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Christian or Hypocrite?

I started writing parts of this post a while back and put it aside and wasn’t really sure if I was going to post it or not. But the other day I was out with some friends and we were talking about Church, Christianity and the world as a whole. It’s really quite interesting what kind of conversations you have with a diverse group of people at a table, church going Christians, agnostics and “backslidden Christians”.

During the course of the evening we started talking about God and the church. I mentioned that I haven’t called myself a Christian in a number of years because I wasn’t living a life that in my eyes, and in the eyes of many I’m sure, would measure up to what a Christian should be. For a number of years I had been one of those who went to church on Sunday but led a life that wasn’t much different from non-Christian’s life. To me calling myself a Christian seems all just a bit hypocritical and especially in the last year or so as I haven’t been going to church at all.

This has got me thinking, “what separates Christians from non-Christians in this generation?”  It seems that in today’s generation we have become a lot more tolerant of things that use to be considered wrong and even sinful. We look at some of these behaviours and justify them to ourselves and reason why they aren’t wrong anymore. I’m not trying to get all preachy and try to bring conviction on people, but really where and how does today’s generation of Christians stand out. I know not all of my generation, and the generation below me, live this lifestyle but it seems as though the number of them that do is greater than it used to be.

As a kid growing up I learned the Sunday school song “This Little Light of Mine” and I’m sure many of you learned it as well. There are a few different passages of scripture that this song’s origins may have come from, but they all say the same thing, let your light shine so that the world can see the light of God in you. I think that for far too long many of us have hidden our lights under a bushel in order to fit in. I’m just as guilty as the next person on this one. But the truth the Bible tells us that we even though we are in the world we shouldn’t be part of the world. The reality of it is; it’s just way easier to hide in the dark than to be a city on hill.

It’s funny, when I start a post I try to have some idea as to what I’m going to say and how I want to lay things out. But this one is different. I know I said earlier that I’m not going to get preachy and all that and really that’s not who I am. But I need to hear this as much as others to do and so I’m just typing what I feel needs to be said. Our generation, both the churched and un-churched, is lost and is looking for truth and is looking for something real to hold onto. And, unfortunately the errors, sins and indiscretions of the church have caused many of our generation to turn away from God and from truth.  Well the simple truth of the matter is that, while we sit there and allow our lights to be hidden under a bushel and we justify why the things we are doing aren’t “really” sinful or wrong, our generation is dying and going to hell. At least that’s what we believe as Christians, right? No man can enter the Kingdom of Heaven but through Jesus Christ. How is our generation going to hear if we don’t tell them? How is our generation going to believe that there is more to God unless we walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk? Yes, we need to be real with them. Yes, we need to reach them where they are at. Yes, we need to go where they are. But we also need to stand apart from them.

Yes, Jesus spent his time with the outcasts of society. He spent time with the prostitutes, the lepers and in the areas that the religious of the time wouldn’t go, but he didn’t partake. He went there with love and compassion and showed them the way, but was set apart from them. We need to set ourselves apart from the non-Christians so that we can show them light and bring them into fellowship and communion with the God who made them and loves them.

So, if you are still with me on this one, I’m not going to say sorry for my ‘rant’. I wrote it for a reason. I needed to hear, and I need make a change. But I’m not the only one that needs to hear this and make and change. I know it’s not going to be easy, and I may not succeed all the time, but I’m on a journey and it’s been a tough one with a lot of ups and downs, but I’m going to keep going until my journey ends.

Ask yourself, what separates you from a non-Christian? And, is the light of God shining as brightly in you as is could and should be?

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  1. Chad
    March 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Good preach 🙂 Your right, it’s interesting, it seems I spent my life trying to fit in, now that I know the truth, I now desire to stand up for truth and righteousness even when it’s against popular opinion. This boldness seems to be coming from learning my identity in Christ and developing my relationship with God and people. I’m in this journey with you my friend. Be Blessed

    • March 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks Chad! Now I need to put it into practice.

  2. March 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Good topic, and an important one. Perceived hypocricy seems to be a major stumbling block for the non-believer. Along those same lines, see my post on hypocrites at http://danielminteer.webs.com/hypocrite.htm

    • March 2, 2011 at 8:58 am

      Hi Daniel – I read your post and I agree it with it, non-Christians seem to hold Christians at a higher standard. What I’m addressing in my post and I’m not sure if it came through is the acceptance of non-Christ like behaviours among my generation (20-35 yr olds). It’s those of us who grew up in the Church and were taught right from wrong but have decided that some of those wrongs are no longer wrong or still know that it is wrong but partake. For me this would include drinking, getting involved in drugs, etc. How can/could I call myself a Christian when my actions were contrary to what I was taught? This kind of behaviour is what I think is hypocritical.

      Thanks for reading, not sure how you found me, but hope you’ll stop by again.

  3. Rebecca O'Hara
    March 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Through my journey, and that’s exactly what it seems to be, I’ve learned that Christians need to hear the Gospel as much as anybody else. Let’s face it, all the denominations of Christianity are organized around traditions, rituals, and doctrines just like other religious faiths. The Apostle Paul warns of “other” gospels, not alternative gospels, but that all others are not the gospel.

    Oh sure, Christians know the Jesus story and call that the gospel, but so do many others. Paul goes into the best description of this Gospel in Galations and Romans. It’s the Gospel of grace.
    It states that on our best day our righteousness is as filthy rags and on our worst day we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It’s that our deeds simply don’t come into consideration when factoring our acceptance to God. This just goes counter intuitive to our human nature to control or at least have a part. It’s an assault on our ego that we are not part of the mix. Now, the hard part, that you were addressing, it’s the idea of right living or “christian duty”. The book of James seems to make this call loud and clear, so loud that Martin Luther tore it out of his bible because he couldn’t reconcile it to the gospel of grace!

    A proper marrying of the three books mentioned are critical to the Christian life. First and primarily to resign to the grace of God through the finished work on the cross and then good works as an outward expression of our faith and gratitude. Committing to walk out the Christian life and be a “light” is a daily struggle. I would encourage others to see that when we mess up and we will that it’s not about being a hypocrite but our need for God’s grace.
    It’s my thankfulness of His amazing grace that motivates me to live in such a way that brings Him glory! 🙂 Really enjoyed reading that Eric

    • March 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Rebecca.
      We all will fall short daily, that is human nature, and that is not hypocritical. But doing what you know is wrong and hidding your “light” in order to be a part of the world is.

  4. March 2, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Good challenging post Eric.

    Jesus did partake, though obviously not of the prostitutes!

    “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'” – Luke 7:34.

    Getting involved in people lives and ministering to them where they are at, is a big part of Jesus’ example that most Christians neglect or ignore. And in many ways, I have not been that different from the majority. It is far too easy for church to be a cocoon, and to neglect building relationships outside its four walls the way that Jesus did in his society. You can’t influence workmates and neighbours for Christ, if you don’t know them socially.

    • March 2, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Mike – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Of all the people I’ve reached out to share my blog with you probably know me differently than anyone else as you’ve known me in a working environment only not in a Church environment. I agree with you, many Christians do live in a cocoon and don’t have/build relationships with non-Christians.

      If you think of Christianity as a product or an offer that you are selling (work with me here). People aren’t going to buy a product from a complete stranger or someone they don’t trust or know. So how can we expect to bring people into the fold if we’ve never built a relationship with them? On the account, how can we expect people to buy our product of salvation and fullfilment in a relationship with God if we are living a double life? This is where we need the balance of “in the world but not of the world.”

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