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Apr 25

The Hypocritical Christian

Since yesterday was Easter I figured now would be the perfect time to post this article (sarcasm inserted) which I know will be viewed by some as slander.  These same people will also make many assumptions about me, so before I began I would like to point out that this isn’t an attack on all Christians or Christianity itself. What I am going to share is my familiarity with many “so called” Christians as well as my own past experience of being a Christian.  I really have no grudge against the Christian religion, as a matter of fact; I think it has many sound teachings that help millions worldwide.  Furthermore, there are many biblical passages that I have quoted here on this blog that I personally adhere to in my life, even after walking away from Christianity altogether.

So what is with the title of this post?  Am I just a bitter man who dislikes all Christians? Allow me to elaborate, you might even agree.  The issue I do have is with those believers who openly confess to being Christians yet live a life that is severely lacking of the biblical standards they claim to adamantly adhere to.  I’ve been witness to countless attacks of character judgment upon non believers by those of the church.  Yet these same admonishers are in no way innocent of the same accusations they verbally spew.  Whenever I find myself in the crosshairs of one of these hypocritical Christians I can’t help but to be reminded of what Jesus is quoted as saying in Matthew 7:5:

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.

What I find to be absolutely baffling is how a non-Christian can understand this simple concept, yet there are people who attend church every Sunday who fail to comprehend its meaning. How can people who claim to be filled with God’s spirit, profess their love for all, and constantly ask for forgiveness from their “God” be the first to judge those who they feel are lacking in some way? When these same Christians’ savior, Jesus, was asked which commandment was the greatest he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40). If the two most important things to remember are to love God and your neighbor, how is that so many followers fail to do both? Maybe I’m just not getting it, or I just don’t fully understand the bible, but isn’t love one of the key attributes the Christian God supposedly has? If this is true, then can someone please tell me why love is so hard for so many Christians to fully comprehend?

 

When I used to be associated with certain religions within Christianity I often would read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 to get a better understanding of what love meant. I’m not going to quote the entire scripture, but I would like to point out an important passage that has stuck with me, even after my exodus from religion.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

This simple verse shows us what Christians are supposed to strive for when displaying qualities of love. I realize that no one is perfect and I myself have to admit that there were times when I was a Christian that I failed miserably when trying to display these characteristics. Nevertheless, even though I had some setbacks I still did my best not to live a lie. I understood that I couldn’t claim to love yet constantly point out wrongdoings by others. Ironically, it wasn’t until I completely departed ways with Christianity that my temptation to judge others subsided. Now I won’t lie, I still have times when someone can irritate or anger me which usually invokes my criticism of one or several of their flaws. Typically my judgment is reactive in nature, not proactive as with many Christians these days.
The point being, generally speaking, is I have found that more non-Christians display qualities of true love when it comes to their fellow man than actual Christians. These self professed Christians might as well sleep in every Sunday because something just isn’t sinking in during Sunday service. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, after all this entire post could be construed as nothing more than a hasty judgment against an entire group of people. If I am telling Christians not to be judgmental am I being a hypocrite by calling them out on their obvious failure to apply simple bible principles? But then again, I don’t prescribe to any religious doctrine nor do I live my life according a certain set of teachings. If I did and failed to comply with those teachings then you most assuredly could call me a hypocrite. I also find it astonishing that these Christians are so quick to point out that hell is waiting for all of us unbelievers, but yet they continually live a lie without any repercussions.

I’ve debated for a while now whether or not to write this post. I didn’t want to come across as hostile and resentful towards Christians because I know that not every Christian is a hypocrite. I have met many wonderful, humble and kind hearted people during my stints with different religions of Christianity; unfortunately, as the saying goes, “one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.” I hope that anyone reading this post, both Christians and non-Christians, understands that hypocritical behavior can be an affliction to more than just an individual; it can tarnish the reputations of entire groups of people. So for any Christian who may have attended Easter services yesterday and got that warm fuzzy feeling as the preacher delivered the sermon, remember if you are going to proclaim a certain lifestyle you should be more mindful of your criticizing behavior.

Permanent link to this article: http://channelingmyself.com/2011/04/the-hypocritical-christian/

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  1. margot

    Todd, unfortunately, most of what you said in this article is true, sadly. As a Christian I can honestly say that it is extremely difficult to find a balance between accepting people in with open arms while trying to teach them the error of the way they are living their lives (which is commanded). We are all quilty of sin in one way or another so we should be more understanding of one another but that’s not usually the case (probably because we’ve built this hierarchy in our minds of little, medium and BIG sins… which I don’t believe for a second).

    Anyhow, God is love, but he is also a just God and he expects his people to be the same and even commands his church to keep itself pure, that sometimes requires a little “tough love”. I think oftentimes churches find themselves either only focusing on love, or focusing solely on adherance to the Bible teachings (strictly and literally). Neither one of these is the correct view…. it’s a blend, we must obey, follow the examples and teachings found within the Bible but we must do that in Love. Unfortunately we fail…. we’re human.

    When one decides to become a Christian it is a complete overhaul in their lives; usually requiring a change in friends, activities, sometimes your entire life. The focus is off of self and on to God. We put off the old man, the old way of life and we put on Christ, a new life lived for him. Not easy and more often than not new converts have a very hard time changing those things in their life that need changing and older, more mature Christians often don’t have enough patience and tolerance. I wrote an article about this very thing for my blog (entitled: “Book of the Month- Church Growth”).

    I guess my point is that both sides are wrong in their approach (don’t get me wrong… I hold those professing Christinaity more accountable, but in the end, the result will be the same). Too often we play the blame game (both sides) and don’t take responsibility for our own actions. We will all stand before God someday and give an answer for the way we’ve lived our lives. Many of us who claim Christianity will be surprised at what we hear, and then again, so will those outside of Christ, who follow a “law unto themselves”.
    margot recently posted..Lessons LearnedThe Bully2My Profile

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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Thanks for your reply Margot. Having seen the perspective from both sides I felt like I needed to write what I did. I completely agree with you about those new, zealous Christians who have trouble making the changes. However, from my viewpoint those “older” ones experience the same challenges, guess they get complacent with their religious lifestyle. Anyway even though the post is directed towards Christians I should point out that a message can be sent to anyone living a hypocritical lifestyle.

      Just realized who this was after visiting your blog and reading about Boss and Muffet. Glad to hear from you hope you are doing well.

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  2. margot

    Hey, Todd. Me again. I wanted to let you know that I shared your article on my blog and on facebook. I really think it was excellent and an eye-opener to those of us professing to be Christians (not the first time I’ve heard these things and I’m sure it won’t be the last). I don’t think sometimes we understand how we come across. Thanks for your thoughts and insights….

    I hope you are doing well too, I also hope you haven’t given up entirely on Christianity and can find your way back. Don’t let people and their “ignorance” keep you from the greatest blessing ever.
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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Thanks for sharing my post on your blog. I hope you understand it wasn’t my complete intention to single out only Christians, although that was the theme of my post. I just wish people would act in accordance with what they claim to be. Typically this applies to religious people, however, it can apply to anyone claiming a certain lifestyle yet by there actions they appear to be someone else.

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  3. Joy Mason

    I am a friend of Margot’s- I also shared your post on FB. I was raised in a “Pastor’s Home” and met many preachers, their families, and other Christians. I saw hypocrisy in a way you can only probably imagine. As much as love is preached, and as much as God does care for us, fear continues to rule so many denominations and church groups. It’s so much easier to make a list of rules, or make ourselves feel better by filling a spot on the Sunday School roster. My father was extremely abusive, as well as his mother. As well as my mother taking the place of the neglector- being bulled herself…I have had to go through quite a while of PTSD therapy from this childhood/ early adulthood trauma. So much guilt and fear instilled. These last 5 years, with the help of my husband and his extreme patience, I’ve seen how full of grace and love God truly is. How NON-judgmental God is. Not that I believe there is not a day we will “be judged.” But the greatest part of scripture is where God speaks of David and states that HE LOOKS AT THE HEART…(and it’s intentions and understanding). David did a lot “wrong”, but he was a consistent learner and was considered one of the greatest worshipers of God the Father…and became part of the lineage of Jesus…just wanted to add my two cents- thanks!

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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting Joy. I’m sure you did see a lot being raised in a pastor’s home. My childhood was spent as a Jehovah’s Witness, my mom has told me a lot of crazy things that went on with the people of that religion. I have a different view about what will happen when we die and I do believe there will be no judging.

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  4. 02K6534

    Truth is there are some Christians that abuse their power and I wish it wasn’t true but it is

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  5. Mums

    I thought this might be a good time to share my experience on Easter Sunday…….as my family well knows, I steer away from organized religion & all that it entails and have or 20 some years, since leaving the JW’s.

    A good friend practically begged me to go to Church, on Easter Sunday….and ensured me that I would gain insight and would want to turn my life around, repent & be saved….after only one visit, yet…..hmmm, I thought, ok let’s go for it.

    Actually, the music was pretty cool, the beat and all……totally unlike any church I had ever gone to…..now for the sermon….he talked about the resurrection (of course) and dying for what one believes in or has faith in…..he begin by telling a story about the Budha reigion and how they were persecuted and willingly died for “believing in a false God and not believng in te resurrection of Christ”…..and that it was toally wrong and useless of these people. A lot of people did the “Amen, brother” on that one……later he tells another story about how the 12 Deciples, carried on after Jesus’s death and most were crucified for their beliefs……..as he was. So I am thinking…..why was it wrong for the Budha’s to die for what they truely believe in……but it was rght for the Chriatians. So isn’t that “judgemental” I got a very bad feeling about all of that and it certainly didn’t make me want to go to the stage at the end, and bow down, “begging to be saved”.

    I also got a creepy feeling when people were carrying on, waving their arms, crying out, like they were trying to touch “heaven”.

    Not sure what kind of church that was……..but I won’t be going back anytime soon. Sorry if I have offended anyone…….and hope you all had a nice Easter Sunday….whatever you did…..personall, I get more fullfillment out of working in my garden and planting things.

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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Sounds like quite the experience, I’m not sure what flavor of Christianity that was but sounds typical of many. The world would truly be a better place if more religious people kept and open mind and did not insist that their beliefs are the only truth.

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    2. Mums

      Mother, stop and consider the “good friend” who asked you to go to that church. Can he be trusted to find a suitable church?

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      1. Michelle

        OOPS!! Somehow I have logged into my mother’s account on here. “Mums” reply about that idiot not finding a suitable church was my comment, not Mums’.

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      2. Sumanta

        Catholicism is the only Christian Faith . They are lead in worship By the Pope who was given the Keys to Heaven From Jesus . Through Apostolic eoscssciun From Peter the First Pope they worship Jesus, And thru The Holy Tradition Of the Saints formed the Biblical doctrines, Such as the Trinity, Sunday service, Easter, And Christmas teach Grace alone for salvation, Did not remove books From the Bible but preserved the writings of the Jewish Old testament which the protestants threw out , Catholics want to worship Jesus with all 5 of their senses .Music for the ears,Incense for the nose,Statues and art for the eyes,Please pray a sincere prayer with all of your heart admitting to Jesus you are a sinner. Have full faith that His blood pays off all of your sins and accept His gift of everlasting life. And give your confession to a Priest Jesus never said to confess your sins to either him Or to the Father pray that God blesses you with peace. AmenThe truth is that Jesus is God, and Jesus loves you so very much! Say this PrayerLord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury, pardon;where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope;where there is darkness, light;and where there is sadness, joy.O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoledas to console;to be understood, as to understand;to be loved, as to love;for it is in giving that we receive,it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

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        Twitter: nHmXqnRon

  6. Fred Tracy | Personal Development

    Unfortunately this happens a lot. I remember being Christian and doing this same thing.

    It’s a natural tendency of the immature human to judge others. Like any religion or group, immature and mature people alike join it, so you can expect any mix of silly behaviors, including defying the religion itself by judging others.

    Just one of the more strange things that people do, I suppose. What a world. :)
    Fred Tracy | Personal Development recently posted..Interview With a Pagan about SpiritualityMy Profile

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    Twitter: fredtracy

    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. We are all guilty of it at some point or another, I guess what is most important is that we acknowledge our shortcomings and do our best for self improvement.

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  7. Justin | Mazzastick

    Todd,
    I too have been turned off by many Christian types. I don’t let that get in the way of how I feel about Christ and his teachings though.

    People are people and some happen to go to Christian churches. It doesn’t make them “Christ-Like” by any stretch.
    Justin | Mazzastick recently posted..The SandboxMy Profile

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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Agreed, I realize people are just people. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Michelle

    This reminds me of the popular merchandise that says, “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do). If everyone stopped and thought about that before speaking or acting/reacting, imagine what a peaceful world we would live in! Instead, I think most of the people who buy those bracelets, bumper stickers, etc., should proclaim, “IDDWJWD” (I Don’t Do What Jesus Would Do). Jesus himself called them hypocrites, and that’s what they are. A person could go into many theories as to why so many so-called Christians are hypocritical: Perhaps they want to have their cake and eat it too, or as Freud would say, their Ids are dominating their behavior. Maybe they’re so self-centered they think moral rules don’t apply to them. Maybe they are unable to control their negative impulses that are inherent in human behavior (an extreme example of this would be why there are so many Catholic priests who are pedophiles). Finally, maybe they try to be Christians because we live in a society where that is the dominant religion (so many of our laws are based on it), and they feel it’s expected of them by their friends and family. Maybe deep down they don’t truly believe the biblical doctrines. To them being called a hypocrite is better than being called a heretic. Or maybe they simply don’t give a shit.

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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      I think they want to feel safe and secure in an otherwise hostile and unpredictable world. They also want to be reassured that death isn’t the end and they want the reward that being a Christian supposedly brings. With that being said, I don’t think many have the will power to give up their old habits and ways of thinking. It’s like wanting to be a doctor for all the benefits but not having the drive and will to go through all the intense training.

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  9. Haley

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love is my life.Thanks for your sharing
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  10. lusiana158

    Believe me when I say that this is one of the most important ingredients of love. It is important to open ones heart and share – pain, joy, success and failure, it really does not matter, as long as the heart is clear. Love is being honest and knowing that the other person feels the same way too, it is sharing and losing ones inhibitions and knowing that the person on the other side will never be judgmental.
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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      Great point Lusiana. Love does not allow for being judgmental. Thanks for commenting.

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  11. debt settlement advice

    Is it wrong to not confront someone if they claim to be living the “christian lifestyle” but don’t exactly follow what they claim to believe in?

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    1. Todd | Channelingmyself

      I guess that would all depend on your personal beliefs.

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  12. Andrew Walker

    Hi Todd. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a great post that can be used to reflect on ourselves.
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