Written by cycleguy on June 4th, 2014

“The number one reason I won’t go to church is you Christians are all ________________.”

You know the answer to that don’t you?  H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S.

The snarky part of me wants to say, “Well, you know, if you see me/us as hypocrites then you must have seen someone who was real.” But I tend to keep my mouth shut when it looks like an effort in futility.

Recently I bought the Drawing Near Devotional Bible by John MacArthur. Because I am reading through the Gospels this year, I have not been using it regularly. But I finished Matthew early so I picked up this Bible and his subject for May 29th was “The Characteristics of Hypocrisy.” Using Judas as his example, he gives 5 examples of spiritual hypocrisy. I found them rather interesting and thought I would share them with some thoughts of my own.

Hypocritical people often seem genuinely interested in a noble cause. Judas, like many other Jews, probably did not want the Roman rule. Perhaps he thought Jesus would come to power and overthrow Rome.

Hypocritical people demonstrate an outward allegiance to Christ. We might put it this way: They talk a good game.

Hypocritical people can appear to be holy. It is always interesting to me that none of the disciples suspected Judas. Even when Jesus tells him, “What you have to do, do quickly,” they had no clue.

Hypocritical people are self-centered. This goes without saying I think. Their world focuses around them.

Hypocritical people are deceivers. Judas’ whole life as a disciple was a lie. When the woman poured the oil on Jesus, it was Judas who protested that “the money for the oil could have been put in the treasury.” John tells us it was because he dipped his hand into the till.

Judas was an unbeliever. Hypocrisy can be seen in lots of ways, in many people. The most damaging are those who claim to follow Jesus.

What are your thoughts?


21 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    Sometimes what can be worse than a person who says one thing and does another is a person who does what he/she says.

  2. Caleb Suko says:

    It also seems to me that hypocritical people are often bitter on the inside.I think it’s because ultimately they know they are just playing a game.

  3. jeff says:

    I’m sure there are lots of Christians that are hypocrites. A lot of non-Christians too. I don’t think saying you are a Christian when you really don’t believe things Christians believe is all that damaging. There are far more damaging types of hypocrites.
    I know a lot of Christians that accuse other Christians of not being “real” Christians. I am not sure what a “real” Christian looks like. Most of the ones I know that claim to be Christian seem pretty much the same as people that don’t make that claim.
    I think there are far more damaging types of hypocrites than those who claim to follow Jesus. By far most of the people I know that claim to follow Jesus don’t appear to be following very closely.
    I give no special consideration to someone that says they follow Jesus. Whether they do or not makes me no difference no matter what they claim.
    Seems about as harmless as saying you are a Football fan when you really couldn’t care less about the game.

    • cycleguy says:

      Without a doubt there are hypocrites who are both Christians and non-Christians. I’m also not sure what a “real” Christian looks like Jeff. That is an intriguing statement-one I know I have used in my pursuit of judgment. When I refer to hypocrites who follow Jesus, I am obviously focusing in on the church and its impact. So my talk of hypocrites would focus on that aspect.

  4. I think everyone, in one form or another, are hypocrites.

  5. Ben Nelson says:

    As my kids have gotten older – they have gained the ability to speak into my life, and has been lovingly honest with me, showing me areas where my rubber does not quite reach the road.

    One preacher I know responds to the “church is full of hypocrites” comment with “It sure is, so you’ll fit right in” or something like that.

    As he (Steve Brown) says – Christianity is the club where the only requirement for entry is that you are not qualified.

    Thanks Pastor Bill.

  6. Kari Scare says:

    Interesting that I’m studying Isaiah 58 & 59 this morning, which talks a lot about hypocrites. It’s not a new problem for sure.

  7. floyd says:

    I think hypocrisy is the greatest tool of our enemy and it’s our weak flesh that makes it such an effective to against the church. Those are great examples. Humility destroys hypocrisy, isn’t that the way of God? The seemingly weak over powers the strong.

    • cycleguy says:

      Welcome back to the land of the living Floyd! Hope your few days away were good. Your comment is right on the money on both counts-the tool and the way to destroy it.

  8. Rick Dawson says:

    A friend who had been attending a church sporadically but had not made a commitment to anything or anyone in the church told the senior pastor one day – a man whom he liked and respected but didn’t often interact with – that the reason he didn’t do anything more was because the church was full of hypocrites. Sam’s answer?

    “Then one more won’t make a bit of difference, will it?”

    My friend has been married and active at that church now for over 15 years and even though the pastor moved on, the truth of the statement stayed.

  9. Zee says:

    If only the example was different, I’d agree. My thoughts on Judas differ from traditional that he was only thinking about himself and only wanted to use Jesus, betraying Him when plans went wrong… I doubted it was that straightforward before and then later read Tosca Lee’s “Iscariot” which showed that obviously I wasn’t the only one thinking that.

    Otherwise, I guess I agree with the abovementioned.