Wednesday, July 29, 2009

O Come All Ye Hypocrites

Week after week, those who call themselves "blessed" invite me to come pray at their church. But with so many different Christian churches, how can I tell which one God approves of? So I searched the Bible for Jesus's teachings on praying in church. In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus says:

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

So what's Jesus trying to tell us? Do people only go to church to be seen by other people? Are their only thoughts on what others think of them? Do they get big rewards for praying in front of others? There sure is a lot of rewarding going on every Sunday from what I can see! Is this why America is the world's richest nation? Is this how people are surviving the recession? Why do they not share their rewards?

Why do people do this if Jesus spoke against it? Do they seek their rewards at church because church income isn't taxed? Why are the churchgoers so proud of what they do if Jesus isn't? Why does the Church not teach the people the words of Jesus? Better yet, why can the people not read it for themselves?

So is Jesus saying that I should only pray in the closet? What will God think when I come out of the closet? Does God not speak out against homosexuals in the Old Testament? Should I take a girl in the closet with me so God will know I'm straight? What all does my Father see in secret? Does He work with the CIA? MI6? KGB? Mossad? What kind of open reward will I receive? Will I be taxed on it? Does the IRS see in secret too?

Would Jesus be pissed at me if I went to church for the big rewards sometimes? Is Jesus more tolerant of the grand reward seekers during the recession?


  1. Hi :) I can't pretend to know all of the answers to your questions, but I'll try:

    The verse is saying don't pray in public purely to gain attention. People who do that are the hypocrites Jesus was talking about. So, they 'gain their reward' by being noticed. Which, in all honesty, God couldn't care less about.

    The most important aspect of Christianity is to have a personal relationship with the Lord. So when He says 'pray in the closet', I think He means better to pray privately and honestly than pray with a large group of people for attention. He already knows the depths of our hearts, but He wants us to tell him about our troubles and worries and whatnot. He cares about us, and He wants us to know that.

    The last bit of the verse, which says 'thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly' means that once you let God into your heart, once you tell Him about the darkest secrets and fears and regrets, He'll bless you and reward you for doing so.

    So... yeah. I hope that at least kinda answered some of your questions :)

  2. Found your blog looking for cattle equipment :-) Saw this post and Anonymous's comment (which I completely agree with) and thought I would add one more note.
    The reason we come together in church is for 1: "corporate" worship. Joining together, to worship Jesus, our Lord and Savior and encourage/pray for and sharpen one another (as stated in the Old Testament Proverbs 27:17), and 2: because we have instruction also in the New Testament at Hebrews 10:25.
    Now, back to my quest for cattle equipment ... do you know where that cute picture of the cow and pig are? ;-)