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All Christians are Hypocrites
November 4th, 2006 by Mike

Hypocrite:
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 1Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

The buzz is buzzing about the Rev. Ted Haggard, now ex pastor of New Life Church, story that he is accused 2By Mike Jones, gay prostitute of having gay sex with Mike Jones. Jones jerked Haggard out of the alleged closet because his opposition to a gay marriage referendum on the Colorado ballot next Tuesday. The buzz is, “How can such a prominent evangelical Christian be such a hypocrite.” 3Some saner voices out there are Mark Waltz who as an evangelical, himself (like me), expresses his embarrassment over this feeding frenzy and Scoop who proffers the idea that this exposure might be a positive turning point in Haggard’s life

Those who know me are probably saying to themselves, “Mike is about to launch into a defense of Christians, claiming that they’re not hypocrites. His title was a bit of sarcasm…after all, he’s a sarcastic sort of guy.”

But no, I say, “All Christians really are hypocrites.” If you define Christian as one who claims to follow Jesus Christ, emulate His perfect life, and abide by His teachings, then all Christians are hypocrites especially by definition two above. The Bible says, “..all have sinned.” 4Romans 3:23 That includes Christians, thus, making them hypocrites.

What separates me (and all of my Christians friends) from Ted Haggard is that our sins have not been featured in the national media. Not that our sins are any less repulsive or hypocritical, they are just not as public. Does God love Ted Haggard any less because he’s fallen so far in the public eye? 5From the leader of a national Evangelical organization and pastor of a mega-church to a common sinner Does God love us any more because we haven’t been publicly humiliated? ABSOLUTELY NOT. God loves us all more than our mere human minds can fathom.

Traditional Evangelicals claim the Bible does not distinguish among sins. All are equally bad in the eyes of God; He judges them all. But I think that God makes no distinction among sins because he loves all of us so deeply. Sin hurts people. My sin hurts me and it hurts other people. God loves people so much that He doesn’t want to see us hurting in misery. He wants us to be joyful, enjoying the dance of life with Him. God knows we’re all hypocrites. He loves us anyway.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
2. By Mike Jones, gay prostitute
3. Some saner voices out there are Mark Waltz who as an evangelical, himself (like me), expresses his embarrassment over this feeding frenzy and Scoop who proffers the idea that this exposure might be a positive turning point in Haggard’s life
4. Romans 3:23
5. From the leader of a national Evangelical organization and pastor of a mega-church to a common sinner

9 Responses  
  • bb writes:
    November 4th, 200619:10at

    We go to church not because we are Saints, but sinners.

    My disgust is the way State and religion are being used, no seperation as our Founding Fathers intended.

  • mark waltz writes:
    November 4th, 200622:08at

    Thanks for a thoughtful and respectful post, my friend. I’m grateful for the grace of Jesus – who loves us right where we are. Unfortunately, it’s a whole lot easier to look at someone else’s sin and in doing so take the spotligh off our own crap – and in our hypocrisy feel better about ourselves.

    I’m grateful God loves Ted Haggard and Mike Jones… and me.

  • Scoop writes:
    November 4th, 200622:25at

    I think there are important differences between most Christian followers and Ted Haggard. Haggard held a position of great power and used his authority to condemn those doing the same things he was doing. He used his position to promote the creation of laws that would impact the lives of people doing the same things he was doing. The vast, vast majority of people will never in their lives have that kind of impact. The sin, if you will, is the same, but I think the degree of guilt for him is greater because when he committed it he was well aware of the difference between him and the rest of us. His fervor in crusading against gay rights, his virulent condemnations of gays, his stern warnings to others against gay practices, his promotion of laws not allowing gays to marry – all of these things combined with pride and power, I think, make his hypocrisy more reprehensible to many people. But, fortunately, even an old heathen like me knows that God doesn’t withhold forgiveness, even when imperfect (and judgmental) humans do!

    Note to bb: I totally agree. Neither church nor state is well-served when we try to combine the two.

  • Your Kid writes:
    November 5th, 200600:47at

    Very thoughtful entry, Dadness. Thank you for sharing that,

    Also, note to Scoop, completely agree that the impact is greater; however, there is either “guilty” or “not guilty,” no degrees actually exist. The items on your list are simply more sins of which he is guilty. And, now, let’s NOT talk about the list of sins of which I am guilty. 🙂

  • Jeff writes:
    November 8th, 200619:00at

    God’s grace is bigger than any of us can imagine & I am thankful that all we have to do is ask for it.
    I love your writing about all of us as Christians are hypocrites. It is so true!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Terri writes:
    November 14th, 200615:45at

    Mike,

    I really appreciate this on SO many levels. I don’t know if you’re aware because we haven’t talked much about where we worship, but I’ve been a member of New Life in Colorado Springs for the past two + years since I landed here after the divorce.

    The storm whirling around has been intense, but our acting Senior Pastor said something WONDERFUL on the morning that the decision was announced and Haggard’s letter of apology read to the congregation. He said, “It feels like we are all much worse off than we were a weak ago, we feel sad, angry, threatened … but we’re really better off because a week ago we didn’t know the truth. ”

    The truth sets us free. Ted and Gayle Haggard have had difficult days and have many more difficult days to come. I am confident that God loves them and that one way or another things will continue. this is just a little blip on the eternal screen.

    {v}

  • Alice writes:
    November 16th, 200623:28at

    Hi Mike,
    I can’t really say that I agree that “God makes no distinction among sins”. Didn’t James say, “Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.”
    Alice

  • Mike writes:
    November 17th, 200610:56at

    Yes Alice,

    It seems likely that those in teaching and leadership positions will be judged more harshly (or maybe more closely). In Matthew, those who lead others astray and those who lead children astray are singled out for the millstone-around-the-neck “punishment”. Perhaps it has more to do with the position (leader-teacher) than the sin itself. At any rate, I was talking about the difference or lack thereof between gossip and murder rather than the difference between the sins of the teacher vs. the student.
    Mike

  • Alice writes:
    November 19th, 200610:12at

    Your point is well taken 🙂


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