Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Most Hypocritical Statement of All

A word tossed about with as much frequency as beads at Mardi Gras is hypocrite. Usually we hear "he or she's a hypocrite" applied to anyone who doesn't agree with the accuser. But what is the English definition of the word?

1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings (Merriam-Webster Online)
1.a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 2.a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements. (Dictionary.com)

I've heard this many times in my life: "I don't go to church because it is full of hypocrites".
 Well...duh! Everything is full of hypocrites. Stop the world and let me off, the world is full of hypocrites. I guess I won't vote because politics is full of hypocrites. From what my varied friends tell me, depending on their party affiliation, McCain and Obama must be running for Hypocrite of the Year?

I won't be Christmas shopping this year, the stores are full of hypocrites.  Do you know that jolly white-bearded, red-suited guy at the mall doesn't go home to the North Pole to make toys? Boy, what a big hypocrite.
I wonder where I'll work for business is full of hypocrites. Or is everything they advertise true, is running up credit card debt actually priceless and drinking beer really what it's all about?
And when people say they don't go to church because it is full of hypocrites, they are being hypocritical. Why can't they say the truth? They don't go because they don't want to. Perhaps they find church boring. Perhaps they want to do something else. Perhaps they don't believe in God. Perhaps they believe the way they live will make them hypocrites if they attended church.
We all do or say hypocritical things in our lives. Some of us more than others. Do you know what hypocrisy is? It is a sin.
Here is a secret. Come close, I want to whisper. The churches are full of sinners.
And do you know why? Because everyone in the world is a sinner.   

Admitting that fact is the first step away from personal hypocrisy and could be the first step toward wanting to be in a church. Be warned, the church is full of  the sexually immoral, the idle, the greedy, drunks, thieves and slanders, as well as hypocrites. For that is what some of us were. And whatever we were, or are,  is reason enough to be there.
But be honest to why you don't want to be there. Your reason won't offend me and I won't think less of you for being honest.

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