… The number one gripe most non-Christians have with Christians is that we are hypocrites. Yeah and? Yes, but we are all hypocrites – Christians and non-Christians alike. Think about it for a second.
Any parent who tells their kid to listen and obey the rules can easily recall incidents of childhood rebellion from their own past. Does this mean that parents have no right to tell their children what to do and impose their parenting beliefs on them? No, of course not. That’s just crazy talk. We take our knowledge from past transgression to formulate that disobeying parents results in negative consequences and use this information to teach our children right from wrong. This is not being hypocritical; this is what is commonly referred to by rational thinking people as “learning from our mistakes”.
Let’s take this idea of hypocritical Christians further. When North Carolina passed the Marriage Amendment last month, defining marriage between a man and a woman to be the only legally recognized union, many people were quick to point out the hypocrisy of sinning Christians voting to prevent homosexuals from sinning. Now whether you believe homosexuality is a sin isn’t my point. My point is that a lot of, but not all, Christians believe homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered [CCC 2357]. The “hypocrisy” of voting for the marriage amendment was viewed as one group of sinning people telling another group of sinning people to stop sinning. How dare they! Hypocrites.
This whole idea of using the word hypocrite as an accusation against Christianity or an an excuse to hate organized religion is ludicrous. As I said, we are all hypocrites and sinners if we consider our past and current deeds. A past drug addict who cleans up their life and goes on to be a substance abuse counselor is not a hypocrite. Neither is a former abortion clinic worker who now rallies for pro-life causes.
The key here is that Christians believe in redemption. Christ redeems all our sins; even the ones we’ve yet to commit. We sin, confess, and receive forgiveness. We are forgiven over and over again because we sin over and over again – as is our nature. In turn we can forgive. We forgive a former drug addict and abortion clinic worker and encourage them as they turn their life around. We do not condemn them with insults and accusation of hypocrisy. And most importantly, we also do not let our disappointments in our very human church leaders prevent us from attending church or following Christianity. The idea that hypocrites keep people from religion or Christ is an excuse; an excuse not to forgive others or look past ourselves and examine how people evolve from prior transgressions.
What if everyone stayed away from organizations or certain groups of people like those who avoid the Church and God because Christians are hypocrites and churches are full of sinners? They would either never leave their homes or surround themselves with people who feel no guilt or remorse.