Okay, first, I'm sure many of you are wondering if I really meant that. Yes, I did. Christians are hypocrites, and it's horrendous. Think of pastors of churches who preach about loyalty to your spouse as being second only to your loyalty to God, and then they are caught in an affair. Really? You call that loyalty? How about the countless women who use "prayer requests" as time to gossip about the people in their life? Aren't Christians supposed to look down on gossip? How about the millions of Christians who preach about love and not to judge each other, and yet, then riot and picket and hate on homosexuals, abortionists, liberals, and other various people groups with different views than them? That, my friends, is hypocrisy! Matthew 7:3 states "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?" Jesus himself warned against hypocrisy, so what's the deal?! In Matthew 23, Jesus goes on a very passionate rant against the Pharisees, and one of the most common insults he throws at them is that they are hypocrites! You hear that? They were hypocrites. Why is it so comfortable to rest in hypocrisy? If the Bible clearly states that hypocrisy is wrong, then why do we find so many Christians guilty of this sin?
For one, we find our leaders are hypocrites. Monkey see, monkey do. There are so many pastors who look at the sins of the world and preach about what the Bible states is wrong in the world without preaching what is wrong in the church. Maybe more teachers should be teaching how to take the plank out of our own eye, and not how to spot the sawdust in our atheist friend's eye. Do you think maybe we could win more to the cause if we tried that approach? What about love? Jesus was all about love. How many times have you heard a sermon about loving sinners? I don't mean loving your Christian neighbor when they wrestle with sin. I mean have you ever heard you pastor talk about how we are supposed to treat homosexuals, according to the Bible? Not likely. It's easy for us to love and forgive ourselves or our friend after a divorce, but we don't extend that same love toward a homosexual who has been "married" for ten, fifteen, twenty years. Is it a sin? Yep. Is divorce a sin? Yes!! So why do they get treated differently? All sin is equal in God's eyes!
What are some other leaders in our lives who are hypocrites? How about our parents? Everyone sins, but how many of us grew up with parents who taught "do as I say, not as I do?" What kind of a message has that sent us from infancy? That it's okay to do wrong and still point out that others shouldn't do it. We are quite literally taught from birth to be self-righteous! Did you parents involve you in their prayer time when they asked for forgiveness of their sins? Did they involve you in their effort towards repentance? Some parents do model these wonderful lessons to teach their children what is means to rely on God, but some do not. So what do we learn? We learn to judge others without judging ourselves!
How about the world we live in? The secular world is full of hypocrisy, sure. Are we separated from this world? My family does not have a television and we only listen to Christian radio, so we have some amount of separation from the secular world. Is that true for most Christian homes? Nope. With a lack of physical separation from the secular world, we lose our ethical separation as well. We begin to rationalize the Bible. We begin to think the way we used to, before we gave ourselves to Christ. We begin to turn to hypocrisy. We become these yo-yo Christians who repent and live righteous lives and then, slowly, our resolve begins to deteriorate. The world breaks us down and we find ourselves living in abominable sins and not caring one lick, but still judging others for their sins! And then the process starts all over with more repentance.
Let's not forget the most evident reason why we are hypocrites. We are human. Sin is inevitable. Everyone sins and hypocrisy is a sin. However, judging someone else's hypocrisy is also a sin. The Bible tells us to alert our brother to their sin, but it never tells us to judge our brother for his sin. So if you're reading this with someone in mind, I suggest you stop, repent from your judgment and pray for forgiveness. Humans are also incredibly ignorant. It's really easy to see the sin in others without noticing the exact same sin in our lives. Sometimes we are hypocrites without even realizing it! Humans are also arrogant. How many Christians do you know feel like their sins are moot because they just need to pray for forgiveness? Just because you know your God will forgive you, does not mean you have the right to judge the Muslim who does the same thing. Focus on yourself and lose the arrogance. God's forgiveness should humble you.
Take a minute to read 1 Corinthians 13 in it's entirety. It's not a long chapter. We are clearly told that nothing we do will ever matter if we do not love. Notice that it never once says that love is a judge. You want to remove the sin of hypocrisy from your life? Refrain from judging others! Love everyone, regardless of what sin they have in their lives. We are supposed to emulate Jesus Christ and He loved all passionately. He loved so much He died for sinners. Not for Christians. He died to murderers, for democrats, for rapists, for homosexuals, for pedophiles, and for thieves. He thought they were worthy of His love. Who are we to say that He was wrong and we should be more picky about who we love?
Search yourself. What is the plank in your eye? Ask your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, or even your children. What can you improve on? Spend more time fixing yourself instead of trying to fix others, and maybe our world will look just a little brighter.
And a final note...if trying to evangelize,, you come across someone who's problem with Christians is hypocrisy...if any of the information in here is not going to be helpful to explain our imperfections...you can wrap this entire piece up in one sentence.
Christians are not perfect people. Christians are forgiven people.