I need to be careful. It is one thing to be a hypocrite. It is another to be pretentious.
Pretense is the purposeful deception of others by myself, usually for the sake of my own interest, safety or pride. Scripture condemns such pretense and demands honesty from me at every point.
Pretense is similar to hypocrisy but takes it one step further as it is purposeful deception. A hypocrite is trying to make themselves into something they aren’t by acting. Pretension is not acting but deception. It is known as duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, cheating, trickery, chicanery, deviousness, slyness, wiliness, guile, bluff, lying, pretense, or treachery.
God’s people must rid themselves of pretense. It is essential to me as a follower of Jesus. There was no deceit found in Jesus at all. NONE! Jesus challenges me to be authentic.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
~Jesus | Matthew 23:14
Pretense — Is it practiced by people in their approach to God?
Paul warns me. I have to look out for those who would deceive me. They do it on purpose. It is not from God. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception pseudo-intellectual babble, according to the tradition and musings of mere men, following the [a]elementary principles of this world, rather than following the truth—the teachings of the Messiah.” | Colossians 2:8
- Jeremiah 3:10 — “Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Master.
- Matthew 15:7–8 — “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.
- Isaiah 29:13 — Then the Master said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.”