Christian Hypocristy

from the archives

Growing up, I thought hypocrisy, especially Christian hypocrisy, was one of the absolute worst traits a person could have. To be called a hypocrite was worse than any cuss word ever used; I was very self-righteous in certain ways. And I still agree that we should try to avoid hypocrisy.

But I like to think I’ve grown up at least a little. And maybe it’s wrong, but I’ve become less rigid in a lot of my beliefs.

I truly believe that we live in a gray world, even though so many people act as though it’s black and white.

This is especially true when it comes to the church, or at least here in America.

One of my small group leader is a musician. A few weeks ago, when we met his house he played a video for us. It was a Christian concert, and the lead singer did the thing where he had each band member do a little solo on their particular instrument. He then asked us if we thought there was anything wrong with that- to which all of us said no.

Apparently, that’s not how everyone felt. Some people took it as the band members showing off, or glorifying themselves.

If these musicians are going to “use their gifts to praise the Lord,” shouldn’t they try to be the best they can be at it?I mean, I am supposedly trying to learn guitar but I suck at it right now. Sure, I could strum a chord and claim it’s praise- but that would be some pitiful praise. It would feel much more respectful to read my Bible, or pray, or just…meditate, almost, to the actual good sounding music of more talented people.

I’ve also heard some people say that we should be the same inside of church as we are outside of church. For a long time, I would have agreed- anything else would be Christian hypocrisy, right?

But I’m starting to change my opinion there. For several years, I didn’t have a church. I mean, I belonged to the general “body of Christ” type of church. But a specific group of people who shared my beliefs and worked together for the good of God and my local community, who prayed together and supported each other? Nope. I was a bit of a Christian island.

I know that my Christian walk was not as close to Christ or as strong then as it is now that I have those things. I’m not saying a church is necessary for Christianity, but I think the right church can be incredibly helpful to a Christian.

To me, my relationship with the church is similar to my marriage; my husband and our marriage highlights my good as well as my bad. It reflects the best and worst of myself, and makes me really analyze the kind of person I want to be and the characteristics I want to display.

Church & Christianity does the same thing. Yeah, I love singing about faith and being steadfast on Sundays. The reason that touches be so much is precisely because I struggle with control issues and self-doubt the rest of the week. It’s not hypocrisy that makes me love hearing about things that are the opposite of me- it’s inspiration and need.

The Bad Christian podcast talks about this a lot when it comes to worship leaders & pastors (since that’s what the hosts are/have been). Is it hypocrisyfor a pastor to preach a sermon about anxiety when he is worried about the church finances? Is it hypocrisy for a worship leader to smile and try to inspire others to praise when he is angry with God for allowing his wife to get cancer?

Or is is just flawed humans fulfilling the responsibility they’ve accepted to live out their beliefs that He is greater than ourselves and anything in our lives, and encourage others to do the same?

Isaiah 2: 22 says it like this:
Stop trusting in mere humans,
    who have but a breath in their nostrils.
    Why hold them in esteem?

We should strive to be steadfast and strong in our faith. But we are flawed.

That is the beauty of Christianity- that is what makes me hope and believe, the idea that we have a Savior in Jesus Christ who loves us despite our flaws and is pure enough to wash us clean.

We have to learn to grown in our faith- even if it means losing our self-righteousness. Maybe especially when loose our self-righteousness. We have to try to practice the forgiveness and understanding of Christ- isn’t that a huge part of what being a Christian is all about?

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