Does Religious Hypocrisy Matter?

Does religious hypocrisy matter? It did to Jesus.

Jesus spent a lot of time decrying the religious leaders of his day. He even used scathing language to expose and denounce their hypocrisy (Matt 23). In today’s world, many people are also repulsed by hypocrisy, and in this sense they are like Jesus. However, some people take things a step further and they refuse to worship and glorify God because of the religious hypocrites they encounter. Is this justified? Not at all.

Imagine if you had a sister who was always telling you to love your parents and to love other people. One day you found out that she had been very cruel to certain people and was therefore a hypocrite. If you found yourself disgusted at what she had done, it would certainly be understandable. But what if you decided to take things a step further and you cut off all contact with your parents because of her actions. Would that be justified? Obviously not. For why should your parents be wronged because of your sister’s actions?

This same reasoning applies to those who ignore God because of religious hypocrites. Hypocrisy is certainly something to be disgusted about, but how does that justify ignoring God? If one accepts that (the Christian) God exists, then it follows that He deserves to be worshipped and loved; and this is true no matter how many hypocrites there are.

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