Don’t we all hate a two-faced hypocrite? You know, the ones who speak out of both sides of their mouth. The ones who attempt to be the friend of everyone, and truly is the friend of no one. The ones who seek compromise at the expense of truth.
Have you ever met an individual that was “schizophrenic”? This is one who is one person at one time and then another person on a different occasion. It is literally defined as a “split-personality.” In the spiritual realm, when a person is righteous part of the time and then unrighteous, then back to righteous again, we term that as being hypocritical. The “hypocrite” during Shakespeare’s day was an actor! On the theatrical stage, one was portraying a fictitious character. Everyone knew that in “real life” this actor was not this clown or king or whatever he was pretending to be on stage.
When people pretend to be Christians or put on an act, this manner of life is wholly detrimental to the cause of the Lord and to truth itself. People see in this person that truth is not really important to them and if it isn’t important to them, why should anyone else really take it seriously?
Jesus wanted his disciples not to reject truth because of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. No! He wanted them to do as they said, but Jesus did not want them to do as they do. The reason why is that they “say, but do not” (Matt. 23:3). In that same chapter therefore Jesus calls them hypocrites no less than seven times, and in closing wants to know how they shall escape the damnation of hell? (Matt. 23:33) There is no escaping God’s punishment for hindering God’s truth. Because of such hypocrisy in the early church, the apostle said that “the name of God was being blasphemed” (Rom. 2:24). All Christians need to make sure that as people look at our lives, our lives reflects favorably upon the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27).
Liberal minded brethren profess that reacting to God’s Word as did the Pharisee was totally wrong. They call such a strict adherence to the Law as being a “Legalist”. In other words, a Pharisee hypocrite. Now, I must admit, that anyone who preaches and teaches God’s Word must also live by what he teaches. Otherwise, he would be a hypocrite. However, to neglect the commandment Jesus gave to his own disciples concerning the Pharisees is equally as wrong. Jesus commanded his own disciples to do as they say, just don’t do as they do. Liberal minded brethren don’t do either one. They neither follow a strict adherence to the law of Christ, nor do they do the very works of Christ. No! They teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Mt 15:7-9).
Therefore, if conservative brethren teach a strict adherence to the law of Christ, then liberal minded brethren are commanded to do as they teach. If conservatives are “legalist” or “hypocrites”, then obey the commandment of Christ: Do as conservatives teach. If they are two-faced hypocrites, then don’t do as they do. Brethren, two wrongs don’t make a right. A true Christian follows a strict adherence to the law of Christ, teaches such for others to follow, and then practices what he preaches (Rom 2:21,22).