“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'”
My tolerance for religious hypocrisy was low before going through my divorce. That tolerance was lowered even further through my experience with more than my fair share of religious hypocrites in my marriage’s dissolution and aftermath. These were people who used God-language and/or care-language as a cover for hate and/or destructive prejudice.
A classic example of this was my former father-in-law (FIL):
This professional pilot thought his grasp of theology was superior to the counsel received from my parents–lifelong Believers–and my theology as a professionally trained plus licensed minister. To put it mildly, he lacked humility, IMO.
In particular, my ex-FIL was proud to tell anyone who would listen about what he believed were the steps to true repentance. He wrote them out and even told my best friend all about them as aimed at me–i.e. his identified reprobate. He was so busy finding “flaws” in his (then) son-in-law that he did not pause to consider his own house was out of order.
In general, it is a very, very bad idea to become the marriage referee for your child’s marriage.
The irony of all these lectures and teaching upon repentance was how silent he became as soon as it was confirmed that his daughter was committing adultery.
He talked big about honoring God. However, honoring God became less of a priority when it became clear that his own daughter had been lying and cheating in her marriage to me. I guess his commitment to real repentance ended when his own family were the one(s) who needed to follow his draconian, legalistic steps.
At least, that is what his actions and silence communicated to me.
That said, I write this not to say I harbor unforgiveness towards my ex-FIL. What he did wrong is now between him and God. My point is that this sort of hypocrisy is garden variety for faithful spouses. I bet my readers could supply a story of their own “ex-FIL” so to speak.
The irony of a pastor who rails against “the gays” only to be discovered frequently male prostitutes or who preaches about purity but is soliciting hookers on the side is a cliche. I am just tired of the hypocrisy, honestly.