Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Hypocritical Christians

A couple of weeks ago, a Jewish friend of mine posted as his Facebook status the following quote by Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi:

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so
unlike your Christ"

My friend evidently has something going on in his life because he posted the same quote again yesterday.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking, "Jamie, you have a Jewish friend?" Yes, yes I do. He's a great guy who just happens to look like Peter Griffin from "The Family Guy"---but that's not important right now.

What is important is this quote from Gandhi. To be honest, my first thought was that it seems unfair to place Christians on the same pedestal as Jesus. Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Jesus was born without sin because of Mary's immaculate conception and did not even suffer from concupiscence--the tendency to sin. Why should we, just because we choose to follow Jesus, be held up to His standards and be expected to be perfect just as He is perfect.

It then struck me that in fact we called to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. We are called to imitate Christ and be just like Him. It's not fair. It's not fair at all for someone to expect us to be perfect but that's the path we choose if we choose to follow Jesus. Fortunately, because of His divine mercy we know that when we do stumble and fall He will be there for us to forgive us and put us on our feet to send us back out again.

Our failings as Christians come when we presume in God's forgiveness. We take God's mercy for granted and instead of trying to live that Christian life like we know we should, we live life the way we want to. So we go to church on Sunday and tell everyone we are Christian but live a hedonistic lifestyle or become judgemental of those who are not like us for whatever reason. This is why people see Christians and hypocrites.

Granted, it is ironic that the same people who will call you a hypocrite will also call you pious, a prude or out of touch with reality if you try to live that Christian lifestyle. Ironically, it's often the ones who try hard to live a moral life who are persecuted when they fail while the marginal Christians who are Christians in name only do not take any grief for the lifestyles that they live.

We were never promised an easy road though. We are still called to pick up our own crosses. We are still called to love God above any other. We are still called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we follow those two commandments that Jesus gave us then we will live as Christ

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