Consistent Christianity

from Mar 23, 2021 Category: Tabletalk Magazine

Here’s an excerpt from Consistent Christianity, Joel Kim’s contribution to the March issue of Tabletalk:

Hypocrisy is often discussed in the Bible but rarely mentioned in polite company. Originally denoting an actor performing with a mask, the word took on the negative connotation of an inconsistency between what one believes and how one acts. This inconsistency can be understood in two ways. Some inconsistencies are pretensions of self-righteousness, acting as if one is righteous and virtuous outwardly while lacking inward conviction. There are many examples of this in the Gospels. Jesus pointedly criticized many who were more interested in public praise for their religious acts of praying, fasting, and giving alms (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16), those who condemned the sins of others while ignoring their own (7:5), and those who worship with lips and outward appearance without sincerity (15:8–9). Jesus famously called out the hypocrisy of many religious leaders of His time by comparing them to cups and plates that are clean on the outside while remaining dirty on the inside and to “whitewashed tombs,” external beauty covering up the death inside (23:25–28). This inconsistency—outward spiritual pretense or false spirituality—is the most common depiction of hypocrisy.

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