Monday, March 19, 2007

Hypocrite?

On my previous blog, I asked with what word you would replace "sportsmanship" from the given quote (see previous post). I first thought of the word "Christianity" but did not list it because I wanted to see if any others would give the same word. Both responses gave the word "Christianity." This brought me to the real thought - - - Is Christianity "preached" so much more than "practiced" and is that why the so-called Christian world is often called hypocritical? Yikes! I may have hit a nerve with some people. Why is the word "hypocrite" so often associated with church people? I have been told the only place you find hypocrites is in the church, but how can we change them?

4 comments:

  1. Jna, I'm going to think on this one before I answer. It's easy to be flippant but that doesn't help at all.

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  2. Helen - thanks for your consideration. I get frustrated with people who toss the hypocrital word at Christians. I believe we face hypocritical people every day in all facets of life. We could eliminate racism if we eliminated hypocrites. The civil rights movement brought certain freedoms but it did not remove prejudice from the hearts. Now people show "courtesy" to other races, but stream racists remarks behind their backs. That is hypocritical. This question is bigger than a blog can ever solve, but I would hope we could bring attention to the fact hypocrites are everywhere and not to put all blame on the church.

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  3. I don’t think for a minute that the church is the only place we find hypocrites. But I do think there is much more talk than walk involved with much Christianity. The church is ridiculously fragmented.

    We are all more Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic or independent than Christian. And don’t even try to tell me you haven’t been in churches that teach that some of the groups aren’t even Christian. And if they admit these are, then they think Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t. Oh, we have our reasons. (Insert proof text here.) That’s why non-Christians see us as hypocrites rather than proclaiming, “See how they love one another.” We love people but. . . . Well. non-Christians don’t know or believe those buts.

    If Christians were to solve internal problems instead of trying to influence the world’s behavior, we would no longer be or be called hypocrites. If we loved all Christians rather than trying to get outsiders to refrain from aborting their babies or drinking too much, perhaps we could love some of these folk into the church. And then deal with them as insiders. The right things in the right order.

    I don’t speak for the world, but I am a Christian today because my Christian parents loved me into the church. They modeled Christian behavior. Their actions had much more long term value than any sermon ever preached. Yes, we need to tell people how to become Christians, but I can do that in one sentence. God loves everyone so much He sent His Son Jesus to pay for the sin of the world and make it possible for us to have salvation through simple belief in His Son’s payment once and for all.

    And this comment isn’t about criticizing preachers. How many women love the “prayer chain,” which is another name for Christian gossip. “We need to know the details so we’ll know how to pray.” Oh, bologna! No one needs to know the name of the hospital a patient is in to pray a fervent prayer. We’re nosey. Talking the talk, not walking the walk.

    We become Christians hypocrites whenever we forget that Christian living isn’t about the rules; it’s about the love—God’s for us, ours for God, and ours for our neighbors, no matter who they may be.

    As for the hypocrites in Congress and PTA. Well, most of them aren’t trying to tell us what we need to do to be saved. Christians must hold ourselves to a higher standard. Our message is too important to get lost in the bickering.

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  4. Yes, Helen, you are right that the church is fragmented and has a message too important to be caught up in bickering. I Corinthians 13 tells us, "....the greatest of these is love." I saw a pastor in a nearby city recently and he had a sticker on his vehicle that was "anti" another religious belief. I remarked to my husband how disgusted the sticker made me feel. That sticker would only be received defensively and there would not be a chance of opening any dialogue on the matter. I personally feel that pastor made enemies before ever having the chance of making friends. "The right things in the right order", is true.

    I liked your paragraph - "We become Christian hypocrites whenever we forget that Christian living isn’t about the rules; it’s about the love—God’s for us, ours for God, and ours for our neighbors, no matter who they may be." We have an elder minister who served as our superintendent for many years and he will only preach one message - "Knowing Jesus." When you really "know" Him, you can demonstrate Him.

    Back to the thought of my blog, I do wish "hypocrite" wasn't associated with the church as much as it is, yet I do understand "why" it happens. Too many Pharisees.

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