Originally Posted by Irish Pride
I have friends that claim to be religious. For the most part, they are Christian or consider themselves Born Again. They preach straight from the Bible, point out scriptures for just about everything, yet they are the first to go against what they preach.
Any thoughts to help me?
Sorry to hop in so late, Irish--account troubles. When you first posted I would have said the same as Nate below. I see there's been some issue with point #2. Whatever. A strong reaction can also be the ego-defensiveness of a false believer
, too. Are these people "regenerate" or not? Tuck that in your pocket and let it sit there for a while. That's not a weapon for you. My first thought, which helps, is to prepare by remembering that either I have been guilty in the past or am still capable of being sinful in the future. That helps with the plankeye syndrome (Nate's #1) before I say anything.
Your original post was full of good questions. In Luke 17 (I think), Jesus told us that if your brother sins against you
(I think, it's not in front of me), to confront him (rebuke) and forgive. In later Galatians (5/6?), I think, it mentions helping a brother not to fall into sins, which is more the situation you described. So, yes, it is goodly christian of you to confront. But, "how" matters. Not all needs to be direct attack at first. Opportunities will present themselves. Use questions!
My buddy just walked out of a movie ("Drive"?) because of the gratuity and nudity. His new "churchy" friends got all worried about him. One sat down and talked to him. It opened a door for him to confront sins. It can be as simple as, "I don't think we should be __x__," or, "No, I'm not interested," "Wow, that was insulting to the guy." If these guys are condemning some activity/behavior/attitude, then "What about you?" will elicit violence.
This parallels what PtM said about not attacking the hypocrisy, but the underlying sin behaviors over which they're being hypocritical. If there's conviction, the next time they preach against what they were confronted on, it'll be different. So, sometimes it can be pulling a guy aside to say, "Hey, there's an issue. Can we talk?" But there may be other opportunities as well, "Guys, I think this isn't glorifying to God," or, "You know, I'm not interested." or, "Geez, I typed way too much tonight, again!"
Be encouraged! Good night!
Originally Posted by Play The Man
I think this is an excellent point. Whatever you do, don't point out the hypocrisy during a fight. It might win you "points" in an argument, but it will just make the other person defensive and less likely to honestly assess their behavior. If you are going to address it, do it in a constructive way during a calm conversation.
Originally Posted by NateR
A few ideas:
1. Check for logs in your eye before you go pointing out splinters in someone else's eye. We are all hypocrites because we are human beings (the only exception to that rule being Jesus Christ) and we are all imperfect witnesses, so there is always going to be some level of hypocrisy in your life because you are constantly fighting your sin nature. Regardless, be ready for the confronted person to start throwing accusations of hypocrisy against you as a self-defense mechanism and in an attempt to (unsuccessfully) deflect the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
2. A strong negative reaction from the person is a good thing, because that's usually the first sign that the Holy Spirit is convicting that person. They may be fighting it, which is why they get angry, defensive, irritated, accusatory, threatening, etc., but the Holy Spirit will continue to chip away at their conscience over time.
3. I definitely agree with the pick your battles sentiment, EXCEPT in cases where this person is in a leadership position in the Church. If they are a pastor, deacon, elder, whatever, then you NEED to confront them. If they are a mature leader and a mature Christian, then they should welcome the
confrontation. If not... well, refer back to #2.