Christians and Hypocrisy

Well I've been wondering what to write on next, with several different interests and passions in life aside from or in addition to my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am inspired by a question posted by 'Jesus Freak' in a hub...."Why are Christians such hypocrits?" I of course am not someone who has the answers, just perspectives I can share from my understanding and experiences.

Even though we have the Holy Spirit living within after we make the choice to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we still live in a fallen world, we still inhabit a body of flesh. This is going to sound cliche - Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. Paul mentioned (paraphrasing here) how he did or said things he wished or knew he shouldn't, and didn't do or say the things he knew he should....the flesh - a contstant challenge.

It's interesting that so many non Christians (or should I say 'pre'?) are watching, and some waiting, for the Christian in their life to do or say something really un-Christ like. Everyone is a hypocrit at some point or another....may we be courageous and humble enough to ask forgiveness of one another when we should. Praise God for his forgiveness, mercy and grace - and may we not take that grace for granted! I'm so glad His love for us is not conditioned upon what we do or don't do. We are saved by grace, through faith, not of ourselves so that no man can boast. Jesus had to come, to set us free from the law because nobody can follow the commandments perfectly. Perhaps others hold us to a higher standard because of God living in us... this is understandable and I believe most desire to represent Him well, yet there are times when we fail, we become vulnerable. There is a real enemy who works harder to see us stumble and fall, rather than those who are not Christians. Satan, the father of lies wants to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to discredit God, including any positive impact we may have on others. Satan's most strategic battle plan includes how he can affect one's mind.

The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis are a great illustration of how I believe Satan and his band of fallen beings operate. May we remember to put on our full armor each day so we can take our stand against the devil, and realize that the helmet, the breastplate, the shield, the belt, our foot coverings, are our defensive weapons....it's is the sword of the Spirit, the Word that is alive and active - that we must proclaim - which is our offensive weapon against him.

May we remain confident, knowing He who is in us is greater...Jesus tells us to take heart, for he has overcome the world! Being a Christian is not easy....in the midst of our trials we can certainly experience some things others can't, yet it requires abiding or remaining in Him, which first and foremost includes being in the Word. The Word is our source of everything - acceptance, beauty, blessing, conviction, confirmation, delivery, eternity, freedom, forgiveness, goodness, health, history,illumination, joy, kindness, knowledge, love, life, mercy, nobility, originality, passion, power, qualification, redemption, salvation, strength, truth, transformation, unveiling, virtue, wisdom, X, Yahweh, zeal - to name a few! Let us continue to cling to the hope that we have in Him and do our very best to love mercy, do justly and walk humbly with our God.


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Comments 36 comments

Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida

Christinekv:

I enjoyed this Hub and want to commend you on a well thought out Hub. Hypocrisy in the people of God is there. We all see it and are guilty of it. But I have to question weather we as followers of Jesus are using our weakness as excuses not to try.

I believe we as Christians are to use our works to show God we love Him. When my actions contradict God's word I make myself and God look bad. My failing do not jeopardize my salvation. For this I am eternally grateful. However, when my christian talk does not line up with my Christian walk. what I am really communicating to the world is my lack of conviction and God's inability to change me.

Christianity is not about dieing and going to heaven. It is about dieing to self and living for God. He is able to change our hypocritical nature, if we allow him to. and if we purpose to place Him before our selves. Not because we have to .... But because we love to.

Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

May our Christian walk be about His power to save and change us into His image. Little by little, removing one hypocritical bone at a time.

Thanks for making me think.

In Christ

ABR


christinekv profile image

christinekv 7 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks James A Watkins for the visit and the compliment! Yep, the enemy is always lurking, attempting to discredit or worse. Yet we can remain hopefull in knowing that because of Christ in us, we are more than conquerors!

Blessings to you and yours!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed reading your Hub today.  I found it very well done.  One of the favorite sports of those living in the darkness is to shout, "Hypocrite!" at a Christian—sometimes for something someone else in your family did, not even you!  And then they revel in the news that a Christian has fallen.  Well,  we know the source of this.  Thanks!


christinekv profile image

christinekv 7 years ago from Washington Author

Hi Harleyboy - I'm glad you appreciated it - God bless!


harleyboy profile image

harleyboy 7 years ago

Thank you for sharing this.


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christinekv 7 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks Eddie - you too are a blessing!

I understand, agree, identify with everything you stated, all I have to say to it is Amen!


Eddie Perkins 7 years ago

Christine,

You are a blessing.

Like most subjects from the Bible, this one has no simple one verse answer. You did a great job in presenting your perspective.

I’ve discovered that no matter how well I think through a statement, someone will find fault with it. No matter how straight I try to walk someone will see me swerve.

I was no different the day after I was saved by grace than I was the day before – except for grace. I still lived in the same body of flesh. I still had all the baggage from my past. I still had doubts and fears.

Two major differences though. First, the devil who previously was happy with me is now my enemy who stalks me day and night to trip me up and bring reproach to the Name of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Second, God, the Holy Spirit now indwells me and empowers me to serve God faithfully.

Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world. So if (since) that is true, what is my problem?

It’s called free will. I can choose to listen to Satan, or I can choose to listen to God.

Which will I choose? Depends on if I'm walking in the flesh or the Spirit at that instant in time.

Now, why did I try to add to what you’ve written? 

I’ve already said it has no simple answer. One has to understand many doctrinal issues before understanding all the pieces of the puzzle.

Billy Graham once said that if he tried to answer his critics he would never get the job done that God had given him to do. I say amen to that.

Let me encourage you to keep writing from your heart and the Bible. God will bless. ~ eddie


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Hi Ty!

Thanks for the visit and the comments...I understand and agree with you've shared. We are all different though and some mature and grow at a faster pace than others. I think you and I are alike in that we've been on fire from the start and the change/transformation was evident from the get go. Then there are poeple who struggle and I think it has to do with demonic strongholds we've given authority to based on decisions we've made and things which have occured in our upbringing which has shaped us into who we are.

My husband has been a Christian for more than 9 years, still doesn't spend much time in the Word except for Sundays or when he's going to a mens group, therefore doesn't know much scripture or Bible history. Yet, for the most part he is a humble, loving and gentle soul. God moved mightily upon him a few weeks ago during worship, speaking to Thomas (my husband) saying, "Just remember I love you and, by the way, you do in fact have a gift of healing," confirming what I suspected and suggested 9 mos ago. So it's not about how righteous we are, it's about our heart. I believe for those who don't choose to pursue Him though, they don't get to know or experience Him as well as they could. My prayer for myself when I start to lapse in regards to having regular quality time is, "Lord don't let me take your grace for granted."

This hub is actually an old one, I think it's the second or third one I wrote....just been getting some new traffic lately. If you notice, Sir Dent visited it 6 mos ago and then just rediscovered it and (I think) and left a new comment.


Tyhill27 profile image

Tyhill27 8 years ago from Red Deer, Alberta

Sorry Christine I just noticed your new hub, at least you have many fans. Good topic! I really like your conclusion; the armor of God and our weapon which is the Word of God (the Sword). I would also like to add, not proclaiming that I have a higher standard but yes only through the Holy spirit do we have strength to rise above temptation and move on to maturity. Everyone has a different story, but I am going to speak for myself. As a new Christian there was much Grace on my life, and temptation for the flesh was high; but as I grow older and wiser in the Lord it becomes easier to live a righteous life. I think the mass problem is that many pre-converts think that once we become Christians we become perfect like that of Jesus. I think the bigger issue is though all the people out there who think they are Christians when they are not! There is a mass confusion in the term Christian and all the people who think that all you have to do is believe in God. Or all you have to do is say the sinner’s prayer and you’re good to go…  Real faith and repentance will Change your ways, and have a great desire to do so. I was going to include scripture but that’s my comment. Oh and I admire the comment that Arkwriter wrote, about suffering.. I would not be the person I am today without having to suffer, blessings to you Christine!


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks Junjie for visiting, commenting/sharing. As I read your comment, I got the impression that you are not only a speaker of the truth but also quick witted and sometimes impulsive! I think of Simon Peter....of the original 12, at times I identify most with him.

Your friend who became disillusioned with the Pastor, couldn't help but think of the scripture that speaks about removing the plank out of ones own eye before trying to remove the one from the eye of the bretheren...yeah, Pastors have it tough. Just last week, I was questioned as to whether or not I disciplined a Pastor since I told mine we need to speak LIFE, knowing their is power of life or death in the words we speak...this was in relation to someone who had been diagnosed with a daunting illness and my point was instead of saying "so and so HAS _____," we know who the Ultimate Authority AND Physician is so rather we should say something like "The Doctor has diagnosed so and so with ______," since Doctors too are just people and their diagnosis is not gospel!

I'm honored you'd visit this one again Sir Dent. Yeah, looking back over the comments, wow, I can be long winded! I've been working on that and making progress I think but then here I go again in this text box! I understand what you are saying and I do agree...it is in our weakness (and humility) that His power is made perfect....and amen in that if we are perfect, why would we need God? We were not intended to be totally self sufficient.

Blessings to you both!


SirDent 8 years ago

I was thinking about something as I read the comments here. The Word says, "In my weakness I am strong," If we look at the Word of God and the character of God correctly we will also know that," We are made perfect through our imperfection." It means that if we are perfect, we have no need of God.

Just some thoughts going out there. . .


Junjie profile image

Junjie 8 years ago from Singapore

I once had this conversation with this guy who had serious difficulties in his life and really didn't want to go with my friends to church. "The reason I don't want to go to church is... churches are full of hypocrites!" I shot back "Join us, there's always room for one more!"

Later on a friend of mine took me aside and spoke with me briefly about wisdom and prudence with my words. Yup, I was young once! :)

Had another conversation couple of years back with a friend who was disillusioned with his pastor and he called his pastor a hypocrite because he didn't live up to the Word of God he was teaching. I explained to him that pastors have two choices: 1) to limit God's word to the level to which they personally have attained, OR 2) to preach it in full and let it expose them as falling short. Either way they lose! So take it easy on pastors... :)


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks for visiting Steph and Sandra and for your commets! Oh, and Pentecost Sunday (and it was Mother's Day too!) was a glorious day for me indeed - hope it was for you as well!

Sandra, you may want to read my hub on "Ecumenism or Unity in the Body of Christ" to see further that we are in agreement regarding your comment:

"the type of Christians I have a problem with are those who would presume to know that they are more "Christ-like" than me. The hypocritical Christians, for me, are the ones who, despite their imperfections, continue to berate, critiicize and look down on others for THEIR imperfections."

Sometimes we all give in to "pride" or "self righteousness," which we know to be sin. God even says He resists the proud, but draws near to the humble! Being humble is not always easy though (it's that dang flesh, gettin in the way again! Lord help us!)

Blessings to you both!


Sandra 8 years ago

Great hub! I agree that everyone does wrong and Christians are able to rejoice in God's grace and forgiveness. The type of Christians I have a problem with are those who would presume to know that they are more "Christ-like" than me. The hypocritical Christians, for me, are the ones who, despite their imperfections, continue to berate, critiicize and look down on others for THEIR imperfections. But, as you implied, everyone is human and that is why Jesus gave his blood for them and me!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Super writings, and can I add (again) AMEN?! Happy Pentecost Day tomorrow everyone! :-) Steph


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Arkwriter. I read a very simple and profound statement this morning:

Life is God's gift to us, how we choose to live it is our gift to Him.

Your friend sounds like her heart is in the right place after receiving the conviction that came from Holy Spirit. Of course his love for her is unconditional and it's precious that she wants to reflect his love and truth to others and glorify his name. I hope part of His plan for her life is to deliver her from cancer...there is no cancer in heaven and we can and will experience heaven here on earth (thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven!) Jesus was crushed for her iniquities, pierced for her transgressions and it is by His stripes that she is healed! Prayers offered in faith will make the sick person well....(and prayers of the righteous availeth much!). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever, and he lives in you Arkwriter, and He told his followers that we would do even greater things than he after he left this world! Because of His blood, we've been restored to a pre- fall position which is available to us in the here and now! Praise the Lord! Hope you and others are anointing her with oil and laying hands as the Bible tells us!

So you ask, "Why can't we live a Christlike, holy and sanctified life now?" We can do our best yet we live in a fallen world where the devil is roaming around looking for who he can prey upon. He attempts to distract our focus and draw us away... he wants us apathetic. A luke warm or non contagious Christian is not a threat to him....(and when I say contagious, I allude to joyful and loving). Satan has been described as "wily" which comes from the word, "wile" and according to the American Heritage Dictionary - 1.Deceitful strategim or trick. 2. A disarming or seductive manner, device or procedure. 3. To entice; lure. He uses busy - ness. temptation (all sorts of examples can be given under that). I've been witnessing amongst those I love here and in Hawaii, and I myself personally experienced and triumphed over it (thanks be to Jesus), attacks on marriage. Yes, Christian or not, sometimes it takes trials, pain or tragedy etc. to bring about a broken and contrite spirit. Some may become stubborn and bitter. If we are humble and open, we experience amazing grace and transformation. (His love is unconditional but I believe some of his blessings are conditional - read 2Chron 7:14 and note the "If"'s and the "Then"'s). Many are often more concerned w/ pleasing man rather than God (prophets and evangelists are usually the most unpopular people because they are "sold out" to Jesus only) and people often take His grace for granted. Man tends to be prideful, lacking in understanding (thanks for your response to "realtalk").... we tend to react w/ unchecked emotions (I know I often have to personally ask, how would Jesus respond/what would he do?). The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak......those are some answers I have to offer for why it's such a challenge. We are to strive to be Christlike, but He was and is the only one without sin and I think we will continue to struggle to some degree or another until the day we see Jesus face to face. He ransomed us w/ His blood and our names are in the Lambs book of life and we won't be judged by the law! Hallelujah! May we rejoice in Him and express our gratitude though worship and utilizing the gifts of the Spirit He has given us (and may we ask for more, wanting all He is willing to give!).

May God's blessings, covering, and anointing be upon you as well. Thank you for including so much scripture in your hubs. Gods Word does not return void, and it's sharper than a double edged sword!


arkwriter profile image

arkwriter 8 years ago from Houston, Texas U.S.A.

Dear Christinekv,

Thank you for your hub.  It is truly an eyeopener for all of us. 

There are not too many Christians who will admit they have not been living a life that does not reflect a Christlike character.  I just visited a dear Christian sister in a Cancer Treatment Hospital.  The doctors told her there will not be too much time left in this world.  Between pain-killing injections she had plenty of time to reflect on her past life. 

I gave her a copy of "A Complete Daily Prayer for a Christian" 

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/completepr

She verbally read the prayer very carefully, pondering every sentence and it took her much more time to finish reading the prayer than it would normally take for us to do so. 

Here is what she told me. "I am very ashamed of myself.  When I was well I spent so much time enjoying things like eating out in good restaurants and shopping for new clothes and things.  I have not been talking to people about the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation.  The nurses in this hospital have been very kind to me.  Some of them are not even Christians and yet they are so loving and patient with me.  You know, I think God has placed me in this situation to teach me what true Christianity ought to be. I am definitely now a changed person.  If and when God heals me I am going to witness for His glory.  I want to be kind and love others as myself, and live a life that people will see Jesus in me."

Does it take the pain of cancer and tribulation to make Christians realize they have been living a hypocritical life?  Why can't we all live a Christlike, holy and sanctified life NOW?

May God bless you.

Arkwriter  


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks for visiting Alexpapa.

Hope I can contribute some worthy clarification.

When I made the statement including 'pre - Christian,' it was not all inclusive. If you look again, you'll notice I used the word "many."

I can't help but wonder if you are angry and easily offended by Christians, perhaps always intending to find some flaw or something to take issue w/ and if so, why is that? As human beings we can all do this, regardless of the subject if we so choose. Have you had negative experiences or has something occurred in your life that has caused you to be bitter towards God and his disciples (Christians)? I have found that often (again notice I didn't say 'always'), as products of our environment and circumstances (to include home life, education, government, associations with people etc.,), people may decide there can't be a God (or on behalf of the agnostics, that if there is, it's not relevant). Or there may have been a person who claimed to be a Christian who acted in a hurtful or unloving way, tarnishing the loving representation of God that is supposed to be expressed or conveyed. This often ultimately causes the heart - door, that may have once been soft toward God, to close and be bound up.

For the record regarding my position about those who are not Christians and good and evil, I personally know several who treat others well and who live life morally, honorably, graciously etc. who are not Christians. Many live by the "golden rule" doing unto others what they would have others do unto them. So please be careful not to prejudge me as it appears that you may believe I'm prejudiced towards those who do not believe as I do.

Hope you won't be offended by my wishing you a blessed week ahead.


alexpapa profile image

alexpapa 8 years ago

I find comments like this

"It's interesting that so many non Christians (or should I say 'pre'?)"

Incredibly insulting and I'm sure that the 66% of the world that does not prescribe to christianity would feel the same way.

You are insinuating with very clever and ambigious words that christianity=good and right and everything else=bad and evil.

Do you realize that there is an entire world out there and that people are living very good and wholesome lives and (read this part slowly, you might not get it at first) even treating each other well.

There are non-christians all over the world who are not at war, who help each other in their daily lives and carry on their lives in loyal and loving relationships with their spouses and their families.

So, please, try and refrain from labelling me and the rest of us as "pre-christian".


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

I appreciate your visiting and the comment dear cristina327. Have a blessed weekend!


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 8 years ago from Manila

Great hub. You have done a great write up here Thanks for sharing this.


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thank you in the Doghouse for visiting and for your comments. "Judge not" is an interesting topic....the teachings I've received (Spirit Himself as well as Spirit filled people) is we are not to judge those who are in the world, who don't know any better. They are to be won w/truth in love, compassion and mercy. However, we are not to compromise w/believers who are blatantly sinning since it can affect the entire body of believers if it goes unchecked. Bringing correction in love is a challenge and I know most all (probably all) commit sin each day, even if it's only thought life (the devils battleground). Yet some forms of sin affect more than just the individual (and probably their family) but the entire church. Yes, let us choose to repent and trust God to correct, strengthen and bring us through - praise Him for his forgiveness mercy, grace and that love which is supernatural and unconditional!


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

christinekv,

What a wonderful Hub, with such incredible proclamations. I loved the way you described Christ using all the letters of the alphabet, really awesome. I too agree, Christians are not perfect at this stage in the game at all... just striving one step at a time to "walk with God" in this journey of life. Thank goodness for the gift of repentance, and the ability we have to forgive others also. Passing judgement on others is really a tool that Satan has perfected hasn't he? We have been warned about exactly that process when we were cautioned to "judge not". When we return the grace extended to us to others that may not deserve it either, we have truly learned grace for grace. Thank you for your inspiring HUB.


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thank you Rob and blessings back at ya!


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

Just found your writing today and want to shout out a hearty Amen. We are indeed imperfect people living in an imperfect world (FOR NOW). When all is truly finished, this world will be as God originally intended it to be.

I'll be reading more. Blessings!


SirDent 8 years ago

Great article with good information.


optimisticbob 8 years ago

Christine

You might get a glimpse of where I am today from

http://hubpages.com/hub/Water-Carrying-

http://hubpages.com/hub/Cloud-of-Fear

http://hubpages.com/hub/Everything-Must-Change

http://hubpages.com/animals/What-Would-Happen

As far as where I come from; I am a recovering fundamentalist who was a missionary in eastern Europe as late as 1999 and part of my recovery from dogmatic ideaology required that I learned to love again. To love all of God's children and his creation is a challenge everyday.

I do have a series bias towards action after many years of academia and committee meetings. Sometimes this means that I make mistakes because I haven't waited for all the information but in my mind and heart this is better than the paralysis of too much research and collaboration.


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Hi Optimistic Bob -

Thanks for sharing. I find your comments to be interesting and think I correctly understand what you are saying although I don't now what you're experiences have been. I see you have written a lot of hubs in a short time and I'm interested in reading those, in particular those which may speak to your experiences in reference to your comments. Could you please respond w/ links for those you've written which may shed some light on where you're coming from? My life is kind of crazy busy these days or I'd spend the time reading all 22 of what you've posted (as well as get caught up on what others have written as I am a fan of others here on hubpages). Thank you for giving of yourself to meet the tangible needs of others (I visited your bio). Praise God that you are not just a "hearer" about needs and how we should live but that you are in fact a man of action.


optimisticbob 8 years ago

I think that most secular people who see followers of God , in the way of Jesus, as hypoctites are likely right. Many followers of Jesus believe that we are only here on earth so that we can get to heaven. This escape plan leaves us with little responsibility for the 'good' creation of God and his children (who aren't followers). I can't explain how the church became an exclusive club when Jeus'  life was the exact opposite. I don't understand how fundamentalists have placed themselves under the law that Jesus died to release us from (albeit a new set of rules). I do see white washed pots all around me, even in the mirror, and pray that I have days when I can see God's creation and his created caretakers in the same way that Jeus did. Then maybe the hypocrisy of walking one line and talking another will reduced in my life.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

Big Sigh! And an 'Amen'

tDMg

what's next?


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks soyelude...glad to hear you know the Source and that you're experiencing blessings. Hope 2008 will be fulled w/ even more!


soyelude profile image

soyelude 8 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

Very thought provoking hub Christinekv....only Christ can help us. I've been blessed.


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

Thanks Peter!


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

Great stuff christinekv. Amen.


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington Author

thanks whezo, and amen!


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI

Wonderful hub Christinekv. I couldn't agree with you more. Many of us Christians fall into the trap of trying to appear perfect even when we know it's impossible. We should just relax, take a deep breath and continue our Christian walk inspite of whatever frailties we happen to have. Jesus didn't come, or send the Holy Spirit, to remove all of our frailties and weaknesses. He came that we might not get discouraged and give up, but be encouraged, inspite of, until the end.

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