“The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4, NIV84)
Hypocrisy is not an option with biblical truth. The expectation is that when we have adopted God’s spiritual truths we will strive to live out those truths in our daily lives. This is especially important in today’s debate over whether truth is absolute or relative. Many great thinkers out there are saying that there is no such thing as absolute truth. They believe that all truth is relative and defined in the moment. They have no problem saying that we each have a right to define our own truth. The problem is that none of them can live consistently with their philosophy. Imagine for a second that all truth were relative and dependent on how we chose to define it for ourselves. Holding that as our basic presupposition, how could we raise our children to understand right from wrong? Wouldn’t they have the right to define that for themselves? It would be wrong of us to impose any kind of moral framework upon our children because that would be perceived as an absolute. What about in business? There would be no rules for fair practices. I am certain that the executives of Enron were simply defining truth in relativistic ways. And what about the realm of law and justice? There would be no basis upon which to justify our current laws. That would be too much like an absolute. So all laws would be left for reinterpretation in the moment without any connection to history. What is right today could be wrong tomorrow. Finally, what would it mean to “swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God?” Wouldn’t truth on that day be relativistic? Witnesses would be able to describe their testimony as truth the way they saw it, not truth as it is. You see, even today’s relativistic thinkers must live as hypocrites to their position because it does not work in the real world. It would create social chaos.
Biblical truths are absolute. They require adherence and can be used as a measurement of truth to hold ourselves and others accountable. In this worldview, hypocrisy is possible and unacceptable. Here one can safely raise a child to understand that right and wrong are not defined by the child but have already been defined as absolutes outside of themselves. In this worldview businessmen and -women must adhere to rules of fair trade. A pound is always a pound and tinkering with the scale is wrong. In this worldview legislators and judges can create laws and make judgments about laws because there are absolute truths to start with. In this worldview it is possible to describe and point out one who is hypocritical to its truths.
The same is true for spiritual truths. God has loved and redeemed us. We have been touched by that love and been born again. We are new creatures in Christ. We have the ability, by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, to daily live more in that new creature. We are to love and forgive those around us as God has forgiven us. These are not relativistic principles. We cannot daily choose whether to love and forgive. They are absolutes for our lives. We must love and forgive. Anything less would be hypocrisy.