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Tag Archives: hypocrisy

Innocent or Guilty?

Blameless, in the clear and not responsible are words associated with innocent.  Growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, I was taught to let God be the ultimate judge.  At some point during the catechism process, I was introduced to the passage below.  First century religious leaders began to serve as the judge and jury, publicly criticizing and condemning less spiritual people.  Overhearing what these men were doing, Jesus provides an important lesson about being innocent or guilty.

Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. For just as you [hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you, Matthew 7:1-2.

The metaphor opening up a can of worms was coined sometime during the 1950’s.  The expression refers to inadvertently creating numerous new problems while trying to solve a current issue.  Just as newly exposed worms begin to freak out, judging others without looking inwardly at your own life first infuriates those people being called out.  The person doing the finger pointing often alienates everyone else in the room regardless if a rule has been broken or violated.

Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye?  You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye, Matthew 7:3-5.

According to Jesus, outward guilt or innocence shouldn’t be your main concern.  Rather, everyone should examine their own life first, removing any hints or traces of hypocrisy.  Once you have gotten your own life in order, then your own credibility can be used as a resource to help others.  Unfortunately, modern times have revealed new religious leaders, the mainstream media.  With one article, blog or video clip, lives can be ruined without any concern for innocence or the truth.  Perhaps, members of the media need to read the passage above so that their hypocrisy, play acting and pretending will cease in the near future.

by Jay Mankus

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A Reservation with Darkness

The Stand by Stephen King initially was released as a novel in 1978.  The movie was then introduced as a mini-series on ABC in 1994 after a longer second version was completed.  One of the telling scenes in this drama occurs during a conversation between Harold Lauder and Nadine Cross.  After each exercise free will to follow Flagg, the character symbolic of the devil, each come to the realization, “we’re damned.”

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them, 2 Peter 2:17.

At the end of chapter 2, Peter uses an interesting analogy.  I think the point of his words refers to God’s creations which are meant to serve a specific purpose.  Sometimes due to extreme or rare conditions, nature does not provide what it was designed for.  Thus, springs can dry up and mists can hide a powerful storm.  Likewise, whenever someone chooses to be a vessel of devil, a reservation with darkness is secured.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies, John 8:44.

I’ve heard various projections of what heaven and hell will be like in sermons over the last 30 years.  One of the common threads of these messages is that you will be surprised by who is in heaven and who is not.  During a confrontation with religious leaders, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and teachers of the law for their hypocrisy.  Sometimes even people you look up to can let you down, falling from grace.  Yet, in the end, be careful that you are not just following a legalistic set of rules.  Rather, may the words of the Bible transform your heart, soul and mind to become disciples of Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

Expecting to Find a Place of Prayer

In recent years, cynicism, doubt and hypocrisy have hardened many hearts.  Trying to find real genuine people who aren’t hiding behind a series of lies is tough.  Perhaps this explains why Bible believing churches are vanishing, pressured to confirm by a liberal culture.  Jesus predicted this in the last days where a decaying spiritual climate would develop.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, Matthew 24:12.

At one time in America, churches were the center of cities, towns and rural communities.  If you needed assistance in form of advice, food or shelter, there was usually some place you could go for help.  In the first century, if there weren’t enough men to start synagogues, worship took place outside of towns, usually at the nearest body of water.  Thus, when the apostle Paul traveled to Philippi he expected to find a place of prayer.

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there, Acts 16:13.

One of the cornerstones of the first and second great awakenings were nightly prayer meetings.  Although initial events only brought out a few participants, concerts of prayer spread as a spirit of conviction led people to confess their sins.  Unfortunately, in this day and age, a sin isn’t what it use to be.  Compromise, justifying actions and the elimination of absolutes have breed lukewarm spirits.  Thus, there isn’t a sense of urgency to get right with God.  As a new year begins, may be people will change for the better, developing hearts that expect to find places of prayer.

by Jay Mankus

The Way Verses Today

I tend to be directionally challenged.  However, I’m also careful not to trust the opinion of another man at a gas station who seems uncertain.  While GPS is a nice modern device to rely on, when it starts to recalculate, the question is which way should I go?

And asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem, Acts 9:2.

Philosophically speaking, should you follow your heart, mind or the newest teaching?  Worldviews like Humanism, New Age and Post-Modernism have convinced many former believers to leave the Way for religions of today.  Concerned leaders of the church are wondering, what can be done to reverse this trend?

No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people, Acts 5:13.

One of the reasons for this mass exodus is a lack of genuine Christians within America.  I know I’m just as guilty as the next person, leaving a trail of hypocrisy behind.  As people are rubbed the wrong way, parents are staying home on Sunday.  Subsequently, a generation of children are growing up without a faith experience.  Thus, the Way of the Bible is fighting a losing battle.  May the Holy Spirit spark young people today to leave an imprint of love on a culture desperately waiting for the Real Thing.

by Jay Mankus

Faith Beyond Comprehension

Before the first rain drop touched earth, mankind had lost touch with God.  Like a New Year’s Celebration, out with the old and in with the new, boundaries were eliminated.  This mentality is described in Genesis 6:1-6, causing the Lord grief.  In an age of wickedness, Noah found favor with the Lord.  Unlike Adam and Eve, Noah actually did everything the Lord commanded, Genesis 6:22.  Building an ark the size of a football prior to the existence of rain, now that’s faith beyond comprehension.

Abraham was an old man when the Lord came calling.  The thought of a nation as massive as the sand on the seashore must have been enticing, Genesis 12:1-3.  However, there’s just one problem, elderly men don’t have children with elderly women.  As time ticked away year by year, most people would have given up, quit and called it a life.  Just as a doctor once confirmed in Luke 1:37, “nothing is impossible with God” so Abraham held on until his first child was born.

Today, skepticism abounds, with countless souls disappointed by lies, hypocrisy and unbelievable promises.  Although in their hearts they want to believe, troubled minds hardly ever come around to faith, side tracked by doubt.  Perhaps the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16 still serves as a stumbling block to the wise.  A fool doesn’t have much to lose whereas the wise have their reputation to hold on to.   Regardless of the barriers that are present, may Christ like lives and transformed saints shine light into a dark world so that faith can be embraced by the lost.

by Jay Mankus

Judge, Jury and Executioner

If you follow Twitter, listen to Talk Radio or watch Cable News, then you have a slight inclination on what’s wrong with this country and the world as a whole.  Countless individuals have forgotten the words of Jesus in John 8:6-9, “let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”  Blinded by hypocrisy, ignorance or simply oblivious to their spiritual condition, many are acting as judge, jury and executioner, piling on with stone after stone.

In view of TMZ’s release on their website earlier in the week of Ray Rice striking his soon to be wife in an elevator, the media has stirred the masses into a tizzy.  With one person down, Ray Rice, kicked to the curb on Monday after being release by the Baltimore Ravens, the next victim is Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL.  People are lining up in droves to take their shots, putting pressure on Goodell to resign.  As radio and television analysts comment on the hot topic of this week, abused women, there’s an eerie silence for the unborn child, killed every day because the law says its okay.

The only person in the media who has made any sense this week is Steve Smith, veteran wide receiver of the Ravens, formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers.  Steve reminded the press that God is the only true judge.  Although citizens like to pretend to be the judge and part of the jury, God will hold everyone accountable based upon what they have done on earth, Matthew 12:36-37.  Before another human being in thrown under the bus this week, refrain yourself the next time you have an urge to trash someone.  For if you do, you will likely reap what you sow and one day you will be at the mercy of the judge, jury and executioner.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Anguish of Disobedience

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to consul a shaken mother the day after her son died in a car accident.  According to friends in attendance at a party, he only had one beer before leaving.  Impaired slightly, this young man couldn’t negotiate the bend on a countryside road, striking a tree head on, dead on arrival to the nearest hospital.  My sense is this woman wanted me to assure her that her son was doing well in heaven.  Since this boy was missing in action from youth group without any apparent faith, the anguish of her son’s disobedience on earth stirred in her soul.

According to Leviticus 10:1-3, Aaron endured similar trauma, sitting in stunned silence after his 2 oldest sons died suddenly.  Not the greatest role model, Aaron’s greatest claim to fame or should I say shame was creating a golden calf, Exodus 32:2-4.  Perhaps their father’s hypocrisy encouraged Nadab and Abihu to turn a deaf ear to his instructions.  Instead of carefully obeying the words God relayed to Moses, Aaron’s 2 sons began to experiment like 2 curious boys in a chemistry lab.  Subsequently, the pain of disobedience cost Nadab and Abihu their life.

Whether its a suicide note left behind for a family, the dairies of a troubled school shooter or victims of drunk driving, the anguish of disobedience is on display daily.  The free will of one individual’s action has been felt by several members of society.  People are left to wonder what might have been if one out of control human being didn’t cut short the life of their loved one.  May the words of Psalm 34:18 provide some comfort this day for anyone still coping with the anguish of disobedience.

by Jay Mankus

 

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