Yet again the Bass Prop Shop provides inspiration for a blog post. It has to be one of my favorite places to take the kids in the winter because it’s free to go, and they love going there. Today was no exception. This is one of many stuffed animal displays they have through out the store. From a distance you can tell this thing is fake because you see glass instead of water, there is a metal pole holding up the beavers, and the beavers are always in the same place.
One of the biggest criticisms Christianity faces today is the church is full of hypocrites. Why shouldn’t be a complaint? There is little different between a Christian and a non-Christian when it comes to divorce, behavior, and ethics. We try to put this image showing how we have it all worked out and on the inside things can barely hold it together. We think if we have it altogether on the outside, then God and everyone around us will think everything is alright. Truth is God looks at the heart. Look at what God told Samuel while he was looking for the next king of Israel:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7 ESV
The world is looking for Christians to be genuine. If we desire to be genuine, then we must start at the heart. Being a genuine Christian is being yourself, being honest about your problems, and being honest about the faith.
To understand this idea the best lets look at a negative example: the Pharisees. These guys typically run synonymous with hypocrisy. There is no other group in the gospels whom Jesus came after the most and for obvious reasons. The Pharisees were fake about who they are.
Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. Matthew 23:5 NLT
These guys loved to show off because they did not want to be honest about who they really were.
Another example of their hypocrisy Jesus demonstrated with a parable about the tax collector and the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 (while this was a story Jesus used as a example, this was more than likely something the people saw in everyday life). Jesus said the tax collector was praying in the street with his arms up in the air thanking God he was not like a sinner. On the other side the tax collector was begging God to forgive him. A genuine Christian is honest about who they are, and how they struggle.
Pharisees also loved to be the center of attention.
And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi. Matthew 23:6-7 NLT
They always wanted to be looked at highly. This is one reason they did not like Jesus. He called them out, and pointed out to the community who they really are.
Of course no one wants to be like a Pharisee. They were not a group of people Jesus looked at highly, and they are used as the main example of what a hypocrite looks like. Being a genuine Christian means being yourself, being honest about your problems, and being honest about the faith.
Here are some other pics I took at the Bass Pro Shop on this visit.