Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Christians Are All Hypocrites

As I was riding along with a close friend in a certain Utah metropolitan area, he vented that he didn't like living in the center of Mormondom, because he felt Mormons were all hypocrites.

An epiphany hit me right then: he was right. Mormons are hypocrites.

So was he. So am I.

We are all hypocrites.

I'm writing this today because I see so many people nowadays, ESPECIALLY on the internet, decry Christians as hypocrites. It is getting popular to bash Christianity, not just from the "liberal elite" and "Hollywood elite" but your run-of-the-mill Joe on the street. Just last week, author Anne Rice "quit" Christianity. She says she is still centered on Christ, but she couldn't be associated with such close-minded people anymore. The comments on the articles regarding this had savage disregard for Christians by the majority of the posters.

This is what I wish my Twitter response would have been:

Pot: @Kettle: ur black! LOL!!11!
OK, before this gets too weird, what do I mean with all of this?

Truly, we are all hypocrites. The etymology of the word comes from the Greek, and it meant a stage actor or pretender. It of course stems from the root word hypocrisy, which also talks about playing a part.

This is very apt. We all play games and act the part. None of us are immune from putting on a phony front. None of us are consistent in how we act in comparison to what we believe. We may say cheating is wrong, but we find a way to work around the system into our favor. Sounds like cheating to me. A popular saying is "it was only a little white lie." And once my wife was only a little pregnant.

My friend felt Mormons weren't consistent with their standards of belief. Sure. I know numerous LDS adherents who practice very high benchmarks, but I must confess, none of them are perfect at holding up their standards. Neither am I. Of course it looks worse when religious people don't follow their creeds exactly, because religion is about holding a standard. It especially looks bad when an Evangelical pastor decries homosexuality but ends up with a male escort, or a Christian politician who ran on "family values" is sneaking off for an affair.

For those who blast Christians for hypocrisy, we have no defense. Yes, Christians are hypocrites. I am a horrible hypocrite. The Bible does not give Christians special leniency toward this; Jesus condemned this in the Sermon on the Mount:
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Christians need to keep this in mind, so we walk with the humility needed to realize we are going to screw up. However, the point for us is, we have an avenue for redemption. We have a way to better ourselves. We won't be perfect until we meet Jesus, but we have a hope. We have no excuse when we show hypocrisy. It is a sin, and there are consequences. I know I want to get better. For me it is the process of sanctification - meaning that the Holy Spirit is working in me to slowly change me. I wish it were faster, but the limitation comes from me alone.

For those who want to keep accusing Christians of hypocrisy - ya got us. But note the words from the apostle Matthew above - "for in the same way YOU JUDGE OTHERS, you will be judged." You've been warned. If you accuse people of hypocrisy, you might want to look in the mirror first. We're not alone.


  1. Great post, Jason. Thanks for the message.

  2. Well said, Jason.