Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness."
hypocrite [hip-oh-krit]Noun: a person who pretends to be what he or she is not [Greek hupokrinein to pretend]
As I have talked to agnostics, or even Atheists about church, God, Religion, or anything to do with faith ... this is the subject that comes up most often as their frustration or lack of faith in, or their "problem" with God and religion, saying "it's full of hypocrites!"
I see their point, and do share in their frustration at times. And honestly I think the church has contributed to this dilemma honestly. And here is how I see it; when we (the church ... or a pastor like me) start preaching letter of the law stuff (what I refer to as preaching from the "tree of knowledge of good & evil" rather than preaching from the "tree of life") AND preaching stuff that's NOT really even in the Bible (adding to scripture is dangerous Revelation 22:18)i.e. How people should dress, how people should eat, what music people should listen to, no tattoos, no drinking, no bowling, no dancing, no long hair (on guys), no makeup (on girls), no jewelry, etc. Rather, we should be teaching on loving God, loving others, how to be kind - tenderhearted and forgiving of one another, what does it mean to live a live of worship, social justice issues, how to be free from fear, sharing God's love to those around us, teaching how to live a life character, how to be a person of integrity, how to be a good father or mother, how to love your spouse, etc.
I think we majored on what we should do to LOOK like Christians, rather then what we should do to BE Christians. Because let's just face it, teaching only and primarily on what NOT to do only drives people to NOT do certain things in public where people can see, but it drives them to do it privately so no one can see ... which makes them APPEAR holy, or righteous when in fact they are a HYPOCRITE!
Living for Christ isn't about LOOKING like a Christian, it's about BEING a Christian! You know what you are ... so does God, so be real!
Coming soon ... pt2 of Hypcrite