Hypocrisy in the World
Hypocrisy is something that people have dealt with forever. It is a sad fact that many people say something and do another. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer shows a Biblical view of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is something that is written about in the Bible, something that has been written about in books, and something we see in our culture every day.
In our culture, we see many hypocrites. It is upsetting to see how many people say one thing but do another. Our culture tends to constantly talk about how the church is full of hypocrites. While this is true, they are in no place to say so, because they are hypocrites themselves. I believe that everyone who supports abortion is a hypocrite. It is not possible to believe in life, thus thinking it is not acceptable to kill someone, yet believe that abortion is acceptable. This is an obvious form of hypocrisy in our culture. The people in our culture tend to overlook some forms of hypocrisy like the abortion topic while they love to point out the hypocrisy in our church. Our culture is full of “wishy-washy” people who overlook what they want and point out what they want. This is just another example of how hypocritical our culture is.
Chaucer points out hypocrisy in his book, The Canterbury Tales, without trying to hide it. Some of his characters have professions that they go blatantly against with their actions. One of these hypocritical characters in his story is the Friar. This Friar loves to hunt and has many wives. This is showing blatant hypocrisy considering he is supposed to be renouncing things of this world. Chaucer does not try to hide or cover up what his characters do. Instead he seems to be trying to expose and almost poke fun at the hypocrites in the church who are going on this pilgrimage. Chaucer obviously does not agree with this hypocrisy; he thinks it is wrong. He seems to have the same view of hypocrisy as the Bible. This is the correct view to have. He does not hide from the hypocrisy in the church; instead he points it out and knows that it is wrong.
The Bible tells us that hypocrisy is a terrible thing. We are commanded to be against it and not to be hypocrites. 1 John 4:20 tells us, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (English Standard Version). We are called to love our brothers as we love God. If we do not love them, and yet we claim to love God, we are hypocrites and we do not really love God. It is impossible, the Lord says, to not love your brother who you can see yet love God who you cannot see. The Lord is not pleased with the hypocrites in our church. We are supposed to be truthful about everything that we say and do. Yes, we will fall short, but we should not be blatant hypocrites and still claim to be Christians. I believe this is the point that Chaucer was making. The Lord is against hypocrisy and it makes him upset to see his people acting in this way.
Hypocrisy, unfortunately, is something that has surrounded people ever since the Fall. Because of this, people have trust issues from not knowing who to trust. Hypocrisy is such a common thing that it has been written about in the Bible, as well as other books, as a result of seeing it so much in our culture. Chaucer’s view of hypocrisy in The Canterbury Tales is a biblical view that we all should have.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. New York: Viking, 2009. Print.
ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008. Print.