Summary: A splash of cold water for mediocre Christians...
There is a series of unfortunate events that occurs throughout churches worldwide. They are the unfortunate things Christians do, which work to divide the church instead of unite it, and which destroy the faith of fellow believers and drive people away from the house of God instead of building it up.
Last week, we uncovered the first of the three ugliest and most unfortunate events in the church.
It was hypocrisy: the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that we don’t really have.
Pretending to be something you’re not, or possess something you don’t have.
Long ago, there was a King who had a passion for fashion. He always wanted the latest and greatest for his royal wardrobe. One day, a couple of brave cheaters came to his city bragging about this new material they discovered. They said it had magical powers: if anyone was wise and had fine taste in clothing, the material would shine with unbelievable beauty. But to anyone who was ignorant about fashion, foolish or incompetent, the material would be completely invisible.
The king was overjoyed! He could look good and show off his wisdom at the same time, so he put the men to work at making him a new suit.
Finally, the day came! It was time for the king to put on his new suit and parade around in front of the entire city for everyone to see. The whole town had heard about this magic fabric and wanted to see it for themselves, if they were wise enough, of course…
In the king’s chambers, the designers came in, pretending to dress the king. They pretended to adjust his collar, as if the fabric were really there. They pretended to double check their measurements and straighten out his royal cape, but deep down inside everyone including the king, knew there was really nothing there.
And although the King was entirely un-covered, everyone pretended to admire his outfit. So here’s the king, naked as a blue jay, frolicking around the city center and nobody dared to laugh or say a word. As he paraded naked through the city center, everyone pretended to see the beautiful new suit, because no one wanted to admit they were ignorant, or foolish, or lacking in good taste. While all the grownups pretended the suit looked gorgeous (birthday suit, that is!), one little boy turned to his mom said, “Mummy. The King isn’t wearing any clothes,” but everyone hushed him and pretended to believe, because no one wanted to admit they had anything lacking.
People in the church do this all the time: pretend the nakedness isn’t there: to our own destruction.
That hypocrisy my friends, and hypocrisy is a stepping-stone on the path to mediocrity.
The church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation, chapter 3 was cited for violating the Lord by living a mediocre lifestyle. They pretended everything was all good. They thought they were successful, rich and lacking nothing and I’m sure they perceived their success as God’s blessing, but Jesus had news for them that although successful by outward appearances, they were critically wounded: spiritually disabled as a church, and the underlying problem was Mediocrity.