Jesus spoke some rather scary words in Mat 23:15 about the hypocrites when He said:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves”
The proselytes to whom Jesus referred relates to people converted from a Gentile religion to Judaism (blueletterbible.org). Jesus really meant that the scribes and Pharisees were so effective at teaching the letter of the law that these converts would become even more judgemental, hypocritical and self righteous than their teachers. This is why they would become twice the child of hell than their teachers.
Herein lies the danger when we teach doctrine that is not sound and promote double standards in the body of Christ.

I must hurry to explain that one does not need to be doing anything “sinful” in the sense of sins such as fornication and adultery. Paul experienced similar problems in the early church when false teachers crept in to persuade the gentile believers to become circumcised in order to be saved. This caused such an uproar in the church that he and Barnabas had to go to Jerusalem to settle the issue. When he wrote to the Galatians, he placed the responsibility squarely on Peter’s shoulders:

Gal 2: 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter’s example would be called “two faced” today. Do we say one thing in front of people and another behind their backs? Our examples as leaders can seriously influence other leaders who are supposed to be mature in the faith. Look at the effect of Peter’s behavior on Barnabas, Pastor of the Antioch church!

We need to “walk uprightly according to the truth of the gospel”. I once saw a young leader do a very offensive action which was later repeated by his leader at a later date. They just gave every one the impression that they were going to be selected for an event then selected the “in crowd”. The pretense was so obvious and reprehensible. Now the people involved are learning this in what educators would call the “hidden curriculum”.

Let’s ask God to keep us so that we would not be guilty of acts of hypocrisy. Blessings until next time!

Advertisements