2000-01-16 - Passages about Hypocrisy
In my French class, we are studying the Molière play, Le Tartuffe. Tartuffe was a hypocrite, an "imposteur." He pretended to be a pious spiritual leader, when in fact he was a "con man," taking advantage of his hosts' adulation and gullibility. Hypocrisy comes in many forms. We indulge in it if we criticize people for shoplifting, yet use our boss' phone to make long-distance calls, which is itself a form of theft. Or we judge someone for being a bigot, when we ourselves harbor prejudice in our hearts against people, because of their weight. Or we look down upon someone because they have made a mistake (i.e. an unwed mother), blinded to the fact that God detests our pride. The Bible, and especially Christ's teachings, has much to say about hypocrisy. Here are some passages.
Summaries of Hypocrisy:
Hearts are far from God:
(Mat 15:4-9 NRSV) For God said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.' But you say that whoever tells father or mother, 'Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,' then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'"
We condemn others for what we do ourselves:
(Luke 6:41-42 NRSV) Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.
Examples of Hypocritical Behavior:
(Luke 11:42 NRSV) But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.
We are not to be close friends with hypocrites:
(Psa 26:3-4 NRSV) For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you. I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
God will punish hypocrisy:
(Mat 24:51 NRSV) He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.