Don’t Let a Hypocrite Make You Think You are a Second Rate Christian
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Cor 10:12 NIV)
Many domestic abusers parade as eminently “holy” Christians, the pillar of their church, the greatest servant in the flock, the…..well, you know how this charade goes. In their quest for their drug of choice (power and control) they put on a masterful disguise, perhaps as a father who is the finest example of Christian fathering and husbanding in the land. Others in the church even wish that they could be as godly as he, and their children as respectful and obedient as this fellow’s. The women of the church strive to be the kind of saintly wife this man’s wife is, yielding to their man’s every wish. The men of the church see him as an example to emulate. If only their wives would submit more easily.
And others even doubt their own salvation or at minimum see themselves as second or third rate Christians in the Lord’s eyes because they think they fall soooo short of this man’s example. The whole thing is a SHAM! Do not be taken in by it. The spirit of bondage and fear are what reign in such a man’s home, not the Spirit of liberty in Jesus Christ.
Listen to these words by John Flavel, a pastor of long ago. I have changed the wording a bit to update the old English –
Do not say that you have no grace because of the high attainments of some hypocrites who, in some things, may excel you. When some persons read the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, they are startled to see to what a glorious height the hypocrite may soar. But the true Christian in fact excels the most “glorious” hypocrite in the world in at least three ways:
- Self is never de-throned in hypocrites, as it is in the true Christian. ALL that the hypocrite does is for himself.
- The hypocrite NEVER hated every sin, as does the true Christian, but always retains some Agag, Rimmon, or Delilah for his own.
- The hypocrite NEVER acted nor does he ever act out of duty from the leading of his new nature by the Spirit of Christ, taking delight in heavenly things. Rather, he is moved like an old clock by the weight of some external motive or advantage.
[End of Flavel]
In other words, like the Pharisee, the abuser who pretends holiness is white on the outside but is full of rotten, decaying, stinking evil in his heart. This is his true being. For all of his heights of “godliness,” he does not know Christ nor does Christ know him. He may cite detailed passages from Christian writers of old. He may have myriads of Bible verses memorized. He may appear to be able to carefully discuss some theological issue or debate. He may even use lofty words in public prayers so that listeners exclaim how pious this man must be.
It is ALL a sham. Every bit of it. He does not have the love of Christ in him. All that he does, he does for glorification of himself. If ever his supply line of praise and adoration, of control and power over others, is cut off — you can be sure that amid many threatenings and gnashing of teeth, he will move on to feed elsewhere, taking as many gullible ones with him as he can.
The simplest, newest Christian is infinitely more valuable in the Lord’s eyes than the most polished hypocrite. Be sure of it. Do not be deceived. He has never known what you know. He remains dead in his sins.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Rom 8:14-16)