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Pastor Ed Young Says 'We're All Big Hypocrites,' But There's Hope

Pastor Ed Young Says 'We're All Big Hypocrites,' But There's Hope

Pastor Ed Young speak to his church on hypocrisy. | Screenshot

We are what we say we despise, hypocrites, caught between the intention of our words and the reality of our actions, said Texas megachurch Pastor Ed Young in a hard-hitting sermon series to help his congregation discover what it takes to remove the mask of hypocrisy for good.

"God is not shocked by our admission of hypocrisy," Young, the pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, told the members as he began the message Sunday, encouraging them to take a scientific "hypocrite test."

He asked them to answer eight questions for themselves.

"How good of a person do you consider yourself to be?" he asked, giving them the following three options: a. Not perfect, but trying; b. I'm an awful person; or c. I'm pretty perfect.

The correct answer is "a," he said.

The pastor then asked, "If you had the chance to cheat on something and you knew you would get away with it, would you do it?" a. Absolutely. It's not like I'm hurting anyone; b. Maybe. I depends on how much I'd have to stretch the truth; or c. Absolutely not! It's wrong to lie, cheat, or steal in any circumstances.

The right answer is "c," he said.

"If someone cuts you off in traffic, what's your first response?" Young asked the third question, with these option: a. I calm myself and remember we've all done stupid things while driving; b. I catch up to them and let them know how I really feel; or c. I can't tell you how I react. It's too embarrassing.

The right answer is "a," he said.

"If a person hurts someone you love, how do you respond?" a. I get even as soon as possible!
b. I avoid and stay out of it; or c. I report to the proper authorities and trust God with the outcome.

The correct answer is "c," he told the congregation.

Pastor Young then asked, "It's OK to judge someone when: a. When you're dealing with a complete idiot; b. They do the opposite of what I would do; or c. I may not agree with their behavior, but who am I to judge?"

The correct answer is "c," he said.

"If you see someone on the side of the road who needs help, what do you do?" a. Drive past without considering it. Who knows what can happen if you stop! b. Pull over and see how I can help. Who knows what can happen if you stop! Or c. Keep driving and hope or pray someone will help them.

The correct answer is "b," he said.

The pastor asked the seventh question: "If someone is talking trash about someone else, what is your response?" a. If I don't like the person they are talking about, I let them keep talking; b. Tell me more. Tell me more; or c. I shut the conversation down because gossip is wrong.

The right answer is "c," he said.

As his last question, Young asked, "Is someone betrays you, what is your reaction the next time you see them?" a. I smile politely ... with bitterness in my heart; b. I smile politely ... with forgiveness in my heart; or c. It's going to get ugly.

The correct answer is "b," he said.

The pastor then told the congregation that if they received 1 to 2 answers wrong, they are a "hairline hypocrite." "If you got 3 to 5 wrong, you're a heavy weight hypocrite. If you got 6 to 8 wrong, you're a hall of fame hypocrite."

If you are a hypocrite, you live by a definition that you've not learnt, Young said, adding that hypocrites do not realize their hypocrisy. We like reality TV, things that are organic, authentic, 100 percent pure, real things, and "that's because we hate hypocrisy." We ourselves are hypocrites, and we call others hypocrites, he said. "We're all hypocrites."

Jesus said in Matthew 23 that a hypocrite is someone who is wearing a mask, and sometimes we wear our masks for so long we don't remember who we really are, Pastor Young added.

To some people, 60 minutes at church seem like 60 hours, he said. That's because they wear their mask; it's hard work to wear the mask in the church, he explained.

Young quoted Matthew 23:25 and 27: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

"Technically, we are all hypocrites. But some practice it and live it, and are all up in it, and you don't even know that you're living a lie," he said.

"If I'm a hypocrite, I also take a position I have not earned," the pastor said, quoting Matthew 23:2 and 3: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. You must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

"If I'm a hypocrite, I'm all about exaggeration... It's exhausting to be a hypocrite... It's also extinguishing... You can extinguish someone's search for truth," Pastor Young added, and quoted Matthew 23:13: "... You hypocrites! You shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

People will never be perfect; everyone is a sinner, the pastor said. But as individuals grow in their relationships with Jesus, hopefully they will sin less and be a "better advertisement" for the Gospel, he said.

"Jesus asks for the masks. Just give him the masks... Because He died on the Cross for our sins and rose again, He doesn't give us a masks ... He clothes us; He envelopes us in righteousness."


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