Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is "the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess, falseness."

Hypocrisy is pretense, faking it, or being a fake. Jesus taught several laws that warn against hypocrisy, and often called members of the religious establishment hypocrites. Hypocrisy is deceit and a sin.









Edna Lister on Hypocrisy

Only a hypocrite can embrace two extremes: They love limelight, while being afraid to be seen doing what they pretend they do not do. – Edna Lister, Living the Inner Life, October 21, 1934.

Surrender to law creates freedom, and love becomes our point of attachment. This admits no pretense or pose. One who adopts a pose thinks he is acting as if he were, but is absorbed in self. When you are truly loving, you are absorbed in God. – Edna Lister, Freedom, October 31, 1934.

You must overcome all hypocrisy, pretense, doubt and selfishness. To pretend is to cover up desires that are make-believe, or less than Godlike. – Edna Lister, The Third Degree, March 30, 1935.

The opposite of sincerity is hypocrisy. – Edna Lister, The Science of Character Building: Positive and Negative Powers of Life, January 4, 1936.

Thou shalt not live by false pretenses, or you will surely die. – Edna Lister, Unoublished Papers, February 22, 1940.

Hypocrisy is making high vows, then expecting another to keep them for you. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, June 17, 1947.

Most propaganda is hypocrisy, since those who spout it don't believe it. – Edna Lister, Divine Mathematics, August 28, 1955.

You may not mimic or pretend to virtues and faculties you have not already opened. This is living by false pretenses. – Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958.

"Hypocrites of a sad countenance." – Matthew 6:16 means you'd better wash your face of all self. – Edna Lister, The Heavenly Mysteries Unveiled, October 20, 1968.

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Stories That Illustrate Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy Described in the Sermon on the Mount: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. – Matthew 6:1-18.

Hypocrisy: A Mote Versus a Beam: Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5.

Hypocrisy – The Ditch Between Words and Actions: Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. – Matthew 15:1-14.

Hypocrisy: A Pretense to Wisdom: The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. – Matthew 16:1-4.

Hypocrisy: The Denunciation: Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? – Matthew 23:1-33.

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New Testament on Hypocrisy

When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. – Matthew 6:5.

When ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. – Matthew 6:16.

That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. – Mark 7:20-23.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. – Romans 16:17-18.

Appearances can be deceiving: Satan transforms himself into an angel of Light; therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. – 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. – Galatians 6:2-6.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit [sophistry], after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. – Colossians 2:8.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. – 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. – James 1:22-25.

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. – James 1:26. [If you think you are religious, and do not bridle your tongue but deceive your own heart, your religion is useless.]

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. – 1 Peter 2:1-3.

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Old Testament on Hypocrisy and Hypocrites

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. – Psalm 24:3-4.

Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. – Psalm 32:2.

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. – Psalm 34:13-14.

Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. – Proverbs 4:24.

As a mad man who castes firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceives his neighbor, and saith, Am not I in sport? ["I was only joking!"]. – Proverbs 26:18-19.

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Hypocrisy and Hypocrites in Other Sacred Writings

Be not a hypocrite in the sight of men, and take good heed what you speak. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 1:29.

Be not curious in unnecessary matters: for many are deceived by their own vain opinion; and an evil suspicion overthrows their judgment. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 3:23-24.

They who fear the Lord are a sure seed, and they who love Him an honorable plant: they who regard not the law are a dishonorable seed; they who transgress the commandments are a deceivable seed. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 10:19.

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Etymology of hypocrisy: Greek hypokrisis, "acting on the stage, pretense," from hypokrinesthai, "play a part, pretend," also "answer," from hypo- "under" + krinein, "to sift, decide." The sense evolution of hypocrisy is from "separate gradually" to "answer" to "answer a fellow actor on stage" to "play a part."


Hypocrisy is a sin.


Quotes

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing. – Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Moral Reflections, CCXIX, maxim 219


References

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France, Volume XXIV, Part 3. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001, paragraph 102.

François, duc de La Rochefoucauld. The Moral Maxims and Reflections of the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, Moral Reflections, Part I, CCXIX, maxim 219, 2nd ed. London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1912; Bartleby.com, 2011 [accessed February 26, 2017].

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.


Related Topic

See Lies and Lying


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