Last night I attended a concert featuring some choral works of J.S. Bach. I was struck by the following passage from Bach’s Cantata no. 179, sung by the tenor soloist (this translation from the original German is by Pamela Dellal):
Contemporary Christianity is, sadly, sore beset: most Christians in the world are lukewarm Laodicians and puffed-up Pharisees, which present themselves as virtuous on the surface and bow their heads to earth like a reed, yet in their hearts is planted a proud egotism; indeed, they enter into God’s house and make the usual observances themselves, yet does this make a true Christian? No, hypocrites can also be observant.
Startling, isn’t it? Bear in mind that this piece was composed in 1723.