“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You clean the outside of the cup and dish,
but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence…”
Matthew 23:25 (NIV)
All of us have heard people say that the church is full of hypocrites. What is interesting is that all too often such accusers would not recognize a church member if they tripped over them. How would they know? They never attend church to find out!
But we need to ask the question, “Are there any hypocrites in the church?” Absolutely. I know of situations where I have been asked to give counsel and the evidence clearly pointed to hypocrisy on the part of some church members. Further I have even sought to help ministers who were hypocrites.
In one situation the pastor had a multiyear affair with a church member. In another situation an elder never spoke to his wife in the privacy of their home. He would only pass her hand written notes to communicate. However, in church he would speak in loving tones to his wife and make it appear that nothing was wrong.
Another situation comes to mind where the husband was a foul mouthed abusive husband and father at home but in church sang in the choir and when the pastor was on vacation would sometimes preach. Everyone in the church thought he was a spiritual giant. Was it any wonder his children all grew up to be actively evil adults?
What is terrifying is that in the Scriptures there was no sin that caused Jesus to be as angry as the sin of hypocrisy. Matthew 23 records the most sustained verbal attack by our Lord against any sin. The Pharisees were filthy on the inside and spotless on the exterior.
Perhaps some of my readers suffer abuse, scorn, hatred from another family member who acts like a saint when in the presence of the church. Resist hating the evil person. Read Matthew 23 and see that the righteous judgment of God will see to it that those people will suffer forever for their sins.
Certainly you can grieve for the evil heaped upon you by hypocrites. However their actions will cease soon enough and God will vindicate you. No one injuries a child of God without God intervening and with eternal consequences.