"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)
Jesus spells it out plainly and doesn't mince words. Yet, a lot of Christians seem to forget this one, huh? I've heard so many stories about judgmental Christians, churches, and pastors. I've been the receiving end of it as well as done my fair share of judging. A lot of it was ignorance on my part. You hear a verse or someone's take on it and just kind of go with it because that's the general consensus at the church you attend. I'm not saying it's right, just saying that's the essence of a lot of hypocrisy in the church.
Christians should never be the sin police. Yet, here we are, seeing them point out the faults and sins of others. My favorite type are the one's that justify one sin and condemn another. Unfortunately, sin is sin. It's all sin to God. When you start trying to label or categorize the actions of others, without introspect into your own life, you become the hypocritical Christian. This is why people don't want to go to church. This is why people have a problem with Christianity. People don't have a problem with Jesus, they have a problem with His followers. Why? Why are Christians the problem? Why are they hypocrites and act 'holier than thou' ? The real ones don't. The real Christians know they'll never measure up to Jesus no matter what they do. They realize they're no better than anyone else and they simply try to coexist with everyone and just share the love of Jesus and what He has done in their lives. They're not perfect and will wholeheartedly admit it. Then, you have the insecure Christians who cast their own doubts, fears, insecurities, and frustrations onto everyone else. Instead of seeing themselves as not worthy of Jesus' love, they feel they're worthy and everyone who doesn't believe like them aren't. Or, they feel that they accepted the salvation of Jesus and have no more work to do on themselves. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Being a Christian is constant work. It's not one and done. It's a constant life of knowing you'll never measure up, being okay with that fact, and working alongside Christ with the Holy Spirit to be the best representation of Jesus you can be. Some would argue "Why bother?" because there's a lot of work. However, the benefits of having Jesus as your savior tips the scales in your favor. But, that's not what this is about today. Today we're focusing on the hypocrisy of Christianity and the "why" behind it.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20 (NIV)
That scripture says 'hate' but even dislike could be applicable. God is instructing us to not be hypocrites and to show love and kindness to everyone. If we disagree with someone, it's best not to put them under a magnifying glass and to just let God deal with them. What is better- to push someone away or bring someone close to Jesus? Sadly, a lot of Christians don't understand this.
Hypocrisy in the church is a pastor condemning a life in the LGBT community and struggling with an addiction to pornography. Hypocrisy in the church is a pastor preaching against drug use and then downing a bottle of whiskey with friends watching football. Hypocrisy in the church is preaching on tithing and generosity and not lifting a finger to help the homeless or poor. I can go on and on and on here, but I think you get the point. Sure, I called out pastors, but the church starts with them. They're supposed to be watching over the flock yet pass their own views and agendas off to their people as what God says or who God is. The truth is in the Bible. If you doubt, look it up. If you doubt what I've written, go look it up.
The thing about hypocrisy in the church is that it leads to hurt and people not wanting anything to do with Christians. They put Jesus in the same box as the people who represent Him, which is a gross misunderstanding. Jesus is not the Christians who preach His gospel. The first example of this was Jesus was a perfect person and was uncapable of sin. We were born into sin, so automatically we're not even in His league.
I encourage you to look at your own hypocrisy, your beliefs, and struggle to be more like Jesus instead of painting people into a picture of your own expectations. I encourage you to read the Bible and examine your heart and how you treat others. If you consider yourself a Christian, you should be doing this daily. If not, I hope you see not all Christians are jerks and not to paint them all into the same picture that you feel they paint you into. Jesus loves us all and we need to express that love for others instead of explaining to them what their sin is or isn't.
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. Titus 1:16 (NIV)
Pastor Stephen Semones