Every church facility I have ever attended had players â€“ actors even.Â These are the people who wear the right clothes, know the traditions and customs, and have just the right words for the right moment.Â Some of them even know the scripture inside out.Â They play the part of churchgoer like their lives depend on it.
Unfortunately for them, they donâ€™t know the Playwright.
In modern usage, the word â€œhypocriteâ€ has come to mean a pretense of virtue or piety.Â Scripturally, it was used to describe stage actors â€“ people playing a part and wearing a costume.Â If you really look hard at the church today you will see that the biblical description applies so much stronger.
The hypocrites in the church arenâ€™t trying to be better than the person next to them â€“ at least not for the most part.Â They are just trying to do what and how they PERCEIVE their actions and words need to be to be "right."Â Maybe they grew up watching grandma cross her self or saying â€œamenâ€ at a certain point in a sermon.Â Maybe they were brought up with a church uniform â€“ suit and tie or dress suit with hat.Â What ever the custom or tradition or action, they do it now because this is what church people do.
The world is watching the performance and itâ€™s not giving the church very good ratings.Â That would be bad enough in and of its self.Â But it is far from the worst of it.Â The truly sad thing is that by focusing on the hypocrisy (putting on the masks and the costumes and playing a part), people miss out on the relationship.Â It is the relationship that makes the life here and now worth living.