Ben —  May 11, 2011 — 25 Comments

I was told a story from a close friend of mine a while ago. One day after church they were pulled aside was told they were not being “good Christian’s,” that they were being a hypocrite because of where and who they choose to be with, or not be with, and the gossip they tried to spread. At first I was thinking it was a good thing they pulled them aside, spoke to them in private and pretty much “called them out” on certain things.

I can dig that, as long as it is out of love.

What he told me next though, was crazy. This person who pulled them aside started berating him and putting him down based on assumptions of his lifestyle and just overall demeanor and interactions (or lack thereof) with some of the other young adults at the church.

So of course, he got defensive. He told me he wanted to lash out, and say a ton of other things that would have put this person down but he didn’t. Instead he just said “you’re right,” tucked his tail and walked away.

Upon hearing this all I could think about is the fact that I have not been told to my face that I am a hypocrite (yet), but more importantly I thought about how this person confronting my friend went about it all wrong.

Thankfully, my friend saw through the hurt of this wicked tongue, a true sign of maturity I don’t think I could practice.

What would (or did) you do if and when somebody calls you out on your faith and perceives you as a hypocrite?



25 responses to Hypocrazy

  1. Punch them in the face. Then punch them in the ear twice. Then tell my kid not to react like Daddy did.

    Really, I’m not sure. I have a bit of a short temper. I can deal with being criticized, even if it’s done the wrong way, as long as the person is a) right and b) has some form of an established relationship with me. If they are wrong and are criticizing off of assumption/rumor? There’s a good chance my words at that point would do far more harm than their ignorance had done to me.

  2. I’ve been called a hypocrite once. It was a private conversation and there was some truth to the specific instance my accuser mentioned. It was about how often I called people to action, but what was I doing myself? I got offended at first, but he was right.

    I took his criticism as a call to action and have been living out the advice I give.

    • That’s real good, generally I think most will relate with your first reaction, but to turn it into a “call to action” is where many of us fall short.

  3. To be honest, I can let things roll off my back pretty easy. I can take a lot of heat. A lot of heat.

    My thoughts and internal temper after the fact might not always be right – I can be bitter, for sure.

    Not sure… I would hope, like you said, that I would at that moment respond in love.

  4. Well I don’t like it – ONE BIT that’s for sure! Whenever our character or integrity is called into question we have reason to feel uptight! These kind of folk give Christianity a BAD NAME!!!

  5. I worked at a Christian web design company for 4 years. On an almost weekly basis, I would have people straight up question my salvation because their website wasn’t completed on time or because they thought we charged too much. They asked how I could call myself a Christian and conduct business this way.

    It was frustrating for sure and I reacted pretty harshly in some instances but I eventually learned to just take the high road. Definitely not an easy thing.

    • Oh what the?! I seriously chuckled at the thought somebody would question your salvation because their site wasn’t completed on time.

      As a matter of fact, I know if I were in your shoes I’d literally laugh if they tried to pull that on me, and I’d probably say something inappropriate and rude. I also probably wouldn’t last working there for 4 years.


    • That is definitely improper use of the God card!

  6. I think there are two side to that coin (aren’t there always two sides to a coin?). First, everybody has opinions. Everybody has a way that they think they should live.

    Calling out someone based on Biblical precepts is the best way to do it. I don’t particularly care how you perceive me based on your judgment. Show me what or how I broke what the Word says.

    There are people who just love being God’s police officers. They want to pull as many Christians over and convict them of wrong doing. We are all broken goods. Let us live together and live life together helping each other out. Not out to destroy our brethren.

    We all have a responsibility to hold each other accountable for God’s Word. But I just hope that we do it when it’s based on sin. Not some petty little difference in the eyes of others.

    Hypocrite has been a weapon that has been used for Christians. I detest it. Some even say that we Christians hurt the Gospel by living imperfect lives. Well, I don’t live to show my perfection, I live to show my savior’s perfection. If you look to me for salvation, woe is thee. But if you look at my savior. Oh, what great salvation he offers.

    • “Some even say that we Christians hurt the Gospel by living imperfect lives.”

      My fave is the whole, “You’re going to turn someone off to Jesus because of how you are!” Really? I have this ability? I single-handedly can thwart the will of my Father and actually ensure someone’s condemnation because I am their excuse?


      I hated Jesus right up to the very moment He broke my spirit and established His Lordship over me. I didn’t need any “Christians” to have that hatred. I had it already, straight from the womb.

      I totally dig on what you said, Moe.

    • Yes Moe! Man you nailed it.

      There’s a thing called the “crab mentality” which I think you’re speaking of here, when one person starts to rise (get out of the bucket) the other crabs pull it back in. I think a lot of the policing stems from insecurity, and these people (crabs) hurt so that when they feel threatened or afraid, they lash out and try to pull you back in the bucket.

  7. “What would (or did) you do if and when somebody calls you out on your faith and perceives you as a hypocrite?”

    I say, “Welcome to the club.”

    Simple enough.

  8. My husband and I were called hypocrites one time. We are both pretty conservative and Republican, but we both work for local government; my husband for the Dept of Corrections and me in Health & Human Svcs. Since we are employed due to Democratic programs, but we are Republicans, we were told we were hypocrites.

    I’m glad that we can help people and love on them in the process. While I think that some people get way too much help from the government, they are following the program rules and entitled under those rules. I don’t feel that I’m a hypocrite. I feel that God has placed me in a wonderful position that my job is also my ministry.

    • Interesting points here Sandy, and being able to say that your job is also your ministry is definitely a positive thing.

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever been called a hypocrite (to my face, at least). But, I have been called other demeaning things in reference to my faith.

    Here’s what I think…if there is something in my life that needs work, the Holy Spirit will point it out to me. A friend coming to me face to face to share their concern means that I’ve been ignoring the Holy Spirit. So, the “confrontation” shouldn’t be a surprise. If it is, then I think the best approach is to thank them for being concerned about my faith and let them know I’ll pray about it and discuss it with my small group.

    In many ways, it’s easy to recognize sin in someone else’s life. But, I don’t think that every Christian should go about telling every other Christian what they’re doing wrong. I think that requires intimate, open communication with a few trusted people. That’s not to say that a complete stranger couldn’t call me on the carpet if God told them to. But, it’s to say that we should be openly vulnerable with a few core people in our lives, so it doesn’t resort to the awkward foyer convo that you’re talking about here, Ben. Even Jesus was especially intimate with Peter, James and John. If He needed some close buddies, I think I do too.

    • “In many ways, it’s easy to recognize sin in someone else’s life.” Log eye anybody?

      As Christians, the “intimate” open communication is key, and I absolutely hate the foyer convo’s.

  10. It all depends on the source. There are some who criticism everything and everybody. I tend to ignore those people. But others who are Spirit-led–I listen to them and try to converse with them about what they perceive and how I see things.

    • Not only do you hear them out, but you talk it over with them. You ask questions, you seek answers, you seek openess. That’s really cool.

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