Picked up a cheap buy I got from Glad Sounds Book Store entitled “What’s Right with the Church” by Methodist William H. Willimon. It was supposed to be bed time reading. Now, I’m planning to read it seriously because it’s too stimulating … this passage which touched on Hypocrisy helped me put things in better perspective than my last little posting. BTW, I like to show the pictures of the authors I’m reading 🙂 Somehow, it becomes more than reading a book but engaging in a conversation with a fellow human being!
… the fact remains: Salvation is not simply a one-time activity; a momentary event in an individual’s life. The biblical picture of salvation is that of both an act of God and a state of being in a right relationship with God and one’s neighbor. There is an arrogance and pharisaical self-righteousness among the churches and amongst the unchurched as well. We admit to the arrogance of some smug insiders who despise and ridicule outsiders. But there is also the arrogance of those outsiders who feel morally and spiritually superior to those poor sinners in the church. As David H. C. Read has suggested, today’s new hypocrites may not be like the smug church going Pharisee in Jesus story who stood apart from the penitent publican and prayer aloud, “God I thank thee that I am not like this sinful publican.” Today’s hypocrites are more likely to be those smug publicans outside the church who pray, “God I may not be the best person in the world, but at least I am better than all those religious hypocrites in the church. (Chapter 1 on “Where is the Church?”, p. 23)
After coming to Personal Faith in Jesus Christ at 13years old, I have seen in myself and outside of myself a fair share of hypocrisy. And stepping into the “pastoral” ministry since seminary days until now has taken me for quite a tour in the landscape of human religion and faith. I have admitted to others especially my unchurched friends whether Christian or Not-Christians the self-righteousness in my own Christian Family.
But, Willimon is spot on! He’s Right! I think there is equally the same self-righteousness outside the church. I see it in politics, I see it in the economic sphere, it’s all over the place – that sense that one is more superior is often in the aura of people on the streets, in front of TV, and behind the office desk. Few people would admit it!
So, by tonight … after tossing these thoughts around prayerfully today, things are in better perspective. Whether it’s self-righteousness inside the church or outside the church it’s still SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARROGANCE, and HYPOCRISY. And it’s still sinful, it’s evil, it’s gonna hurt people.