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CHRISTIANS ARE SUCH HYPOCRITES! Oh, they act all “Goody Two-Shoes” (insert Adam Ant song here) but they sin just like everyone else. Isn’t that the definition of being a hypocrite?
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
(Thank you Dictionary.com).
The fact that there may be persons in the church “who pretend to have virtues” is not so much a problem with Christianity as it is a problem with Christians. The basic premise of Christianity is that we are sinners in need of redeeming…that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” When persons join our club, we tell them they need to symbolically get washed in the waters of baptism to get that dirty sin off of them and we recognize that it’s a constant struggle to live faithfully…that we’re still going to be dealing with sin after JUSTIFICATION and along the road of SANCTIFICATION.
RC Sproul wrote a book in 1982 called Reason to Believe which addressed some of the objections that persons raise to the faith. One of which is this whole hypocrisy thing.
What happens is that people observe church members sinning. They reason within themselves, “That person professes to be a Christian. Christians aren’t supposed to sin. That person is sinning; therefore, he is a hypocrite.” The unspoken assumption is that a Christian is one who claims he does not sin. It reality just the opposite is the case. For a Christian to be a Christian, he must first be a sinner. Being a sinner is a prerequisite for being a church member. The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgment of sin as a condition for membership. In one sense the church has fewer hypocrites than any institution because by definition the church is a haven for sinners. If the church claimed to be an organization of perfect people then her claim would be hypocritical. But no such claim is made by the church. There is no slander in the charge that the church is full of sinners. Such a statement would only compliment the church for fulfilling her divinely appointed task.
It is true that there are hypocrites in the church. But that’s not the fault of the church. It’s the fault of Christians who have misinterpreted the message of Jesus.