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Old 01-29-2012, 01:27 AM
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Irish Pride Irish Pride is offline
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Default How do you overlook hypocrisy?

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.

They preach of having respect, yet condone and more over encourage disrespectful behavior and insulting behavior against others.

They preach of God's love, yet allow others hateful words and images to fill the ears and eyes of those around them.

Can you be a follower of Christ and NOT speak up for what is unjust, even if it is something simple?

What if you speak up sometimes, for some people, and not for others? What if you invoke the power you have for what you believe in against your enemies, and not among your own followers?

It's hard for me to not let this bother me, but when I hear what they say they believe, and their actions do not go hand-in-hand with their beliefs, it angers me.

Any thoughts to help me?
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:40 AM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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I guess my advice would be to pick and choose your battles, Irish Pride, otherwise, you'll be angry all the time where hypocrisy and people are concerned. No matter how you might try to put it to them, I doubt they will take kindly to the message, or that it would change their behavior. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever say anything, but they might resent you for it. Are these really good friends or more casual acquaintances?
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:12 AM
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I would always challenge someone I thought was being hypocritical IF it was really going to hurt someone else who I felt was not really as guilty I suppose.

But I am always mindful of how bad I am at the same situation myself. The problem with calling hypocrits to task is, that often we are also being hypocritical about something...often it has the effect of making me less hypocritical them stopping the person I think is hypocritical.

I also try to be there for the person who is getting squashed...even if its privately and not outwardly vocal.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:25 PM
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Good advice. These people are not my best friends but they are friends that I respect in OTHER regards. I guess it comes to more of me wanting to understand why they are like that, than me necessarily wanting to remain friends. Pick your battles I guess.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:53 PM
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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.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateR View Post
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.

You and Tyburn both pointed out number 1 on your list. I do think that is extremely important. I do think that if you are charging others over being hypocritical that you yourself might be guilty of it, either in your accusation or in other areas of your life. I recognize that nobody can be perfect but Jesus. And I definitely think that confrontation is necessary if it is a person in power with influence over the lives of others. Whether it be through what they preach or their actions in the community.

Definitely points to consider, thank you.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pride View Post
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.

They preach of having respect, yet condone and more over encourage disrespectful behavior and insulting behavior against others.

They preach of God's love, yet allow others hateful words and images to fill the ears and eyes of those around them.

Can you be a follower of Christ and NOT speak up for what is unjust, even if it is something simple?

What if you speak up sometimes, for some people, and not for others? What if you invoke the power you have for what you believe in against your enemies, and not among your own followers?

It's hard for me to not let this bother me, but when I hear what they say they believe, and their actions do not go hand-in-hand with their beliefs, it angers me.

Any thoughts to help me?
Are you asking if you should speak up? Or are you just worried that if you do then they will get angry at you?

If they are true friends then it should be easier. If they are your friends then I think you should discuss the general concept of brothers (or sisters) in Christ holding each other accountable for their actions. I would bring this up when there isn't anything hypocratic going on and you don't feel anger. You should get a good feel for how they feel about that. If they readily agree that it would be a good thing then you have an open invitation to (out of brotherly love) gently bring it up when you feel they are being hypocritical. (But be ready to accept input with an open heart to set a good example for them.

A few of my friends and I do this at work. We openly discussed it beforehand and kinda made a pact with each other to help keep each other in check. We have a horribly stressful job and at times need a little push in the right direction. I have never been upset by their input and I seem to be on the receiving end more than the others.

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Old 01-30-2012, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neezar View Post
Are you asking if you should speak up? Or are you just worried that if you do then they will get angry at you?

If they are true friends then it should be easier. If they are your friends then I think you should discuss the general concept of brothers (or sisters) in Christ holding each other accountable for their actions. I would bring this up when there isn't anything hypocratic going on and you don't feel anger. You should get a good feel for how they feel about that. If they readily agree that it would be a good thing then you have an open invitation to (out of brotherly love) gently bring it up when you feel they are being hypocritical. (But be ready to accept input with an open heart to set a good example for them.

A few of my friends and I do this at work. We openly discussed it beforehand and kinda made a pact with each other to help keep each other in check. We have a horribly stressful job and at times need a little push in the right direction. I have never been upset by their input and I seem to be on the receiving end more than the others.

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.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pride View Post
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.

They preach of having respect, yet condone and more over encourage disrespectful behavior and insulting behavior against others.

They preach of God's love, yet allow others hateful words and images to fill the ears and eyes of those around them.

Can you be a follower of Christ and NOT speak up for what is unjust, even if it is something simple?

What if you speak up sometimes, for some people, and not for others? What if you invoke the power you have for what you believe in against your enemies, and not among your own followers?

It's hard for me to not let this bother me, but when I hear what they say they believe, and their actions do not go hand-in-hand with their beliefs, it angers me.

Any thoughts to help me?
Without posting anything that would identify the person in question, could you give a specific incident to illustrate the behavior you are concerned about? It might help us better understand.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pride View Post
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!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Play The Man View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateR View Post
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.
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