the other way around?

-Is it for us to seek out commandments to live in the hidden/ secret will of God or is it for us to obey His revealed will?

-For whom is it to obey and for whom is it to decree?

Ellie said...

OK So define sinner....a hypocritical forgiven Christian who may be asking the wrong questions?

Nate said...

ellie

The difference that is being made is the UNCONVERTED sinner who is is a pretender (hypocrite)

and the converted sinner who is living a REPENTANT life.

The reason that they are (and we) sinners is because of the fall into sin in Genesis 2 and 3. The fall brought man into a state of death. He is blind in his sin.
His humanity is fallen. If Satan no longer existed the evil inside people's hearts would be enough to destroy this earth save the grace of God.

Keep the good questions coming. I am pleased to serve all here at PRESBYTERIAN THOUGHTS.

Joe Schelling said...

I agree whole heartedly. As Christians we see our sinfulness, including hypocrasy and pride.

It sounds like we agree on idea we just use different wording. I agree with you Nate R. You said, much better of course, what I was trying to say.

I think the growth comes when we do see this and understand the forgiveness that is Christ and mature in our walks with Christ.

edwardseanist said...

droll flood, I said I was willing to be corrected, so answer your questions.

Droll Flood said...

"I said I was willing to be corrected, so answer your questions. "
Edwardseanist:
I wasn't necessarily disagreeing with you or saying you're wrong.

"...but I think you are asking the wrong questions."-in regards to Ellie.
I affirm what you say. I asked the questions for the benefit of Ellie to try and keep focused on the matter at hand in the post.

-"Then are we guilty of Adam's sin or just our own sin or...?"
Both. Rom. 5

-Does the creator have to answer to the creation or is it the other way around?
-For whom is it to obey and for whom is it to decree?
“But it is not for us to ask those why questions when it comes to God. We must shut our mouths, lest we should accuse God of unrighteousness.”
-It definitely seems that you and I are on the same page and in the same book. Romans 9

-“Is it for us to seek out commandments to live in the hidden/ secret will of God or is it for us to obey His revealed will?”
The only way we know God’s decree is in hindsight and this is what we see with our eyes and that being limited.We also know whatever He has chosen to tell of it.
God has given the moral law which all men have on their hearts by nature. God has also given to us in writing the Word, which retells the moral law and shows to us Christ's fulfillment of it unto our (His own elect) salvation and points us to live in praise and thanksgiving to God by it, evidencing the New Creation which we have in Christ.

-I hope I adequately answered and clarified any misunderstandings.

edwardseanist said...

Thanks droll flood.

Ellie said...

Thanks to all for the input!!

greasy joan said...

How easy it is to be self-deceived. From the 'purpose-driven' phenomena to the 'walk the aisle, say the sinner's prayer, and voila! instant fire insurance' to those who are trusting in works, your post reminds us to always cling to the Cross of Christ. Thank you.