To borrow the words of our own Mike Bennett, “Excuse me?” An AP story published this morning is so thick with irony it is palpable! Two people were arrested and put in jail on Tuesday in Washington, Pennsylvania. They were two community organizers “with a local Stop the Violence group” and they “severely beat a former roommate with whom they had a property dispute” (via FoxNews.com). They “allegedly jumped the man as he was walking down the street on Tuesday. Police say the defendants kicked the victim as he was unconscious…” causing injuries too gruesome for me to describe here. The female defendant “was still wearing the same ‘Stop the Violence’ T-shirt that she had on the night before when she led a march in the city protesting two recent shootings” (ibid.). “The victim remains in critical condition” (ibid.).
Could there be a clearer example of hypocrisy from the world? We have seen or heard of the environmentalist driving the gas-guzzling SUV and the televangelist having an adulterous affair, but the peace protestor beating up somebody? That’s very unattractive!
It is also a reminder to us as Christians about practicing “true religion…unstained by the world” (Jas. 1:27). Not only are we ineffective, we are counterproductive when we claim to wear the name of Christ and then defame it by our words and deeds. What about mouths praising God in worship on Sunday profaning man at work on Monday? What about hands shaking hands or embracing fellow Christians one day then typing in ungodly websites or texting someone not our spouse in sexually suggestive ways the next? What about words of kindness to each other when we meet followed up by slandering speech about each other or those in the world when we are away from the assemblies?
The Bible warns against hypocrisy, saying “beware of it” (Luke 12:1), “let love be without it” (Rom. 12:9), “don’t be carried away by it” (Gal. 2:13), “eliminate it” (Jas. 3:17), and “put it aside” (1 Pet. 2:1). It’s easy to see why. Few things are more repelling and disgusting than to witness hypocrisy. Let us consider that as we conduct our own lives before the watchful eyes of the world!