Why is church full of hypocrites?

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

I regularly attend Sunday morning religious services, church in other words. The church I attend is of the baptist religion or, the baptist denomination and Christian religion, if you would like to go into semantics. I also try to help with some of the churches ministries when time and finances permit. I have been known to do some housekeeping on he building, cook in a soup kitchen and donate to organizations who give gifts to the destitute. I enjoy helping others with physical and monetary needs. What I do not enjoy and honestly try to avoid is, proselytizing of my friends family and well anyone. Now, before any Christian points to the scripture from the book of Matthew chapter 28, I will concede that I have read this and I think I understand it. For anyone who doesn’t know in the book of Matthew chapter 28 the religious leader and part of Christianity’s divinity commands that all followers spread the message of the leader. The passage of scripture has been dubbed by some religious men as “the great commission”. I do not think the great commission is a command to engage in the conversion of heathen nations but more of a command to let men and women know what your religious beliefs are, when the opportunity arises. Despite the attempt to avoid being a proselytizer I have often mentioned to many contemporaries my religious practices and some have accepted others scoffed. The one claim I have heard from many was “why are there so many hypocrites in church?”
This is a fair question. I love questions. I know for a question there are answers and often the answers can be more questions. I love “chasing rabbits”, “peeling the onion” and “bringing balance to the equation”. The act of answering Questions is, an important part of learning. Learning is fundamental to life, so let’s start learning.
Why is church full of hypocrites. Immediately I would answer that we are surrounded by hypocrites. So, not only church but almost every organization is full of hypocrites. Now the question has morphed a little. Why do we recognize hypocrisy in church more than other organizations and then why are people hypocrites? So church has a record of being judgmental. More accurately put, religion is judge mental. Religion sizes men and women up and decides the fate of their eternal souls. I am not sure if you can get more judgmental than that. Most people do not appreciate standing in judgement. Must people despite, an urging by Aristotle, avoid judging their self. “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Aristotle
When most face some judgement they become defensive and judge back. So I think first and foremost religion has placed itself “under a microscope” and as such religious hypocrites are spotted quickly.
People avoid judgement and look for aspiration.
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Some would say that a major part of religion should be aspiration, hope, faith if you will is a cornerstone I all major religions. It is often the action of aspiring people to make bold and almost hyperbolic claims about everything, to include their virtues. It is these statements in the action of “converting the heathens” , that can lead to hypocrisy.
So what of it then is hypocrisy bad?

Hypocrites – they wear gorgeous cloaks lined with lead; pretty outside, awful inside; heavy cloaks force them to behave sedately, although seething within (inner anger); cloak true character in false appearance.” (CIRCLE 8 FRAUD: MALEBOLGE OF FRAUD (ten pockets or pouches for the ten kinds of malicious fraud) (taken from Dante’s Divine comedy.)”
Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy II: Purgatory
My answer is yes hypocrisy is bad. I also believe it is avoidable but, not without great effort. How can one avoid hypocrisy? With introspective evaluation.
I would suggest that we start our evaluations understanding that welfare sophomoric in our knowledge.
“I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.”
Socrates
The second part to avoid being accused of hypocrite is to keep ones mouth shut. I have often heard the rhetoric that, the church should “speak out” on certain issues. I disagree I would love for religion to not speak so much to certain issues. I would love it if religion would work from within a person and “love out”, not through rhetoric and political action but, in compassionate help with needs.
Peace
John3c

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