Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Hermeneutics of Hypocrisy

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
            The Hermeneutics of Deception inevitably breeds the Hermeneutics of Hypocrisy.  The disintegrated mind is no longer able to strive for unity.  The disequilibrium has destroyed the core integrity of the mind.  They deceive themselves enough and the result is that they become distorted.  The schizophrenic mode has shattered and divided the soul.  As the false equilibrium settles in, the mind compensates the distortion and separates the thought and the action, the logic and the feeling, the “instinct” and the behavior, the words and the conducts.  The gap widens very quickly as the false equilibrium takes over the mind.  Pretty soon the person is no longer able to be accountable for his/her thoughts, words, and actions.  Conscience is slowly dying, suffocated under the new regime of the false equilibrium.  Deception kills conscience.  So a new framework must be created in order to survive the distortion.  As conscience no longer pokes and alerts the mind of the deviation it takes, and no longer strong enough to remind the mind to return to where it’s supposed to be, the new normal is established within, that it is okay to be distorted, that it is okay to be disintegrated.  Therefore, hypocrisy becomes
the new normal.  It is okay that what is said doesn’t match what is being done.  It is okay that what is felt doesn’t match what is thought.  It is okay that the reality doesn’t match the knowledge.  Contradiction is accepted as part of a harmonious life.  And from then on, they begin their life as hypocrites.

            The Hermeneutics of Hypocrisy is the reading of the word of God without any impact to one’s life whatsoever.  The Hermeneutics of Hypocrisy is the interpretation of the word of God without any connection to one’s faith and life in any level.  Through hermeneutics of hypocrisy one reads the Scripture just as information.  The Scripture, for these people, has no authority over them.  The Scripture, for them, is not the rule of their life and faith.  The Scripture, for them, is to be used in whatever way they want in order to feed on their ego and further their own purpose and goal.  The Scripture, for them, is not to be honored the way it should be, but to be manipulated and exploited for the sake of gratifying their own sinful desires.  The hermeneutics of hypocrisy robs them of the truth.  It robs them of the positive impact and life changing transformation of truth.  It denies the power of truth over one’s life.  On the flip side, the hermeneutics of hypocrisy then brings to the users the condemnation reserved to those who twist and manipulate God’s word.  The Bible testifies about the hermeneutics of hypocrisy at work by the devil and by the Pharisees.

            When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Matthew records the second temptation and points out the cunning way the devil used the text in Psalm 91:11-12.  Here is the second temptation in Matthew 4:5-6:

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
                “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
                “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

The devil made use of the word of God to tempt the Son of God to test God.  The devil twisted the promise of God to become a platform for sparking doubt.  We know that God’s word, his promise, is to be accepted by faith, but the devil desires to keep Jesus apart from the Father.  He wanted to get Jesus to doubt his father.  A very devious attempt and bold as he had no respect for God.  The devil is the most disconnected being.  His knowledge of God and the way he conducts himself do not match.  James teaches that “19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19).  The demons believe that God exists and they are afraid of God.  We can read this throughout the four gospels and find out how the demons were afraid of Jesus.  But they did not live properly they were supposed to.  And here in the temptation of Jesus, the leader of all demons demonstrated the epitome of the hermeneutics of hypocrisy as he acted as one who knew the Scripture but yet did not internalize its true meaning.  He did not humble himself under the authority of God’s word.  Instead, he dared to tear the Scripture apart and deconstructed its meaning to suit his own sinful desire.  For the real meaning of Psalm 91:11-12 must be understood within the first two verses:

1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

This is a Psalm of confidence.  This is a Psalm that tells of the trust the psalmist had in the Lord.  So when the psalmist declared:

11For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.

He actually was giving some of the reasons why he trusted God in the first place.  This text, therefore, ought not to be treated in reverse to test God.  This text is a declaration of faith.  This text presupposes faith, and not a text to air one’s doubt.  This text must not be used to force God to give what one wants.  This text can’t be used to enslave God.  The devil knew this.  He was not stupid.  But yet he rejected to believe in God.  He rejected to believe in his word.  He, instead, twisted God’s word for his own advantage.  That is why he is the devil.  So Jesus rightly answered the devil:

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 to vanquish the devil’s hermeneutics of hypocrisy.  Here Jesus was using what I call as the Hermeneutics of Integrity.  Jesus was the most integrated person.  He never doubted his father.  He never doubted the word of God.  He followed the word of God every single one even though each was extremely difficult.  His obedience is exemplary.  The text that he quoted was when Moses instructed Israel before he died and before Israel entered the Promised Land.  Jesus understood the meaning of God’s word through Moses.  He pointed out the exact problem Israel had at Massah and Meribah, when Israel tested the Lord.  Exodus 17:1-7 records the event of Israel testing God:

1All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Israel saw the mighty hands of God.  They experienced the miracles of God all the way from Egypt.  They even enjoyed God’s presence and care.  They knew that God was among them.  The pillars of cloud and fire were the physical evidence that God purposefully put there for Israel to see.  There was no reason for Israel to doubt God’s presence, but yet they did.  This shows how disconnected Israel was.  The truth of God’s presence, mighty powers, miracles, cares, did not internalize in their heart.  So they lived out a hypocritical life.  They were reading the historical events of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt with the hermeneutics of hypocrisy, and the result was doubt.  For them the historical events of the past were just information.  The ten plagues, the splitting of the red sea, the demolition of the military power of Egypt in one single swipe, were mere information for them that did not have any impact on their life whatsoever.  They did not believe in God even though they saw with their own eyes the mighty acts of God and they experienced firsthand God’s powers and miracles.  Such was what the devil brought to Jesus using the word of God himself.  So Jesus schooled the devil of the true meaning of God’s word.  And his hermeneutics was what I call as the hermeneutics of integrity.

            The Pharisees did the same thing to Jesus in Matthew 19:1-9.  They used the hermeneutics of hypocrisy to trap Jesus.  Here it is what Matthew records:

1Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

The Pharisees made a reference to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 as what they argued as Moses commanded to give a certificate of divorce.

1When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.

And for that Jesus answered: “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  Because, as he had said earlier, God has ordained: “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”  And Jesus based his argument on Genesis 1 and 2.  Jesus’ argument was solid and valid.  His hermeneutics was the hermeneutics of integrity, which was born of the hermeneutics of truth, the son of the hermeneutics of faith.

The Pharisees, however, at the same time wanted to justify themselves because they had done it for a long time, made use of the Scripture the same way Satan did when he tempted Jesus.  They exploited the Scripture for their own advantage.  They wanted to test Jesus.  They desired to trap Jesus.  They were trying to find Jesus’ faults.  So they did not care if they dishonored God.  They had a certain goal in their mind, to undermine Jesus, and they used any and every means within their grabs in order to do so.  Even if it meant for them to employ the hermeneutics of hypocrisy, they were fine with it.  So they sold their souls to the devil.  They became followers of Satan by mimicking what he did in Jesus’ second temptation.  By doing so, their souls were disintegrated.  The knowledge and the action did not match.  They only appeared righteous, but their inner life was a total mess.  So Jesus warned his people of the sins of the hypocrites in Matthew 23:1-35:

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

These seven woes are no laughing matter.  The Son of God himself said it.  He judged the hypocrites.  And his judgment is true.  The Pharisees, the Scribes, and the Lawyers in Jesus’ time lived out the way of life of the hypocrites.  So that reputation was stuck with them.  Their service to God was mere outward show to gain people’s approval and praise.  Performance for the masses was their ministry.  But they never internalized the word of God in their hearts.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 speaks of the benefit of the word of God: “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.  But not for the hypocrites.  With their hermeneutics of hypocrisy they denied the transforming power of God’s word.  Not that God’s word in itself has no transforming power so that it needs people’s cooperation.  But that the transforming power of God’s word can only take effect when one has faith.  Without faith, the word of God will become their judgment.  Because without faith they continue rejecting the eternal word of God.  These hypocrites knew the word of God, taught them even, “but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.  So exactly like what Jesus said about them:

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Their hearts were filled with wickedness.  They could say all the right things for the sake of show and performance.  People could sympathize with them, or even defend them.  But it was all a show.  Just like their father, the devil, who always appeared righteous, but within was full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.  When the devil appeared on the court of God in the book of Job, he appeared righteous before the Lord.  Job 1:6-12 records:

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

He appeared as if he had a just cause.  He appeared as if he knew better than even God.  He always showed himself as the wisest of all.  He appeared always as reasonable.  But his heart was filled with malice, slander, wickedness, and evil.  The hypocrites did the same thing.  They were in essence liars.  They claimed that their father was Abraham, and even God.  But Jesus revealed who they really were in John 8:39-47:

39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Anyone employing the hermeneutics of hypocrisy will in the end becomes a hypocrite himself.  It starts with unbelief, and gives birth to deception, and in the end breeds hypocrisy.  The Pharisees, Scribes, and Lawyers, were children of the devil.  They lied all their life, just like their father, the devil.  For these people lying was okay.  They even considered it as virtue, a requirement of wisdom.

            In the 21st century, the prevailing teaching that is so exploited nowadays is the teaching that “God is love,” that “God is merciful,” and that “God is gracious.”  Every single decision, statement, proclamation, and argument is based on God’s love, mercy, and grace.  I do not have anything against God’s love, mercy, and grace.  In fact I uphold it.  Without God’s love, mercy, and grace, there is no redemptive history.  Without it Jesus wouldn’t incarnate into the world.  Without it we would all end up in hell.  But no, the love of God makes it all possible for his elects to enter the kingdom of heaven.  The most famous John 3:16 declares:

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Without love, God would not do that he did not have to do.  Jesus the Son of God suffered the wrath of God willingly for the sake of our salvation.  That is love.  And there is no greater love than that.  So no, I do not oppose the teaching of God’s love, mercy, and grace.  What I am against is the exploitation of it to the point of excusing every sin possible.

            It has slowly become the norm that tolerance is the number one punch word for any situation.  Tolerance is at the helm of every single ship of humanity.  Tolerance is now the emphasis of Christian ethics.  The world dictates tolerance for people who have different perspectives.  One of the most heated topics today is the topic of sexual orientation.  So they demand for different sexual orientation to be tolerated regardless of beliefs or norms.  And they promote tolerance so adamantly that they cannot tolerate those who are intolerant of their demand.  Ironic, isn’t it?  They condemn those who cannot tolerate homosexual practice and marriage.  They call them names: “homophobic.”  They condemn those who cannot tolerate transgender.  The bottom line is they condemn anybody that does not agree with them, in the name of tolerance.  Super ironic!  And they even dare to base their push on tolerance on the basis of God’s love, mercy, and grace.

            So they argue that because God is so loving, then God himself must have tolerated sin.  In their mind, because God is all about love, mercy, and grace, then God must have forgiven the offenders no matter how sinful they are.  There is no doubt that because God is so loving that he would forgive even the worst sinners, except the unforgivable sin as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 12:31-32.  God even forgave Paul, one of the worst offenders, and made him his special apostle to the Gentiles.  Oh for sure he could.  But God cannot be mocked.  No one can exploit God’s character for their own advantage.  God already set the boundary.  He gave the rules and regulations of life.  Once a sinner is pardoned and saved for eternity, he cannot continue to live in his life of sin.  He can no longer enjoy sin.  Paul points out:

1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

How can we, who are saved in Christ, live in sin any longer?  No can’t do!  We have been set free from the bondage of sin.  If we say we are saved in Christ but yet continue living and enjoying sin, we are mocking him who has saved us from sin and its punishment.  If we continue to let ourselves be enslaved in sin after being delivered from it, then we are exploiting God’s love, mercy, and grace.  Normally, after crying to God to be saved from sin and then God comes to the rescue to save us, we do not go back to sin and anoint it as our master.  If one does that then it is obvious that he only desires to gratify the sin of the flesh while at the same time wants to gain heaven and be free of all responsibilities.  Such attitude has no place in the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21 speaks strongly:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Some cunning minds would argue that even their sinful actions bring God’s glory, so why not continue doing sin that God may be glorified.  To such people this is Paul’s answer in Romans 3:7-8:

But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

These people would wiggle as much as they can in order to prioritize their sinful desires.  They employ hermeneutics of hypocrisy without shame.  Because they think that by doing so they would be saved from God’s wrath.  They thought that God would not punish them because they make use God’s own word in order to restrain God from executing his justice.  And the teaching that they exploit is the teaching of God’s love, mercy, and grace.  So they are working on justifying themselves to continue indulging in their sin, and as in the case of the sexual orientation – by, for example, justifying their continuous homosexual sex activity and tendency on the basis of God’s love, mercy, and grace.  This is the first level of the hermeneutics of hypocrisy being applied on this matter.

            The second level is when they, under the umbrella of God’s love, mercy, and grace, become even bolder as to push the envelope by saying that they are created that way anyway by God.  In other words, they appeal to their genetic makeup that they inherit since conception.  Their exploit is to say that God alone can create man, so God deliberately makes homosexual man.  The homosexual man has, therefore, no responsibility whatsoever of their sexual orientation.  Therefore, they are free to act upon what has been given to them.  And so they argue that all that God creates is good, so homosexual tendency is also good, which brings the implication that homosexual sex act is also good.  They, therefore, manipulate God’s word on his love and creative work, to justify their sinful tendency, and ignore God’s word elsewhere that condemns such homosexual activities.

            This then leads them to the third level, which is to twist the word of God that condemns such homosexual activities.  The first one is to argue that God only condemns the actual activity and not the tendency (cf. Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, and Romans 1:24-27).  I have treated this in my other writing that uncovers the meaning of Jesus’ words on the Sermon on the Mount that sin is not just a matter of actual doing, but also a matter of the heart or tendency (see “The Compromise Christians Make for Homosexual Movement”).  Their argument is based on the hermeneutics of hypocrisy, for on the spirit of tolerance they dare to skip God’s instruction on sin so that they may perform well in front of the demanding crowd and satisfy their craving, and hence they may appear righteous and wise in eyes of man.  The second one argues that the word of God in Leviticus and Romans is outdated.  They only apply to the context at the time it was written.  They argue that human experience today trumps God’s word.  The human experience in the modern day has rendered the word of God obsolete (see “Hermeneutics of Deception).  So they dare to pick and choose only certain parts of the Scripture that fits their unquenchable desires for sin.  And the number one pick that can be exploited over and over again is the teaching of God’s love, mercy, and grace.  In order for them to perform well in front of the demanding crowd, the world, they must hide God’s harsh judgment on sexual immorality, and they hide it behind God’s love, mercy, and grace.  All is about show.  They want to be praised and accepted by the world.  So they exchange the knowledge and the glory of God with the knowledge produced by feeble science and the fleeting reception of man.  Their wickedness is stunning!

            The chant for God’s love, mercy, and grace grows louder.  But all for the wrong reason.  They no longer praise God who saves them from sin, who frees them from the bondage and slavery of sin, who delivers them from the wrath of God, but their praise is for the freedom to continue to live in sin, for the freedom to indulge and gratify their perversion and get away with the just punishment in the name of his love, mercy, and grace.  So in their hypocrisy they force God to tolerate their sexual immorality.  Even an iconic bishop like Desmond Tutu would even dare to say that if God is homophobic he would not want to live with him in heaven.  His tricky hermeneutics of hypocrisy played a significant role in his conclusion so that he would appear wise and righteous, even more righteous than God himself, resembling the attitude of the devil in Job 1.  By doing so, he elevated himself higher than God’s word that obviously condemns sexual immorality, which includes homosexual sex act and tendency, and he even elevated himself higher than God himself.  This is the inevitable effect of the hermeneutics of hypocrisy.  They cannot escape the very nature of hypocrisy.  In the end they contradict themselves, who always chant God’s love, mercy, and grace, by robbing those who oppose them of love, mercy, and grace.  Even worse, they even contradict themselves by condemning God who is just, uncompromising, and holy, in the name of God’s love, mercy, and grace.  In their hypocrisy they only exploit the notion of love, mercy, and grace in order to achieve their goal of freedom to sin but denying its very meaning and power.

            The world, with the assistance of the fake Christians, is at the brink of achieving their legitimacy of their freedom to sin even under the nose of God.  And they, in their blindness, think that God won’t do anything anyway because he is bound for eternity by his own character of love, mercy, and grace.  They grow bolder every day as they dwell deeper into the enemy’s counsel.  So they condemn God’s faithful servants who speak the truth of God’s word.  In the name of God’s love, mercy, and grace, they slander God’s faithful servants, they persecute those who proclaim the word of God properly, and they kill God’s servants who remind them of God’s holiness.  Their hermeneutics of hypocrisy in the end demands their very souls.  And in the quest to gain the whole world, its approval and praise, for the purpose of saving their own life, they have lost their very souls.  They become hypocrites.  And Jesus said: “Woe to you hypocrites!

            As for the faithful followers of Christ, our hermeneutics is the hermeneutics of integrity.  Just like Jesus himself read and interpreted the Scripture in integrity, we too read and interpret the Scripture in integrity.  The word of God is authoritative over our life.  It governs our ethical life.  It governs the way we conduct ourselves in his kingdom.  We do not perform certain acts in order to appear righteous and reap the praise of man while at the same time the heart does not believe anything the bible says.  We act upon what we believe.  Listen to James’ challenge: “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18). What we do must not be different than what we believe.  It is called integrity.  This is the true equilibrium.  Difficult as it may but the soul is intact.  The false equilibrium avoids difficulty of the narrow road, but at the expense of their soul.  They become disintegrated.  What they know, what they say, what they say they believe, and what they actually do, no longer match one from another.  In order to appear righteous, they deny their true belief, that they actually do not believe in being truly righteous.  Their true belief is to indulge in sin while finding a way to avoid hell.  So hypocrisy is their survival mode.  But this is not the path of the faithful followers of Christ.  Faithful followers of Christ tread on the hermeneutics of integrity.  We start from the hermeneutics of faith.  And it leads us to the hermeneutics of truth.  So in the end we stand in integrity.  We have no use whatsoever of the hermeneutics of hypocrisy.
- The Business of Christian Education CIII -

No comments: