“Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” Romans 2:21-24
When a saloon keeper who sold his tavern to a local church, the members tore out the bar, added some lights, gave the whole place a fresh new coat of paint, and installed some pews. Somehow a parrot which belonged to the saloon keeper was left behind. On Sunday morning that colorful bird was watching from the rafters. When the minister appeared, he squawked, ‘New proprietor!’ When the men who were to lead in worship marched in, the bird piped, ‘New floor show!’ But when the bird looked out over the congregation, he screeched, ‘same old crowd!’ This is what Paul is telling us in this scripture, same old crowd, nothing has changed. The Jews were hypocrites. Just what is a hypocrite? Hypocrite is someone who practices hypocrisy, who pretends to hold beliefs, or whose actions are not consistent with their claimed beliefs while hypocrisy is the claim or pretense of holding beliefs, feelings, standards, qualities, opinions, virtues or motivations that one does not actually possess. The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense. Hypocrisy is one of the most serious problems that we have in our churches today. I believe that Paul felt the same way. He felt that hypocrisy was serious in the Jewish religion. He spent so much time on this subject because unless we can be committed in our relationship with God, we will only be a stumbling block to the world.