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Newsflash: I'm Not a 'Christian Hypocrite'

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Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: I have gone to church since I was born. I am born again. I pray, go to Bible studies and teach teens about Jesus ... but I also gossip, tell white lies and say bad words. Does this make me a hypocrite? Abso-freakin-lutely NOT!

judgemental woman
Oh, I am sure I've ruffled some feathers now. That was not my intent. This post is not meant to piss anyone off (oops, there I go again). It's simply meant to ease the agitation some people feel about church and Christians. 

As Christians, we believe we are wiped clean when we ask the Lord into our hearts. But that doesn't mean that we believe we will now be as sinless as Christ himself. Unfortunately, many people are turned off when they know that someone is an avid churchgoer and then hear them lay down a nasty word about the ref who just gave their son the yellow card. Christians are supposed to strive to be Christ-like, but striving and being are two totally different things. 

We as a society aren't supposed to cheat or scrimp on our taxes, either, but how many people do? Do they know it's wrong? Yep. Can they help themselves? Sometimes not. The whole "hypocrite" accusation comes because there are people who do actually have two lives. On Sundays, they stand in church and they get it, but the rest of their life is a mess. The difference between them and the people who are annoyed by them is that they invite God to help them with their mess. They learn from their mistakes and trust that they are forgiven and can get back up and try again. 

It's no fun failing (for anyone), but please don't think someone can't be a Christian if they fall. Church, in my book, is a place to bring your mess, your crap, your sins and lay it all out for the Lord -- not for all the people in your pew. It's none of their business. My crap is between me and my God. 

So the next time you think you have spotted the Great Jesus Hypocrite, just realize that you can't see inside their heart, which is most likely in the right place. Is yours?

next: Why Do Babies Attract Unsolicited Advice?
17 comments so far | Post a comment now
Katie December 5, 2010, 1:40 PM

Some people clearly are hypocrites when they are intentionally perpetuating the “i go to church” thing. They are judging others while they themselves are doing sinful things as well. However, for the most part, those who screw up and consider themselves Christians are as you say good people just trying to do their best. For people who see this and call them hypocrites and thus must not be “true” churchgoing folk-they are using it as an excuse to vilify the entire religion. It’s an excuse, because when you look at the teaching of Jesus himself he did not expect us to be perfect, he wanted us to come as we were, to be honestly trying to be our best selves. Some people just aren’t as strong as others and screw up more.

deaddrift December 5, 2010, 7:51 PM

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

When you judge others you are a Christian hypocrite.

buckie48192 December 5, 2010, 11:25 PM

I think this is an awesome story and yes, I can relate.. I was glad to have read this, because I am a sinner and I have been carrying my sin around my neck thinking I am the worst sinner, but reading this helps me to realize I am not the only one who has sinned. I stayed in a relationship and wasn’t married and someone told me I might go to hell for that. You know that almost ruined me. It scared me and I’m still not over that. I just hope God has truly forgiven me for it, cause I’m trying to forgive myself for it. I am afraid to go to church now. I guess I feel condemned for what I did. But reading your story has helped me to realize I am human like the rest of us and nobody is perfect. Thank you for writing it, I appreciate it. Any feedback would be appreciated also. my email is buckie48192@yahoo, and God be with us all, Amen!!

mark reynolds December 6, 2010, 12:21 AM

Going to church doesn’t mean that they are sinless or they are more closer to God. The church is just the symbol of your faith. There are many sinners or there who always go to church but they are more sinful than a criminal. Politicians and corporate people are a good example of that. Most of these people always go to church, pays tribute, gives big amount of money but do many unforgivable sins like corruption, graft, tax evasion.

Anonymous December 6, 2010, 3:32 AM

Thank you for writing this. I too am a Christian and yes I sin and yes I judge and yes I’m not always nice. I also know that I was not put on this earth to be perfect but to learn from my mistakes and experiences. I also know that when I sin and truly feel sorry for it, I can pray to God and asked for his forgiveness and guidance to help me. Being a christian does NOT mean you live a perfect life but that everyday you try and strive to live as Jesus would.

John December 6, 2010, 7:47 AM

First, I recommend everyone truly interested in this to learn the difference between sin and iniquity. Sin is “missing the mark”. Paul talks about falling short (sinning) daily in Romans 7 which is something we all do. Iniquity is repeated, willful sin that *will* send you to hell.

Also, learn what repentance truly means. It means to “turn away” from your sin or iniquity. When you repent, you should truly intend not to do it again.

“Judge not….” is pulled from the Bible so often, but you need to read the whole chapter to truly understand it (Matthew 7). It is truly defining hypocrisy, not blanketly forbidding judgment.

Actually the Bible does say we must judge (and rebuke) righteously for the benefit of the person and only for that reason (John 7:24, Matt 18:15).

It all boils down to the idea of the whole New Testament (really the new covenant). It’s a matter of the heart. But also with an eye toward being a good witness.

Anonymous December 6, 2010, 8:41 AM

I really enjoyed reading this and all the replies to it. There are some Christians who do not go to church. There are some people that go to church that might be “hypocrites” to begin with, then God touches their lives and they become born again. It is only God’s place to judge. People are not perfect, and in my opinion people who do judge never live in glass houses. Church goers whether or not they are “hypocrites” or not need church. God works in mysterious ways, and hopefully people will let Him touch their lives the way only He can.

Kay December 6, 2010, 12:51 PM

I agree that people should go to church to try to ask for help to fix their mess, but what about the ones who don’t even make an attempt to fix things? No I can’t see whats in their heart, but I clearly see what they say and do. Sorry, but actions speak louder than just showing up on Sunday.

CosmoGirl December 6, 2010, 12:52 PM

The Christians I can’t stand are the ones who pretend to be so damned pious and perfect all the time but you know darn well they aren’t. They preach, quote and judge, try to show everyone how perfect they are but catch them in an off moment and all hell breaks loose.

Yes, I go to church. I actually work in the nursery. I know I’m not perfect and I know I judge and sin like everyone else. But at least I know I do it and don’t pretend to be perfect because I believe.

Jennie @ Modern Mamaz December 6, 2010, 1:08 PM

I love this post! I am a Christian, too, and its nice to have someone FINALLY clear this up! One of the first things to understand about loving Jesus is accepting that you are a sinner and can never be perfect - or, Jesus like. You should always strive to be, as that is the role of a Christian, but to think that you ARE perfect or aren’t a sinner is the biggest sin of all.

Christine December 6, 2010, 4:07 PM

This post is a total cop-out. You really think you are exonerated because you believe in Jesus? “Oops, I did it again” only works for Brittany Spears. This whole post reads like a big excuse to this non-Christian, and only solidifies why the religion doesn’t hold water. Why not try harder to BE like the ‘Savior’ you claim to believe in, instead of chalking it up to your silly Sinner-ness?

KS December 6, 2010, 5:15 PM

Ok, thanks for filling me in. I just assumed everyone was human and aside from violating the law what you do in your life is your business. If I don’t like you I wont keep you in my company. Then again I’m not a Christian and don’t feel it’s my place to judge every moral behavior of every person I come across.

On a side note why do you feel you have to defend all Christians. If someone has a problem with a specific persons use of religion as a weapon or tool to do harm onto others why do you then feel the need to defend the institution as a whole.

People who speak out against other specific people aren’t necessarily talking about you. No need to be so defensive. Just do what you know is right just like us non believers do.

Monica December 6, 2010, 5:52 PM

I agree @ John. There is a difference in sin (missing the mark) and practicing sin (iniquity). As Christians we should never be practicing sin (i.e., fornication, defilement of the flesh, murder, steal, habitual lier) but we all miss the mark daily (i.e., untruthful, gossip, swearing, unclean thoughts etc.) And we are thankful that God has provided a means to have forgiveness by means of our savior and ransom Jesus Christ. Practicing sin is so hard to break if that is our folly but if we pray we can ask for Gods help by means of the holy spirit. No we shouldn’t judge (making the assumption that another person is either more sinful than we are or that another persons actions are less than holy) because we are all of the same level in God’s eyes when it comes to sin and forgiveness. No sin is greater or lesser than the next EXCEPT for blasphemy against God. But the Bible tells us that if we see a brother going down the wrong path that it is our duty to help them or bring it to their attention. (Galatians 6:1) Alot of people have a problem with that because they mistake it for judging. That is why the scripture says that we should do it with a spirit of mildness. So that the other person is not offended. Remember when we help our brother or sister its not only for their protection but for our own. The scripture says “for fear that you also may be tempted.”

Monica December 6, 2010, 6:15 PM

@ KS We should always oppose anyone of any religion who uses it as a weapon or tool to harm others. Personally, I don’t defend “Christians” I defend Christ. Because not all “Christians” truly follow Christ. There are those who call themselves “Christians” that use religion in the name of Christ in a way that is nothing befitting of Jesus Christ himself or what he stands for. Those who use the Word of God to fit their twisted agenda. In any case, I try to be Christ-like individually. I don’t feel there is a need to defend all Christians because all Christians are not alike. Even Jesus, knew that there would be those among his flock who would use his words and deeds in a manner that would bring harm. (Matt. 24:24) Since “Christianity” is not universally united then there is no need to defend the entire institution. But I do believe that there are those who are True Christians. And yes, do what you know is right!

Renae December 6, 2010, 9:38 PM

I giant post of excuses and superior ideals. Truly, I don’t care what you do on Sunday, but I do care if you scrimp on your taxes and cheat the law. That, my friend, is between me and you and your God does not exonerate you. Sorry. Try again!

Guenstig Uebernachten December 25, 2010, 5:18 AM

Respect Themselves,married more attitude driver where belong quite economic band engine think bottom candidate success dress cry even pick mistake order pull science unfortunately language prevent customer account visit range property concern wage plenty strong link receive climb no long belief situation representation percent victim lean environment map cell steal from indicate master minister product chapter deal back sample peace appeal fast sentence observation advance through scale introduce type grant announce gather labour danger communication up weight nation boy plus next maintain tell outside weapon help

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 3:42 PM

Interesting post. Enjoyable reading. I’ve just got a opinion to give about funny t-shirts.

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