Gamma 15 – Sermon on the Mount (Study 9)


True Spirituality and Hypocrisy


John Goh012 207
Dr Lee Fook Sin019 230
Moh Ee Lin019 273
Ng Cho Hoo012 878
Susanah Ng012

Kindly contact any of these Gamma Facilitators. They will be hosting Zoom meetings for Discussions every Wednesday starting from April 1, 2020.


Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to
cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions. The answers will be posted on the web the next day

This is an example of hyperbole not to be taken literally. We are to give in secret to avoid the temptation of seeking self glory. We are to give as a private matter and not publically for the purpose of receiving praise.

Modern day philanthropy is partially distorted by governmental policies that afford tax exemptions for certain projects and not others allowing rich individuals or companies to use their donations as tax write offs. These rules distort the motivations of individuals and corporations.

According to Augustine and Jonathan Edwards it is love or more appropriately self love raised up above the hierarchy above the love for God. It is very subtle because we have unconscious self defence mechanisms that kick in when we are confronted with potential occasions for hypocrisy. We instinctively react in a way to self justify our decisions even though if the decisions are against our principles or better judgement. It is particularly rampant in church because we are supposed to be a people led by God with the highest moral code but at the same time we are still sinners struggling with self love and obvious double standards will be more easily emerge.

If we were in the golf club or Rotary Club it would not be a problem not because there is no hypocrisy there but it in churches we hold to a higher moral code unlike the Rotary club where such principles or moral codes are not present. The church is all about the moral code whilst the gold club is just about golf and hence hypocrisy will not be apparent.

How do we handle the problem with hypocrisy in our lives and in church? Please share.

It is always easier to detect hypocrisy or sin in others because our minds will not be held back by self defence mechanisms so we can much more easily detect sin in others. We are naturally going to have our own mental bias ness and self justification tendencies to protect our own egos. With others these biasness and self defence mechanisms will not be present.

It is also easier to detect faults and hypocrisy in others compared to ourselves because we are not intimately acquainted with their life situations and their problems. We are not in their situations, we do not know the reasons that have led them to that particular course of action or any mitigating factors so we judge them just by what we see from the outside. Imagine ,seeing a counsellor snap at the person he is counselling or raising his voice at them in apparent exasperation. We see that for the first time and conclude that he is a bad tempered counsellor , not fit to be one.

In reality the counsellor had been up all night with a suicidal client and now has to deal with a very stubborn recalcitrant client who is always stubbornly acting up which was the reason he was raising his voice which he almost never does. We would not have fared any better if we were subject to the same situation.

If God already knows what we need before we ask Him why do we bother to pray in the first place?

Thomas was asked to lead bible study the next week because the current leader had been taken ill. He reluctantly agreed and diligently prepared the lesson. Then, a few days before the study he was putting so much work into his research when his wife asked him by was he doing it. He realised that he wanted to make a good impression as a leader. His wife said then …you are a hypocrite because you are doing it to gain glory for yourself!. She said that all that preparation was because Thomas did not want to look ill prepared and poor at this task. She said if you were truly doing for God you would not need to be so well read, just let it chill and let the Spirit lead. Thomas then contacted his Gamma supervisor to say he better not lead as he felt he was a hypocrite and was struggling with pride.
A. Suppose you are his Gamma supervisor what would you say to Thomas?

The 3rd Baptist Church was having a building fund set up to provide an extension of the church to accommodate the growing numbers. The leaders decided to have a little more certainty before they hired the contractors and decided to have the members pledge their giving is in a faith pledge. Each person would write the amount he would be pledging in a piece of paper and submit it to the church and trust God to provide the amount. Another deacon suggested that the major contributors have their names on the base of the building in a plaque. Then another deacon suggested they hold an auction of old items like in a jumble sale to raise money for the building.
A. Please evaluate each of these suggestions and state whether they are in line with Jesus principles of giving in this passage.

Gary was a leader in a highly divided church and had been asked by a group of older conservative members about what he thought of divorce and he said he was against it under any circumstances as it was according to Scripture. A year later he was approached by another group of younger members some of which were divorced and asked what he thought of it and this time he said it was alright to do so under certain circumstances. Gary himself was undergoing some marital problems at this time. Some of the older members who had heard from Gary a year ago compared notes with the younger group and got very angry and both groups confronted each other insisting they are correct even with opposing views and both quoted Gary as their principle authority in church.
A. Was Gary being a hypocrite?
B. What should he have done when the second group had asked for his opinion regarding the matter?

Barbara was tasked with being the interpreter for a visiting Evangelist in the up coming church evangelistic meeting where over 2000 participants would be present. She was a trained interpreter for the United Nations , a job she had held with distinction over 2 decades. She would be translating from English to Mandarin. On that day of the meeting she found out that only the speaker , the evangelist had a podium from which to stand and deliver his message. She would have to stand off to his side and interpret live. She was visibly upset because she expected to have a podium on her own on stage right next to the evangelist. She threw a tantrum and walked off the stage.
A. What was her motive for serving ?
B. Would it be an insult to her not to have her own podium?
C. Were the organisers at fault?

Answers are available now.