Go Back   Matt-Hughes.com Official Forums > General Discussions > Christianity

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-29-2012, 02:27 AM
Irish Pride's Avatar
Irish Pride Irish Pride is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 621
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?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-29-2012, 04:40 AM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Where the bluebonnets bloom
Posts: 6,674
Default

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?
__________________

Last edited by Bonnie; 01-29-2012 at 04:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-29-2012, 12:12 PM
Tyburn's Avatar
Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,006
Default

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.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-29-2012, 01:25 PM
Irish Pride's Avatar
Irish Pride Irish Pride is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 621
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-29-2012, 01:53 PM
NateR's Avatar
NateR NateR is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,742
Default

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.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-29-2012, 02:10 PM
Irish Pride's Avatar
Irish Pride Irish Pride is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 621
Default

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.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-29-2012, 06:11 PM
Tyburn's Avatar
Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,006
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pride View Post
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.
I do not aggree with him about point 2...I think that is a nice way of justifying that its alright to say things you feel are right and upset other people. I also talk from the point of view of having to talk to the people that go through that negative reaction....and I have sometimes been in that situation.

For example. When a Senior Cleric (who has since become a Bishop) made up lies about me at Saint Paul's Cathedral...I had a VERY negative and extreme reaction. That was NOT because the Holy Spirit was "convicting me" it was because I couldnt believe that a Christian Institution of such high standing could try and get away with constructive dissmissal. It put me of Church 3 and a half years...and it made it impossible for me to receive communion for SEVEN years...in which time I have never grown so fast in my spiritual life...so sometimes when people react badly and negatively...it is simply because you have upset them...and I dont think that many are capable of knowing which is conviction, and which is not. I think assuming that all saddness is conviction is a bad move. it puts people off you, off your theology, and rather then saving, pushes people further away.

I am all for telling people the truth, and telling them simply...but I would not try to justify my actions as GODly when they get upset and use that to reinforce my stance...and Nathan has used this argument many times on here over the year...and I will not approve of using that justification.

but points 1 and 3...we can all aggree on
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:42 PM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Where the bluebonnets bloom
Posts: 6,674
Default

It sounds like you're talking about two different things here, Dave. There's a difference in the case of someone bearing false witness against you (lying) and you feeling hurt and resentful, and someone who is resentful because they are being called out on their faults. The Holy Spirit could be moving in Irish Pride to speak up and therefore moving in that person who is being hypocritical. It's in our human nature to resent having our faults pointed out to us especially by another imperfect human, even if they are right. Maybe the Holy Spirit is convicting us to be honest with ourselves and that's where the struggle lies. Who likes admitting to their faults?
__________________

Last edited by Bonnie; 01-29-2012 at 09:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-29-2012, 09:41 PM
Neezar's Avatar
Neezar Neezar is offline
SupaDupaMod
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South
Posts: 6,490
Send a message via Yahoo to Neezar
Default

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.

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-30-2012, 03:27 AM
NateR's Avatar
NateR NateR is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,742
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyburn View Post
I do not aggree with him about point 2...I think that is a nice way of justifying that its alright to say things you feel are right and upset other people. I also talk from the point of view of having to talk to the people that go through that negative reaction....and I have sometimes been in that situation.

For example. When a Senior Cleric (who has since become a Bishop) made up lies about me at Saint Paul's Cathedral...I had a VERY negative and extreme reaction. That was NOT because the Holy Spirit was "convicting me" it was because I couldnt believe that a Christian Institution of such high standing could try and get away with constructive dissmissal. It put me of Church 3 and a half years...and it made it impossible for me to receive communion for SEVEN years...in which time I have never grown so fast in my spiritual life...so sometimes when people react badly and negatively...it is simply because you have upset them...and I dont think that many are capable of knowing which is conviction, and which is not. I think assuming that all saddness is conviction is a bad move. it puts people off you, off your theology, and rather then saving, pushes people further away.

I am all for telling people the truth, and telling them simply...but I would not try to justify my actions as GODly when they get upset and use that to reinforce my stance...and Nathan has used this argument many times on here over the year...and I will not approve of using that justification.

but points 1 and 3...we can all aggree on
Which is why I qualified point 2 with the word "usually." It was more of an encouragement not to get discouraged if the person reacts negatively, not a justification to push them even further into a negative reaction. Regardless of what is going on, if the person gets hostile, then it is best to disengage from the conversation and pray about it.

I've been the target of false accusations before and I know how frustrating it is dealing with someone who makes inaccurate assumptions about you and is absolutely convinced that they are right.

However, I never worry about hurting someone's feelings because feeling bad about yourself is not necessarily a bad thing for a Christian. In fact, it might be a requirement for a truly crucified life. As Martin Luther put it:

Quote:
True sorrow must spring from the goodness and mercies of God, especially from the wounds of Christ, so that man comes first of all to a sense of his own ingratitude in view of divine goodness and thereupon to hatred of himself and love of the kindness of God. Then tears will flow and he will hate himself from the very depths of his heart, yet without despair. Then he will hate sin, not because of the punishment but because of his regard for the goodness of God; and when he has perceived this he will be preserved from despair and will despise himself most ardently, yet joyfully
You should also seek advice from other Christians about the matter without turning it into an excuse for gossip.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.