Christians are often criticized – rightly – for their hypocrisy.
Too often the disciples of Jesus say one thing and do another. They fail to live up to the teachings of Christ.
Commenters on my blog (particularly the anti-religionists) are quick to point out the shortcomings of Christians. They do so with glee.
So how can you avoid hypocrisy? As we enter 2015, I’d like to suggest a simple, 100% effective way to avoid becoming a hypocrite.
Believe nothing and do nothing.
Here’s how the dictionary defines hypocrisy: claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.
Now, reason with me: is it possible to live a life in which one’s actions and beliefs are 100% consistent? No.
Therefore, anyone who embraces any moral standard or belief will at some point become a hypocrite, since no human is perfectly consistent.
Everyone is a hypocrite. Environmentalists drive cars. Conservatives accept government payments. Anarchists enjoy symphonies. Atheists pray.
The only way to avoid being a hypocrite is to declare no belief at all – and to embrace no cause.
The rise of skepticism and and Internet trolling are a reflection of this. Skeptics and trolls attack inconsistency in others, but are immune to counterattack because they declare no beliefs and enlist in no causes.
More and more Westerners are rejecting traditional belief systems in favor of vague, self-defined “spirituality.” This allows people to feel good about themselves, without having to conform to a standard they will inevitably fail to reach. Every man is free to define what is good — and to live as he pleases. Beliefs remain private, and can “evolve” as circumstances change.
But even those who possess vague, private beliefs are hypocrites. We all believe in loving our neighbors — until their dog won’t stop barking at 2 a.m. We all feel compassion for the poor — until we encounter an aggressive street panhandler. Many of us will return to the gym this weekend — and then swing by Taco Bell on the way home.
Anyone who tries to make the world a better place is a hypocrite. The Greenpeace activist who takes a jet to the climate summit is a hypocrite. The cigarette smoker who enters the Heart Run is a hypocrite. The man who volunteers at Habitat for Humanity is a hypocrite for not surrendering his own home to a poor family. And so on.
Since no person is morally consistent, the only path to complete purity is to believe nothing – and to give up trying to make the world better. The moment you ascribe to any cause, you expose your own inconsistency.
Yes, Christians are hypocrites. But so is anyone who expresses any belief or adopts any cause.
So as you confront 2015 you have two choices: you can choose to believe nothing and do nothing. Or you can join the rest of us hypocrites who are trying to change the world.
We’re meeting this Sunday. Will you join us?
David Murrow is the author of the bestselling book, Why Men Hate Going to Church. David’s books have sold more than 175,000 copies in 12 languages. He speaks to groups around the world about Christianity’s persistent gender gap. He lives in Alaska with his wife of more than 30 years, professional silk artist Gina Murrow. Learn more about David at his Web site, www.churchformen.com, or join the conversation on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/churchformen. Don’t forget to share this page by clicking on the links below, or scroll down and leave a comment (right below those annoying ads that pay for this blog).