Bad guys are almost OK in my book as long as they live like bad guys. I never had a problem watching my favorite super heroes battle it out with their arch enemies. I knew just what to expect from the villain. The Joker would calmly explain to Batman and Robin just how his evil plan would unfold. The plan almost always called for the death of the dynamic duo, and the overthrow of law abiding, moral, social structure. In short, those bad guys wanted to rule the world and they let everyone know it. I don’t consider them hypocrites, they are simply evil.
Dealing with the Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus used the term hypocrites over a dozen times as recorded in the Gospels. A modern day definition of a hypocrite is as follows:
a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
In order to be accused of hypocrisy one must live a double life. Jesus gave a devastating example in Mark 12:38-40. The Scribe in Jesus’ example is the perfect saint in all his religious circles, but when it comes to business he crushes the helpless. Somehow the Scribe in the story found a way to create a wall or border that, when crossed, allowed him to be governed by very different principles.
A life of faith receiving a commendation from God appears never to have such walls or borders. Genesis 5:24 states that Enoch “walked with God”. The author of Hebrews records how Enoch pleased God by his life of faith and received a wonderful reward. The main idea here is Enoch didn’t have walls or borders that allowed him to live a double life. Enoch walked continually with God.
God was tickled pink with Enoch; Jesus was as displeased with the Pharisees and Scribes as he could be. Enoch’s life was all for God; the Scribe’s life was segmented partly for God and partly for the real world. If the American business owner finds they climb over a religious wall to attend church on Sunday and back across the wall to go to work on Monday, they can never live like Enoch and create the potential of living like the Scribe.
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