It has been around for thousands of years and is worldwide. It was popular in ancient Egypt over four thousand years ago and during the Greek and Roman empires. It is still popular in Africa, India, and Japan today. The actors would put on a mask and play out a particular character or sometimes they played several characters. The plays or dramas could last from an hour or up to a whole day.
Play acting, hypocrisy, or putting up a fake front goes on in life and even in churches today. If you do not think it is happening today just watch some politicians for a while. It is really dishonesty and can even be in the form of flattery, for instance a woman may tell her friend she thinks her new dress looks so nice but she really thinks it looks horrible. Or we can act like we care about someone very much but we really despise them.
The Bible instructs Christians to refrain from it, (Matthew 23:28, Romans 12:1). It can become a way of life and is also contagious to others, (Luke 12:1, Galatians 2:13). It can hinder our relationship to God and stunt our spiritual growth, (1 Peter 2:1-3). In the end times some will be led astray by it, (1 Timothy 4:1-3). Hypocrisy, deception or falsehood does not come from God because God is 100% truthful, (James 3:17). See you in Church next Sunday.