Monday, February 14, 2011

Hypocrites

If you’re reading this, I have two thoughts.  First, WOW – I’m surprised – I mean, my mother doesn’t even read this!  Second, if the aforementioned still applies, and you were expecting a Valentine’s Day litany, sorry.  I’m headed elsewhere today.
I heard a quote today:  "Christians are hypocrites and driving people away from Jesus and the church!"  There was more to the quote, but allow me to make an unguarded observation totally lacking in objectivity. 
I absolutely agree!  Christians, being as human as the rest of the population of planet Earth, can be just as likely as anyone else on the planet to say one thing, and do another.  It’s not because they are Christians, it’s because they are human.  Perhaps I should be saying, ‘WE’ are human.  WE makes mistakes.  WE turn people off.  WE don’t always practice what we preach.  We also sometimes visit relatives we don’t really like, watch TV shows we don’t care for, attend events that really don’t interest us, lose our tempers, drive too fast, and some of us aren’t rabid Pittsburgh Steelers fans.  It’s true!
Christians are imperfect human beings just like non-Christians.
Just like everyone else here on terra firma.  Just like Jews, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Pagans, Hindus, and Pentecostals. 
Just like North Americans, South Americans, Africans, Europeans, Asians, Indians and Australians.
Just like Republicans, Democrats, Independents and members of the Tea Party.
Tell me you’ve never gotten so ticked off listening to a Republican that you went away thinking all Republicans are jerks.
Thing is, Christians are held to a higher standard simply because they/we are Christians.  We shop at the same stores, wear the same clothes, drive the same cars, supersize our value meals, and check our watches repeatedly on game days.  But because we are Christians, we are held accountable for our imperfections.
Which is, perhaps, as it should be.
Jesus Himself instructed us to be salt and light.  He said we are to be set apart from the rest of the society.  To paraphrase, He said if we fit in so well we can’t be distinguished from the pack, we’re going about it all wrong!
And He said (this is the big one)  that it is His sacrifice for the sins of the world on the Cross at Calvary, NOT how the people around us behave, that enables us to be saved in the first place.  He said “I am The (only) way, the (only) truth, and the (only) life.  NO ONE can come to the Father (God) any other way but through me!”  Emphasis is mine, but it is there in the Greek.  He set a standard of behavior for Christians and how they are supposed to act AFTER they become Christians, but also made it clear that good behavior cannot get you to Heaven.  And blaming your choices on my mistakes is sort of silly, isn’t it?  Of course some Christians are hypocrites, but it’s because they’re human, not because they’re Christians.
For example – I watch football on TV.  I watch the Steelers and the Dolphins and the Patriots and the Bucs.  I think Ben Roethlisberger is a spoiled child who needs to grow up, Miami needs a quarterback and a coach, Tom Brady is an arrogant snot (Mostly because he went to Michigan) and Tampa Bay needs to stop believing their hype and play some football.  Does the fact that I think these things and still watch them make me a hypocrite?  After all – I dislike things about them but still watch them!  That’s the exact sort of behavior that gets Christians called hypocrites.
Which sort of makes it kind of hypocritical, doesn’t it?
Happy Valentines Day!
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