George MacDonald wrote, ‘Half of the misery in the world comes from trying to look, instead of trying to be, what one is not.’
The name that Jesus gave to this practice is ‘hypocrisy’, which simply means wearing a mask, playing the actor. Many churches are turning to be places of hypocrisy as it is said:
They build the front just like St. Mark’s,
Or like Westminister Abbey;
And then, as if to cheat the Lord,
They make the back parts shabby.
The first and foremost church has to be the pillar and foundation of the truth. If the church doesn’t stand for the truth, then the truth can be found nowhere.
It is in the church we exalt Jesus Christ, the embodiment of truth. There will be no holiness without the truth. The relationship between truth and holiness is similar to that between light and vision. Light cannot create an eye or give a blind eye vision, but it is essential to see. Wherever light penetrates, it dissipates darkness and brings everything into view.
In a similar manner, truth can’t regenerate or impart spiritual life, but it is essential to the practice of holiness. Wherever truth penetrates, it dissipates error and reveals everything for what it really is. It is through the truth edification takes place in believers.
The church is the place where Christ’s love is to be expressed. Just as truth and peace, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of love. There is a story about a man who was walking down the street. He passed a used-book store, and in the window, he saw a book with the title ‘How to Hug.’ He was taken by the title and, being of a somewhat romantic nature, went in to buy the book. To his surprise, he discovered that it was the seventh volume of an encyclopedia and covered the subjects “How to Hug”
Everyone knows that the church is a place where love ought to be expressed, and many people have come to church hoping to find a demonstration of love – only to discover an encyclopedia on theology. It is high time for the church to practice what she preaches. It needs to show justice to the title. If it remains to be just another hypocritical agency in this disguised world, its existence is in question.