I like the American Standard Version & several others on Num 15:30: "But the soul that doeth aught with a HIGH HAND, whether he be home-born or a sojourner, the same blasphemeth Jehovah; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people." Romans 1:32: in the New American Standard Bible: "and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also GIVE HEARTY APPROVAL TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM." Today as an act of triumph & celebration people raise their hands and slap eachother's hand. This is a very different attitude than having an ongoing besetting sin that you still feel shame over and hide. Homosexuals have gotten to the point where they celebrate that which is sinfully shameful. They have parades and create national days to celebrate "coming out" with pride. They do this because it is psychologically intimidating to those who want to uphold to Biblical standards. This is confusing to the young who are in the process of developing attitudes towards such acts.
Richard wrote, >Any believer that sins is a hypocrite until they repent. I'm glad you wrote these words. It woke me up. We are all doomed to hypocrisy because our head motel has two rooms instead of one. It's the room in the back that betrays us. No matter how well kept the front room, those who live next door can see into our back room. It's not just any believer, Richard. It's all believers, until our back rooms--Jesus' inside of the cup--are clean. >NOTICE: intentional sin is blasphemy. Notice: Even those who crucified Jesus, arguably the worst sin in history, were doing it unintentionally according to Jesus. He pulled them--even them--under the umbrella. weiersc wrote, >I wonder if the article does not miss one of the major elements in the hypocrisy argument...the willingness of hypocrites who feel that they can take a sliver out of one person's eye when they might have a log in their own. The delicious irony of Jesus metaphor is that He saw all of us with logs in our eyes, and so no one gets it. It might have made Jesus want to laugh at times, but He cried instead. Those hypocrites is us, brothers and sisters.
"Is he a 'hypocrite?'” --Glenn Hansen Yes. "The delicious irony of Jesus metaphor is that He saw all of us with logs in our eyes, and so no one gets it. It might have made Jesus want to laugh at times, but He cried instead. Those hypocrites is us, brothers and sisters." --George Evans Well said, George. True.
Collins, The basic meaning of the word for hypocrite is "actor." The word was used to refer to people who played rolls in Greek plays. It's unclear to me why you think Joe B is playing a roll. Is he a hypocrite in the eyes of the gay community or the Christian community? Since he realizes what he is doing is sinful but finds himself ensnared by lust, it would seem that he is playing a roll within the gay community, i.e., he is having gay sex when he believes it is wrong, unlike most gays who, as Elizabeth pointed out, celebrate, without remorse, homosexuality.
I am thinking about the title of this article as I write this comment. Of course hypocrisy is awful, and obvious, and rampant! And those that point it out as a reason for avoiding church or some other thing are taking the cheap and easy way out. The former United States Secretary of Education under the Reagan administration was Bill Bennett. He wrote several popular books for families, including one titled "The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories." That volume had many life lessons that our family would sometimes read together. A terrific compendium actually, and there was much good material in there. Mr. Bennett was criticized by his detractors for publishing such books. He was called a "moralist," and other names that are meant to be derogatory. Several years later it was discovered that Mr. Bennett was a high-stakes gambler, and had lost substantial amounts of money in Vegas. This was apparently not a single occurrence, and it became known that he was a compulsive gambler. This was disappointing to me because we really loved his book, and many stories in his book were about self discipline, something that a compulsive gambler does not often exhibit. So, I decided to put the book away. After all, Bill Bennett was obviously a hypocrite, and how could we possibly use his book? But, I thought about it a little, and asked myself a question: "Does Bill Bennett's hypocrisy negate the truths in his book?" It was a fair question, and so I decided not to use Bill Bennett's hypocrisy as an excuse to abandon the valuable information that he had compiled. The charge of hypocrisy made by Jesus was out of concern for the hypocrites, and not offered as a rationale for negation of the law. So again, the charge of hypocrisy as a reason for avoiding church is cheap, easy, convenient, and unthinking, leaving many real questions and answers off the table.
Agreed, Glenn. He's acting. He's a hypocrite to both groups, the gays and the Christians. He's "acting" like he belongs to each---depending where he is located at the time. He knows he's doing wrong, yet still does it. He then goes and "acts" like he isn't doing anything wrong when with the other group. Isn't that quintessential hypocrisy? The gay who celebrates without remorse is not a hypocrite---in that area, at least. We all have to deal with hypocrisy---our own, and that of others around us. The most important thing for hypocrites is what they choose to do next. Are we hypocrites who choose to repent and go to Jesus to be changed, or, are we hypocrites who celebrate our sin and defend it as 'okay'? That's where a huge difference between the two groups appears.
> @collins > He knows he's doing wrong, yet still does it. He then goes and “acts” like he isn't doing anything wrong when with the other group. Isn't that quintessential hypocrisy? "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me." Romans 7:15-20 Oh Paul! You hypocrite!
Correct, Bob. That's why he repented and went to Jesus for change. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23) "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:4)
Interesting that you should bring up 1 John, 'cause I've already referenced a verse from that book. It's in chapter 1. Verse 8, to be precise. "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." So....what I'm trying to say is: It's not hypocritical to claim Jesus as my savior and acknowledge that I'm a sinner. That I still sin. That I struggle with a repeated sin that I _know_ is wrong and yet still return to it, like a dog to its vomit. Paul acknowledged that he did the same thing. His despair was such that he cried out for freedom from his "body of death." ....That freedom doesn't come until the resurrection.... In closing: While it is _not_ hypocritical to acknowledge one's struggle with sin while claiming to be a follower of Jesus, it _is_ hypocritical (acting/wearing a mask) to pretend to be sin-free. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"
The only true answer to hypocrisy is total victory over sin through God's power, here on earth. And the book of First John teaches this hope perhaps more clearly than any book in the Bible. The verse, "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8), is sandwiched between two other verses which clearly teach total victory through God's power: "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. . . . "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:7,9). Verse 8 is simply declaring that all of us have sins from which we need cleansing, for indeed, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). But simply because all have sinned doesn't mean we must continue sinning. Paul makes this clear in the book of Romans, when he goes on after chapter 3 to assure the Christian that "the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, w ho walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4). And John teaches the same in his epistle also. Not only in the verses cited above (I John 1:7,9), but elsewhere: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. "And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. . . . "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous" (I John 3:2-3,7). Notice how, according to John, we are to become pure as Christ is pure while we still have the HOPE of His coming. It won't happen when we see Him in the clouds, because then it will be too late. Peter says the same thing: "Wherefore, brethren, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (II Peter 3:14). None of us, of course, can claim to be sin-free, because we don't know our own hearts. God alone knows our hearts (I Kings 8:39). God declared Job to be free from sin (Job 1:1,8), even when horrific tragedy and pain devastated his life (Job 1:22; 2:10). But of himself Job still stated: "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet I would not know my soul; I would despise my life" (Job 9:20-21). The theory that Christians will keep sinning up until the coming of Christ, and then be magically changed so that they won't sin again, is flatly contradicted by the above passages from the New Testament, and by Ellen White as well: "When He comes, He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. . . . The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation" (2T 355).
a seminal text for seventh-day adventists who have any hope of being saved must include: "whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him", 1 john 3:6... whether we believe that our spirit-mediated good works meet the requirements of the law, or whether we believe that our spirit-mediated good works fall short of the requirements of the law but are topped up by the merits of christ in the sanctuary in heaven, salvation in known and knowable sin is taught nowhere in scripture...the fact that the notion of salvation in sin confronts us everywhere we turn - most glaringly in the relatively recent teaching developing in our church that gays don't need to forsake their sexual sin - is evidence that it is not only false, but mortally dangerous...that is, satan would hardly be spending so much time and effort in promoting salvation in sin if it weren't a teaching that is exactly calculated to destroy our souls...
Collins, I would disagree that he's "acting" like he belongs. He's behaving like he belongs. There's a significant difference. Going out to the gay bar or brothel, for that matter, doesn't mean that the person doesn't still enjoy Sabbath school, Bible study, and various other activities. He's not acting like he enjoys church activities, nor is he acting like he enjoy his forays into the men's restroom [or brothel]. He, perhaps, enjoys both. Perfectionistic Adventism creates hypocrites by holding people to various standards not attainable at their stage of growth. Scripture makes numerous declarations which can lead either to fanaticism or disappointment. The area of healing provides numerous declarations such as "I give you power over every sickness and all manner of disease." The early church may have had that experience and others may have it in the future but we don't have it now. People seeking healing through prayer and natural remedies still die of various kinds of cancer. Two prominent leaders of self supporting health ministries died relatively young from d ifferent types of cancer, as have other vegan health reformers "Go, and sin no more," "Sin no more lest a worse thing happens to thee" provide mentally unbalanced perfectionists with whips of scorpions but they certainly do not transform individuals into sinless beings. When people interpret Scripture in a way that centuries of personal experience contradict, there's something wrong with the interpretation. Those who insist otherwise are fanatics.
Kevin wrote, >None of us, of course, can claim to be sin-free, because we don't know our own hearts. Amen. It is the back room of this two room hotel of our brain, that keeps us uncertain. We start life with Satan as it's tenant, and hopefully end up with Jesus living there. But in the mean time, our whole life is a battle for occupancy and even after Jesus finally moves in, there is still a lot of clean up from all the booby traps the previous tenant left behind. Glenn wrote, >Going out to the gay bar or brothel, for that matter, doesn't mean that the person doesn't still enjoy Sabbath school, Bible study, and various other activities. Jesus warning in the sermon on the mount regarding money, is probably applicable to any worldly pleasure, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other," Matthew 6:24. After decades of experience myself, I think a person trying to play the fence won't enjoy either side. I'm with collins on this one.
George, We disagree, as usual. Nothing new here. I'm surprised to learn that you have decades of experience "playing the fence" and lack joy as a consequence. You seem to suggest that an individual caught in a recurring pattern of sin is somehow complicit in its performance, thereby demonstrating how little you actually know about Scripture. The man of Romans 7 is trapped, held as a slave by his carnal nature. He does what he doesn't want to do. Perfectionistic fanaticism aside, this is a common situation. You can put up all the texts you want but the life experience of many indicates this to be the case.
Glenn wrote, >I'm surprised to learn that you have decades of experience “playing the fence” and lack joy as a consequence. I'm surprised you're surprised. Romans 7 is everyone's experience, each day until they fall on their knees, at the foot of the cross, and die. When Jesus bids us "take up your cross and follow me," He means follow Him to the top of the hill. He means follow Him with the soldiers carrying the hammers and nails.
"The man of Romans 7 is trapped, held as a slave by his carnal nature. He does what he doesn't want to do." And apparently very thankful about it, "I thank God---through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
So gentleman, how long have you both had complete victory over sin? Or are you just so spiritually dead that you feel nothing? Perfectionism is false teaching. It doesn't work. Nobody has had the experience. It's a lie, a fantasy, legalism [which doesn't work either] in disguise. Admit it and move on.
What do you mean by "perfectionism", Glenn? Sin is not being imported into Heaven. For any reason. People who were/are imperfect in knowledge, but perfect in heart, will be going to Heaven. Do you make a difference between perfect in heart, and perfect in knowledge?
The Biblical doctrine of perfectionism, derived from inductive Bible study of every passage in Scripture which discusses or mentions the subject, is about mercy, commitment, forgiveness. Like Augustine said "We become perfect when our imperfections are forgiven."
True enough, Glenn. As long as I remember God intends that the perfection attributed to me through forgiveness not be the end of the road, but, the beginning.