While I would certainly disagree with such a statement, I have heard more than a few people make that accusation. It is certainly true that not everyone who claims Christianity is honest about who they are and the life they are living. In the New Testament, prophecies were made concerning the church, especially concerning hypocrisy that would arrive and worsen as time would continue. Read what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
Late on the first of October one American man killed nearly 60 people, and injured over 500 others. This tragic event has torn across our country, causing untold sadness and heartache to all the victims and their families, not to mention those who now live in fear for their lives every time they enter a crowded supermarket, shopping mall, or other public gathering place. Many eyes are filled with tears; many hearts have been pressed down by grief.
Those whose hearts are pained, Psalm 55 may give voice to some of your feelings. Open your heart and let these inspired words pour in.
In the days of Jesus, the Pharisees and Scribes were the religious elite. The Scribes copied the Scriptures diligently while the Pharisees memorized them and dressed in holy fashion, so no one would pass by without realizing they were passing by a rabbi, a teacher, a religious guru! They loved the homage and respect people gave them, and so they found extravagant ways to show their “holiness”. What they called holiness Jesus described another way in Matthew 23:25-28:
In Romans 1:18-23, Paul describes the way God has made Himself known to all of humankind from the foundation of the world. Because of His power, beauty, and knowledge displayed through His creation, all of humankind is to glorify Him. Failing to glorify and show gratitude to God results in a futile and foolish way of life that glorifies animals and man himself rather than the Almighty Creator. How does a person glorify God? The prophet Daniel shows us one way: by humbling yourself.
Jesus was, among other things, the best teacher to ever walk the earth. His teachings apply to real life and they are deep, but not always the simplest to understand. Often His disciples asked Him to clarify His teachings (Lk. 8:9; Jn. 14:5). In one instance, however, we see a problem that still exists today: They were afraid to ask the questions that plagued their minds. Look at Luke 9:45b:
“…they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.” (NASB95, Emphasis mine)
How many times have you sat silently in a Bible class with questions rolling around in your brain, but were too afraid to ask? When you are afraid to ask your questions, remember:
Eli Schnell is the Youth and Family Minister at the Northwest Church of Christ
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135