The Hypocrisy of Christians
by Amber Maccione
As someone who grew up Christian, I know all too well the hypocrisy that comes with the title. As long as my outside seemed to be ridden of sin, I was accepted. However, if sin began to show on the outside so everyone could see, I was not accepted. Rather, I was cast out, shamed; this is what the church calls “Church Discipline.” As this was being done to me, I became all too aware of my own hypocrisy that I had shown to others – my judgmental attitude towards outward sin and my preaching to others to turn and repent while I had a multitude of sin within my heart. As I reflect upon my own past as a Christian and look at the “Christians” of today while studying the Scripture they use to condemn, I find the grace and mercy that flows from a God of love that Christians seem to have forgotten about. The Gospel, the story of a Savior who became man to die for our sins – that is the story that should be told by Christians. Yet instead, they reflect the story of the Pharisee, who Jesus referred to as “White Washed Tombs”. In order for any of this to make sense, I must start at the beginning: Adam & Eve – the first to sin.
The First Sin: Disobedience
God decided to make man in His own image. After creating a perfect world, He formed Adam out of the dust of the earth. From Adam, He formed Eve, woman taken from the rib of man. The two, male and female, humans, He put in the Garden of Eden instructing them to tend to the land and animals and fellowship with Him. He also instructed them to enjoy everything put there in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet, Adam and Eve did not listen. Eve listened to the fallen angel, Lucifer, a snake, who made Eve doubt the words God had said. She partook of the fruit from the forbidden tree and lead Adam to do the same. With their first sin, that of disobedience, sin entered the world. Sin created a wall between an all perfect God and now sinful man. The fellowship that was once there was now gone because God could not be in fellowship with anything not pure. The consequence of that first sin was not only a broken fellowship, but also, every person born after this would be infected with sin. Sin spread through the hearts of mankind. In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet writes, “The heart is more deceitful than all else/And is desperately sick;/Who can understand it?” (NISB, Jeremiah 17:9). All sin comes from our hearts - hearts that are deceitful, sick, and not understood completely.
Restoration of Fellowship
With sin now infecting the hearts of men and fellowship with God broken, mankind is doomed to death. There was no hope. In order for hearts to be cured and fellowship to be restored, perfect blood would have to be shed. But with everyone being infected with sin, this seemed impossible, right? Yet, there was an answer. God, Himself, being the Trinity – three in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He could in His love, grace, and mercy for the creation He created, send His only begotten Son to this world to live a perfect life only to be sacrificed in the sinner’s place so that there would be hope for the healing of mankind’s hearts and the restoration of the fellowship between God and His creation. And that is what God did. Jesus was born, grew up, and became a man. His ministry focused on those that were sinners and in need of His love, grace, and mercy. He fellowshipped with them. He blessed them. He healed them. And He eventually died for them. This is the story of grace and mercy. When he was questioned as to why He spent time with sinners, his response was, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick” (NISB, Matthew 9:12). His purpose was to come and restore the hearts of man and the fellowship between man and God. He did not come to spend time with the so called “righteous”. Those whom were the “righteous” of that day were the Pharisees. Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (NISB, Matthew 23:25-28). Although they were in need of restoration too, their hearts deceived them into thinking they were “righteous”. Jesus went to those who would be receptive to His mission rather than those who later would be the ones sending Him to the cross.
Missing the Mark
The cross was where the “righteous” sent Jesus and yet, ironically, that was where their restoration lie as well as the so called “sinner’s”. The cross was where the perfect blood had to be shed so that sin could be forgiven and fellowship between man and God could be restored. The sin that sent Jesus to that cross was both the sin of the “righteous” and of the “sinner”. Scripture does not rate one sin as less than the other. Remember, in the beginning, the sin that broke the fellowship was that of disobedience. How does the Bible group sin?
1 Corinthians 6:9
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, fractions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 1:8-11
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers, or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I had been entrusted.
According to these verses (and I could keep going with many more), sin is: fornication, idolatry, adultery, altering sexual orientation, homosexuality, theft, coveting, drunkenness, negative gossip, fraud, immorality, impurity, sensuality, sorcery, strife, jealousy, anger, disputes, dissensions, fractions, envying, carousing, murder, kidnapping, lying, and the list could go on. The point here is that all sin is grouped as sin. No sin is greater than the other. All sin is equal because all sin, even that which Christians call little in their hypocrisy, sent Jesus to the cross.
Are all sins equal?
Reason Behind Article
So what brought me to write all this? The other day I was reading through Facebook and came across stories about Christians refusing service to homosexuals because homosexuality is a sin. I laughed at the hypocrisy in that reasoning. I read more to find out that lawsuits are being brought against Christians because of this discrimination against people being homosexuals. I will not deny that homosexuality is a sin. The verses above clearly state that in the Christian religion, homosexuality is a sin. But it is also listed with a bunch of other sins. So if the reasoning behind not making a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding is because homosexuality is a sin, then should not Christians be refusing to do the same for those who are liars, thieves, murders, gossipers, sexually immoral, adulterers, etc.? The logic behind not serving homosexuals is the exact hypocrisy that Jesus was talking about when He called out the Pharisees. All sin is sin. It is all equal. Jesus, by His example, showed that grace, mercy, and love should be shown to sinners. Scripture states that love covers a multitude of sins and that love can change hearts – love is what wins people to Christ. Hypocrisy, hate, discrimination – these are things that turn people away from Christ. Jesus did not show these things when He came to restore the hearts of men and the fellowship between men and God. Jesus showed grace, mercy, and love.
Christians Refusing Services for Being Gay
What do you think: Is it hypocritical for a Christian business to refuse services because the person requesting the services is gay?
The word “Christian” means follower of Jesus. If a Christian is to be without hypocrisy, then he or she needs to walk in the manner that Jesus walked. Do not refuse service because someone has sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NISB, Romans 3:23). Instead, be Jesus to them and allow your love to change their hearts.
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