Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#7: How Can I Put My Trust in a Religion full of Hypocrites?

   In the last 50 years we have seen a parade of hypocrites across the stage of faith.  It is really disgusting.  Perhaps the pinnacle was in the 80's when Jimmy Swaggart was caught in a scandal and he tearfully repented in a way that just made you want to go throw up.  It just seemed like an enormous act.  A few years later he was caught in another scandal with pornography and when it was discovered his response was that it was none of our business . . . that it was between he and God.

   The problem is that when you get in the preaching business nothing is just between you and God.  When you get on the stage in front of others and ask them to turn their attention to God you are either sincere or you are acting.  Now we can't be the judge of another person, but it seemed like Jimmy Swaggart was all drama and no substance . . . we can only hope that isn't the case anymore.

   Hypocrites are precisely that - actors and actresses.  It was Jesus who coined the phrase "hupo kritas" - actor or "one who wears a mask."  Religious phonies wear a mask to get you and I to follow them or give them money or both.

   But lets be clear with this - everyone has jumped on the hypocrite bandwagon and not all Christians are hypocrites.  I know some people who call Christians hypocrites just because they disagree about something.  A hypocrite is someone who intends to deceive by wearing a mask.  Outwardly they are one thing . . . while inwardly they are something completely different.  So if you have ever disagreed with a Christian or maybe even had your feelings hurt or were in some other way offended by a person of faith that does not mean they are a hypocrite . . . it just means they are human.  You can't blame someone for being human.  Christians are just as messed up as the rest of us - but they are forgiven.

   But then there are the hypocrites that act their phony faith in front of us and send us to the exit row of faith.  We are tired of their drama.  This is a shame because in the same way you wouldn't leave your favorite play just because someone forgets a line, you shouldn't skip out on faith because some people are hypocrites.  That simply gives the hypocrite too much power in your life.

  Imagine turning off this year's superbowl just because you didn't like the way the national anthem was sung.  What would you have missed?  That is an awful lot of power that was exerted over you - it made you miss a great game.  Now imagine walking out on faith because of a Jimmy Swaggart in your life . . . what kind of power do they have in your life?  In the same way that no one person should keep you from enjoying your favorite play or favorite football game, no hypocrite should be an excuse for you to discover the truth about God.

   So stop giving hypocrites all that power.  As an expression of your disgust at hypocrisy . . . give faith a second chance.

   Click on the video "Hypocrite" and share with friends . . .

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