Friday, June 21, 2019

Are Christians Hypocrites?

Scoffers of Christianity assert that Christians believe they are perfect — the assertion is perhaps the biggest myth about Christianity. There is an epidemic of arbitrary charges of hypocrisy being brought against Christians and, generally, it’s the norm is to qualify them as hypocrites regardless of what they have done. The first paragraph of this blog is a primer. The second paragraph builds on the first by providing interesting details.

A real Christian is somebody who accepts Jesus Christ as their savior based on Jesus’ death on the cross (for sin) and His resurrection. Salvation from sin is not something that can be earned. If it could be earned, then Jesus died on the cross for our sins in vain. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not nullify the grace of God. For if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ died in vain.” Romans 10:9-10 says, “…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Salvation is not something that can be “lost” once received, contrary to popular belief. If it could, then it would imply that salvation has to be earned and we already established that it can’t be earned. When a person becomes a real Christian, God begins to renew the mind of the person making him/her more like Christ although this is a process and it will not be perfected during the lifetime of the Christian — and the believer generally tries to share their experience with others. Ephesians 4:20-21 says, “…put off the former way of life in the old nature, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new nature, which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness.” The process of the renewing of minds implies that Christians are not perfect even after accepting Jesus Christ. One of the reasons people receive Christ is because they accept they are not perfect — yet when a Christian slips and does something wrong, we can count on the scoffer to be close by saying, “Look at what that person did…What a hypocrite!” This has become so common that it’s normal to call Christians hypocrites regardless of what they’ve done. It’s noteworthy that people who bring these accusations are hypocrites themselves — if hypocrites are simply people who contradict what they say or teach, then wouldn’t that make everyone a hypocrite, since everyone has done that?

In light of the above, let’s go through some fine details that highlight the fallacy of calling Christians hypocrites. Here are some of the many possible variables in a hypocrisy charge, not limited to what’s listed below. 1)Are we talking about all Christians, some Christians, or one or two Christians? 2)Are the Christians in question even real Christians, or are they Christians by NAME only (in other words, are they fake, lacking the integrity of real Christians)? 3)Are we talking about Christian PASTORS who often preach to a crowd, or are we talking about Christian LISTENERS who listen to the preaching? 4)When something is preached, whether it comes from a pastor or another Christian, what is the context of the message that merits a charge of hypocrisy? 5)Are we talking about committing felonies, misdemeanors, parking violations, gossip, complaining, or not picking up every bit our trash — in general, what is the severity of the perceived wrong? 6)Are we talking about Christians who have recently turned to Christ to follow him or are we talking about those who have been a Christian for a long time? At what point did they become a hypocrite? Was it immediately when they accepted Christ or is somebody in the non-Christian community allowing them a grace period where they have “non-hypocrite” status that changes to “hypocrite” after 1 year? lol

Interestingly, the Kentucky clerk Kim Davis who refused to sign a gay marriage certificate was called a hypocrite because she apparently lived a life that was “sinful” before she turned to Christ. By that rationale, even a non-Christian alcoholic is not allowed to start over. So much for alcoholics anonymous! If this rationale is applied across the board, those who accuse Christians actually damn themselves — the rationale implies that once we do something wrong, then we’re bound to do only wrong for the rest of our lives.

In conclusion, anybody who asserts Christians are hypocrites either has an incorrect understanding of what Christians are and has no idea what they’re talking about, or they just hate Christians. The apostle Paul (one of the authors of the New Testament in the bible) persecuted and killed Christians before he followed Christ and even when he did follow Christ, he talked about his ongoing struggle with sin in Romans chapter 7. To accuse Christians of being hypocrites is to completely miss the point of needing a savior — Jesus Christ. If all this is not convincing--consider that the definition of a hypocrite is just to say one thing and do another--everybody has done that, so technically everybody is a hypocrite, including the Christian haters.