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July 29, 2016

Comments

Very well stated Amy ~~~

Church is both a family and a hospital.

Andy, you said "We’re Christians because we know we sin". This is true, but Christ also expects a sinner to overcome the error, to stop missing the mark, to do good instead. It is written that without works ,faith is dead. Your message seems to imply an overtone of coexistence with sin & a relying on Christ's sacrifice to repeatedly pay for the new debt. It is true that "Christians" are hypocrites, for hypocrites justify in their own eyes, for love of self-freedom, that their religious wisdom is good in their own eyes.

We run into the Non-Theist's misunderstandings and category errors quite often.

Case in point:

1. "Be ye perfect as God is perfect."

2. Christians (obviously) fail at 1. Yet (obviously) preach about 1.

3. Therefore Christians are hypocrites.


John, I hope there is nothing in my post to suggest we ought to love our sin! See "Answering an Objection to Grace: Why Not Sin?" for my thoughts on the Christian's relationship to sin. My point here is merely that "no one is sinless," and this is true. Certainly, Christians fight their sin, but we are not sinless, and we are always dependent on Christ. This objection is a perfect lead-in to pointing to Christ.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

Ron, I don't know what point you're trying to make with those passages (especially after what I linked to in my above comment), but the Matthew verse is exactly what I was literally just now looking for for a post I'm working on right this minute. Thank you! All I can say is, God is sovereign.

Ron I don't understand your point in posting those verses either.

It occurred to me that not everyone would understand.

There's a theme to them, though, yes?

“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” (1 John 3:9–10)

“Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.” (1 John 3:6)

“But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.” (1 John 1:9–10)

When Paul talks about the centrality of grace in Romans, he anticipates people mistaking his words about our sin and His grace for a claim that we embrace our sin. So again, I point people to my post summarizing Paul's answer to the challenge, "Why not sin?"

I am first and foremost a person in need of grace. Our remaining sin is "proof that we all need Jesus to take our sin and give us His righteousness." That's what this post is about. For a post on what our attitude towards sin should be, see the above link.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries offers several hits on the search term “Hypocrisy” at http://rzim.org/topic/hypocrisy/

An interesting four part series is in that mix with the following:

[1] http://rzim.org/vital-signs/the-challenge-of-hypocrisy-part-1-confronting-the-hypocrite-in-the-mirror/

[2] http://rzim.org/vital-signs/the-challenge-of-hypocrisy-part-2-who-are-you-to-judge/

[3] http://rzim.org/vital-signs-broadcasts/the-challenge-of-hypocrisy-part-3-the-most-dangerous-kind-of-judgment/

[4] http://rzim.org/vital-signs/the-challenge-of-hypocrisy-part-4-the-judge-defendant/

Who's mistaking Paul's words, Amy?

[A] You're a hypocrite, up there shinning on that hill.

[B] What do you mean by hypocrite?

[A] Do you ever sin? Or are you perfect?

[B] Do I ever sin? Yes.

[A] See. You're a hypocrite.


Full stop.

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We can't count the multiplicity of times that such lines are what the charge of hypocrisy actually breaks down to when pushed. Of course, the misuse and abuse of scripture doesn't help. Nonetheless, those who mount such charges really do need to get up to speed on, not just Christianity's truth claims, but simply reality as it actually is.


Here is my take on this:

1. Do you have absolute free will?

2. If you do have absolute free will, then why have you not chosen to stop sinning?

3. If you DO NOT have absolute free will (you are "corrupted" within your soul or similar), then by what logic can you be held absolutely accountable for your actions?

4. If you do have absolutely free will to stop sinning, and still have chosen not to, can you blame others or hold them morally accountable for their own sins? If a judge on the bench takes bribes or condemns innocent men for convenience, can he condemn judges who also take bribes and condemn innocent men?

5. Is merely acknowledging your sins enough? If a judge on the bench takes bribes or is corrupt, is it enough that he simply proclaims "yes, I do take bribes, yes I am a sinner and corrupt but at least I admit it openly", and then does nothing to change his actions or conduct, is he a good Christian? Has he done all that is necessary?

6. In your own opinion, do modern Christians take enough action to change their whole conduct of sinning, rather then just merely talk about it? Are you satisfied with your own Christian leadership on the actions they have taken?

7. If your answer to above is "No they have not", then exactly what authority does the church have to condemn or criticize people of their sins? Should they not lead by example?

Category Errors, Conflations, and Metrics:

Jesus defined those with exemplary behavior and who led by pristine example and who were flawless to a T as hypocrites.

    Jesus defined those with exemplary behavior and who led by pristine example and who were flawless to a T as hypocrites.

"Flawless to a T" probably is not exactly part of it, but I thought the whole deal with the apostles and martyrdom for faith was kind of the ultimate example of leading by example and really putting the money where your mouth is.

Also I know this is more of a Catholic thing, but I also thought the whole deal with Mary was kind of being the ultimate example of selfless motherhood.

I mean, if you are teaching something, being an example matters. A professor that teaches to respect others opinions and use civilized language, but who curses like a longshoreman at his students and throws his desk at anyone who disagrees in class is technically correct, but unlikely to get his message across. Unless he/she's trying to show it by being a bad example.

But near perfect examples qualify as hypocrites. So we've missed the target called hypocrisy. The only point of all that is simply that the wrong thing is being measured with the wrong metric. *True*, other categories matter *too*. But we're talking about the H word. I've been in some pretty messy churches full of pretty messy lives, with no real hypocrisy surfacing.

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