Too many hypocrites

Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Immediately, the Pharisees plot to kill both Jesus and the testament of his power, Lazarus.

“Hypocrite” in Greek simply means actor, so simply defined pretty much everyone in church is a hypocrite — and everyone outside of the church too. Who is not something a poser, a pretender?

If you want to befuddle a Christian, call him this bad word. If you want to skip Sunday worship, bandy about this word. BUT BEWARE: you are using the term too loosely. A hypocrite is NOT someone who flounders the high standards of God’s kingdom; he’s simply a human being.

Rather, a hypocrite is a person like the Pharisees, who in John 11 see Lazarus resurrected and orchestrate the Healer’s murder. A hypocrite is NOT someone who stubs his toe everyday but he who is deliberately evil and hides behind a pretense of righteousness.

In reality, you are NOT a hypocrite if you are sincere about your stumblings. The non-Christian is wrongly applying the word for imperfect believers (only Christ was and is perfect). If you catch me sinning, well surprise, I’m a sinner (saved by grace). I’m not excusing my sin.

My sin is inexcusable. At the same time, it is forgivable — if not by you, at least by God (most importantly, by God). Far from us to call ourselves holier than thou. We are sinners, saved by grace. Though we must strive for betterment, we inexorably flail and fail. Forgive us, but please don’t exclude yourself based on our imperfections.

Our warts are glaringly hideous. We just need a bit of tolerance.

15 responses to “Too many hypocrites

  1. I totally agree with tolerance.
    On the other hand, I’ve long had a problem with the word “sinner.” To me this implies imperfection – but, as you seem to notice as well – we are all flawed. The power inherent in words is what I take issue with “sinner.” It sounds – well – so Old Testament. Didn’t Jesus change all that? Can’t we begin now to love the imperfection that is Us? For if not, I’m afraid that, beginning with the self, we continue reinforcing fear, judgment and loathing. And what we reinforce, we continue, consciously or unconsciously – to pass on.
    Just a thought 😉
    Thanks for the post.

    • There certainly is a lot to ponder in your comment. Yes, the question of semantics is important. I do think however that at some point we need to recognize our wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness of our Loving Father who sent Jesus to the cross due to our sin. I think we do well to call ourselves, more than others, “sinners,” but maybe as you say, that term could go the by way and find a more sensitive, culturally relevant equivalent.

  2. I love this post, so, so true. We are all sinners, saved only by the grace of God, his mercy and his unending love for us. Amen and amen.

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  5. This is a wonderful post thank you !
    I have written often in my work that If we would spend more time taking off our masks before God we would spend a lot less time putting them on for men.

    And maybe some day we could just live without them and walk out this life with no need to hide or impress, but now it seems we need to impress, especially in church.

    You know ugly is ugly when it comes from vanity, and pride. We are people made in God’s image and likeness, so we don’t need makeup,masks or vain and costly fodder to puff ourselves up and make us better than we will ever be in this flesh life.

  6. refusingtopanic

    I appreciate this post. Was recently dealing with this. A woman who is very open with her failures is struggling with a husband who refuses to admit he has any. I totally agree that a true hypocrite is one who refuses to admit he/she has sinned. All the rest of us are moving in our journey and very much aware of our ability to sin!! I was just reading this today – “John 9:41 Jesus said, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” Good word! God bless!

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