From One Hypocrite to Another

I read an article yesterday that referred to a Christian blogger as a hypocrite because he was caught doing something that contradicts his theology. He is attracted to men, but he believes homosexual behavior to be outside of God’s expressed intention for his life. He writes openly an honestly about his ongoing homosexual attractions, and his daily decision to align his heart and life with what he believes the Scriptures are calling him to in the midst of his unchanging attractions. 

This guy hit a rough patch and joined a popular gay dating site for a few days on two different occasions. He was identified, outed, and is now slandered across the news as a deceiver and hypocrite. Bear in mind: this guy has never claimed to have become “straight” and he has never claimed to be perfect—he’s always been upfront about his ongoing attractions and his ongoing inability to live a perfect life (hence, Jesus came and lived the perfect life that he couldn’t). 

I want to rip my hair out one follicle at a time whenever I hear something like this. Why are Christians vilified every time an inconsistency arises in our lives? There are two things to consider here:

Image1.) Everyone is a hypocrite. I’ve never met a single human being who did not, at some point, do something that contradicted their value system. Most people believe we should treat others as we wish to be treated, but I’ve never met a person who didn’t (at some point) demean another person, slander another, or ignore someone who they found to be annoying. Many people believe in “tolerance” and “coexistence” among any and all religions, but those same people often discriminate against those particular religions whose beliefs they find disagreeable. I’m not wagging my finger at those who don’t live up to their ideals: that’s to be expected from human beings, as we’re all in a battle between our values and our selfish nature. I’ve been a health nut for a long time, but when I was in college I had several episodes of eating an entire half gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in one sitting (indian style on my kitchen floor). In every area of our lives, we fail to live up to our ideals—all of us. 

2.) Christians have never claimed to be above hypocrisy; we’ve claimed to be loved in the midst of our hypocrisy. We have never claimed to be morally superior to others; we’ve claimed to have a remarkable Savior who embodied perfection on our behalf. We believe that every human being has missed the mark, we’re all self-absorbed and hypocritical—and that God offers grace freely to those who recognize their inability to pull themselves up out of the abyss we’ve fallen into. 

Christians are constantly shamed into keeping silent about our beliefs for fear that others will call us out on areas where our actions are inconsistent with our ideals. This has to end! When we miss the mark—and we most definitely will—we should be quick to acknowledge that we’re flawed, imperfect people. But that shouldn’t negate the truth that we believe about a God who lavishes unending love upon us in spite of our imperfections. Our imperfections and inconsistencies should be presupposed by our claims that we’re sinners saved by grace. 

If someone is actively engaging in a hidden behavior they outwardly deny, that should be addressed. If someone is lying or deceiving others on an ongoing basis, they should be corrected and own up to the particular nature of their imperfection. And if someone claims to be morally superior to others or to live a perfect life, then let it be known that they’re completely misrepresenting the whole of the Christian faith. But genuine Christian belief acknowledges our inabilities and insufficiencies in the very act of pleading for a Savior, so I struggle to understand why “hypocrite” is the label spewed in the spitfire condemnation from so many. 

If you ever find out that I made a royally stupid decision that contradicts my beliefs, don’t be surprised. I’m in the company of saints like Peter and Paul, who openly acknowledged they often found themselves doing things that didn’t align with their values. It grieves me when my actions don’t line up with those modeled in the Scriptures, but I’m side-swiped with gratitude every time it happens because it reminds me I’m loved in the midst of my ongoing failures. Are you sick of hypocrisy running rampant everywhere you turn? Then look to the one and only man who’s ever walked the earth without a hypocritical streak in his character—He’s the one we’re identifying with when we say we’ve found something better. 

 

33 thoughts on “From One Hypocrite to Another

  1. Good thoughts. I have a coworker that gives me a hard time for participating in a fantasy football league where each loser pays $5 at the end, 1st-3rd place get some money. He, not a Christian, can’t imagine how I, a Christian, could participate in “gambling”.

    As I was reading through your post, it occurred to me that one of Jesus’ main beefs with the Pharisees was that they were hypocrites. Obviously Jesus, being perfect, can claim the high ground to make those assertions. But what do you think is the difference in throwing around that word “hypocrite” today and how Jesus used it?

    Reply
    • Hey Gene! Thank you for the insightful comment. My initial thought about Jesus’s condemnation of the Pharisaical hypocrisy is that it was related to their claims of superiority. They seemed to actually believe they were close to perfect, and they definitely believed they were morally superior to others. Since they outwardly proclaimed spiritual superiority based on their own holiness, it makes sense that Jesus would condemn them as hypocritical (since He knew the wickedness that was rotting them internally).

      Jesus never condemned those who acknowledged they were sinners desperately in need of redemption. That is the posture of any genuine Christ follower, and that’s the one that I’m arguing should never be condemned as hypocritical. If a “Christian” ever does claim to be holier than the rest of the world by their own efforts, then they definitely deserve to be chastised and I would question whether or not they understand the fundamentals of our faith. Does that make sense? What do you think? Great point; it’s good hearing from you on here.

      Reply
  2. Yeah, makes sense. I think too that because they were responsible for the spiritual direction of God’s people they had that added expectation of understanding, for example, that nobody is perfect and all are unworthy before God. Their perpetual sacrifices should’ve been enough to remind them of that, yet they were still “Lording it over” the people and dragging them down with unnecessary burdens.

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  3. Trying to speak to a Christian with logic and reason hurts my brain because the faith by nature is pre-rational. I don’t doubt Christians are having genuine spiritual perceptions but using ancient Jewish pagan mythology to articulate those perceptions in the 21st century is insane.
    If Christ is your guru then why are you not Jewish? Did Christ not celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, like your Hebrew sky god tells you to? Instead you follow a twisted form of a Jewish cult that has been manipulated by political leaders for centuries.

    When you claim to be “perfect” and have access to the “real truth” and present yourselves as squeaky clean, it’s hard not to call you hypocrites when you do what you’ve been preaching against.

    Unless you read Hebrew and Greek, I don’t think you can understand your own faith system. It’s all mistranslations.

    I happen to believe God is love and love is unity. It’s an embrace of diversity. 7 colours of the rainbow come from one white light, all same but different. If there really is only One God then all paths lead to Him and all things come from Him, there can be no separation in a unified God.

    Reply
    • Hey Matthew! I apologize on behalf of any Christians who have claimed to be perfect. That is not my experience with the Christian faith at all, and I’m so sorry you’ve met people who believe they’re morally superior to others. I addressed many of your other questions in my post just now, but wanted to let you know we truly believe we’re big sinners, and we find our identity in the one we believe to be a compassionate Savior.

      Reply
    • The purpose of the Jewish celebrations were to point people to Christ. He came and paid the price for our sins with his own blood now so these things no longer matter but knowing Christ is what matters. As a believer in Christ I have both the sin nature that I was born with as any other human which shows itself in various desires and I also have my new nature found in Christ. It is a daily battle but living by the Spirit brings life while just giving in to my flesh guarantees spiritual corruption and death. It is like the law of gravity so it is not being hateful to say that one leads to death. It is like this, the life given to Christ leads to life but the life surrender to our fallen condition is just experiencing its natural course which is death. God in his love gave us Christ that by trusting and surrendering to Him, I could be free from the control of my natural fallen nature to over time by renewing of my mind and soul could reflect the new me that God intended.
      Colossians 2:17 ” For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.”

      Reply
  4. It’s a tough one. I feel for the guy so much – but having lived the “ex-gay” life, having been used by ministers because I could “sell” the idea that you can’t be Christian and gay, I think when you go out speaking, writing and marketing yourself for that cause you are open to some pretty harsh criticism. My beef isn’t so much with the kid himself as with how I’ve seen his story used and shared on Facebook to encourage family members to continue to reject their gay relatives. There is a gay activist culture at work but there is an equally and just as vitriolic evangelistic opportunism. And yes, when you claim Christ, I think your standard should be higher. More loving, forgiving and patient. You just have to realize that a lot of the anger he’s receiving is probably much more about the forces who are using him than about his own personal message. It’s all so sad. I’m a big homo and God loves me. I think he should spend a very long time maturing in his faith before doing interviews, writing, speaking, etc. before allowing himself to be used as a poster boy. I am genuinely afraid for him. I wasted 10 years in spiritual anguish before listening to what God had already put on my heart. My prayers go up for him.

    Reply
    • Hey Misfit, I think you’re spot on with many of those suggestions. No one’s story should be used to encourage family members to reject their gay relatives. I can’t imagine anyone wanting their story to be used for such a purpose. Ideological agendas are freaking annoying. What I know is that this guy is a human being who’s in a process and that there’s grace for him. And you’re definitely right about it being wise for people to mature before they go super public. I read where he said he’s taking a break from all the blogging to get his footing, and I think that’s very wise. I’m itching to hear more of your story and process now!

      Reply
  5. See… here is where you’re whitewashing. He was NOT caught on a “dating” site… he was caught on GRINDR. Now, contrary to what he or you are calling it, Grindr is a hook-up site. You can call it “dating,” if you want, but it’s not. Plain and simple, Grindr is a place for men to meet men for casual sex. He wasn’t on there looking for a long term relationship, a long lost cousin or a window-washing service.
    This ALSO wouldn’t be an issue, but when you are sitting and cruising for sex on Grindr, all while calling said behavior a “sin,” you are, indeed, a hypocrite. Had he not been “outed” for it, you never would have known and his profile would not have been deleted. He didn’t delete it before he got caught out,
    So, you will excuse me, if I feel a bit of anger towards a gay man who will sit on judgement on other gay men while THAT same gay man is doing the EXACT same thing he is saying is a sin. I don’t feel sorry for him, I don’t pity him and I certainly don’t care if he feels bad about it.
    I applaud the person who nailed him to the wall for it.

    Reply
    • Those are valid points and I’m curious as to the writer’s take. Our we at least allowed to call out a hypocrite when they only admit because they got caught? And he admitted that between these stints on Grindr that he was traveling to Shreveport to speak at a conference one that was no doubt being used to promote a “can’t be gay and Christian” message. I go back and forth from feeling really sorry for him and really angry at him.
      In my 20’s I WAS that guy. I’d be taken to churches to give my testimony about how I was turning from the gay world AND so desperately lonely that I couldn’t stay on the straight and narrow. Every time, I’d repent and ask for forgiveness and start the cycle again. I had gone my whole life with such self loathing, such thoughts of ‘ no one can love me if they knew’. Then all of a sudden I had all these dynamic and powerful preachers saying that they did love me and that I had a great and anointed message. To be thrust into such extremes is so disorienting. It’s from desperate place to desperate place. You finally feel a spiritual validation but it comes with the price of submitting to that authority. At a bookstore in Atlanta once between churches I stopped and started reading Maya Angelou. My spirit soared. I glimpsed Gods true love for me. And I panicked. I knew I had to close my mind to any of that sin, lest I fall. I now see God was using his inspired word (ms. Angelou) to reach me. I worshipped the Bible as God, not realizing that its Gods spirit that makes a work holy.
      I finally found the truth. God spoke,to me. Let it Down. Slowly I did. I date. I’m celibate, but it’s not because god requires it, but because my spirit demands it. Sprit should lead. Just my opinion

      Reply
    • Hey Tony! You’re right: those actions are hypocritical. I’m not sure if you understood what I was saying in my post. I wasn’t claiming that Christians are above hypocrisy, but that everyone is hypocritical and that we simply believe in Jesus’s grace toward all hypocrites (ourselves included). I was trying to say we’ve never been above lying and deception, and that our faith is one that recognizes we humans ARE the problem and that we need a Savior. I hope that makes sense, and I apologize for any Christians who claim to have achieved perfection. We’re truly no better than anyone else; we simply believe in a Savior who loves imperfect human beings abundantly.

      Reply
  6. ” Why are Christians vilified every time an inconsistency arises in our lives?”

    Because your religion is hellbent on making other’s lives conform to what you want them to be, not what the individual might choose. A woman wants an abortion? Religious politicians make sure it can’t happen. Yet… I believe it was Rick Santorum’s wife who had one. Hypocrite.

    The Pope denounces homosexuality, but helped cover up priestly boy-fucking. Hypocrite.

    The poor can’t be given health care because Jesus wanted to teach men to fish, but a freshman senator demands that he not have to wait 28 days to get his free health care, claiming, “It’s free. Why wouldn’t I take it?” Hypocrite.

    So, the reason Christians are vilified is because you are so pompously, grindingly moral and preachy to those of us who want your Bronze Age mythology out of our lives, yet you continue to be far more horrible than most of us.

    Reply
    • Hey Sean! I apologize on behalf of all Christians for the ways we’ve contributed to oppression or shame in the world. We are extremely imperfect and we have not embodied Jesus’s teaching well. We are, indeed, hypocrites, and I spend every day of my life grateful that Jesus would love a hypocrite like me. I addressed some of your other questions about what’s driving Christians in my post just now, but wanted to let you know we recognize we’re messed up and that our starting point is an acknowledgment that we’re very broken. We simply believe in a great Savior.

      Reply
  7. Not requesting an apology. I just felt the need to explain that Grindr isn’t a dating site. I kinda felt that his actions were being minimized by some (not necessarily you) and it was grating my nerves. :)

    Reply
    • Amelia! So good to hear from you. And thank you for sharing Thor’s blog–I’ll definitely check it out. It would be fun to make it to NC in the near future to catch up with y’all in real time!

      Reply
  8. Reblogged this on Matt Moore and commented:
    Julie Rodgers has become a (net) friend of mine recently, since the day she wrote this blog in regard to all the articles posted about me a couple months ago. I would strongly encourage you all to subscribe to her blog and read her other posts. The wisdom she has been given is refreshing and the demeaner in which she expresses it is insanely Christ-like and should be imitated by us all.

    Reply
  9. The problem lies in the fact that Christianity (and many other religions) denounces lots of things which are perfectly natural, and cause no harm to others. This mechanism is used to ensure there’s guilt at the feeling of a sin being committed, and the believer will apologise to their god in order to be helped. Do we really think a loving god would reject people for how they were born, and who they love? I wouldn’t worship such a god, for he doesn’t display even a small amount of compassion.

    Reply
    • Point of fact, Danny, homosexuality is not “natural” in the sense of biological science. If you want to take theology out of the picture, let’s consider evolution. Homosexuality is an aberrational behavior, which goes against perpetuation of the species. Likewise, abortion is murder. It is killing the unborn (or, in the case of Gosnell, newborn), which goes against perpetuation of the species. These aberrant behaviors do harm others, most notably, abortion. Bring God back into it: We Christians teach our children (and those who the Spirit calls as adults) that these things are against God’s will. If we marginalize these offenses as “lifestyle choices” or some such thing, we muddle God’s Word with our own.

      The problem is that society doesn’t want to be told to repent of sin. As the author and others have noted, Christians aren’t fond of reminders of our sin, either. But we are grateful for reminders that, despite our failings, God loves us. He had such great compassion that He sacrificed His own perfect Son, giving us rebellious children Jesus’ perfection and His inheritance to life. By man’s act of defiance at a tree in one garden, mankind was condemned to die. By the Son of God’s fulfillment of a promise to that man, we are redeemed.

      You won’t worship God or a god who doesn’t fit your liberal worldview, thus making yourself a god. You accuse Christians of exhibiting a “holier than thou” attitude but simultaneously assert you are better than Christianity and those who bear Christ’s name. God gave us the gift of reason. And, like other gifts, we may misuse reason to rationalize God or gods on our own terms. Doing so is the ultimate in selfishness.

      Can Christians be compassionate toward those who engage in such behaviors? Yes. God commands it. But we do not condone those behaviors and we cannot tolerate them. In turn, we need to be called out for our own unrepented sins and ask that others be compassionate toward us. It is loving to correct a sinner of his or her sin, but not to degrade the sinner as a personification of the sin.

      Reply
  10. First of all, who found him on the gay website? Didn’t they have to log on and go into the site themselves? That’s just completely overboard and delving into someone’s personal life. Yes, he may be a blogger for Christian ideals, but that doesn’t give people the right to do so.

    Secondly, I am a gay male who has a pure love for our Lord. Why must Christians force us as homosexuals into a tiny little box. “Gee, we’ll love you as long as you adhere to our interpretation of Bible verses. You have a love for the same sex, which I don’t understand, so it MUST be wrong.” Then they always use God as a way to support their hatred towards something they DO NOT understand. A few Bible verses that supposedly explain why being gay is an abomination. Well, according to the Bible so is eating shellfish, wearing clothes with blended fabric, and eating pork. Yet what makes those abominations less abominable to the church… Does that mean that all heterosexuals, who engage in wearing blended fabric are going straight to hell? Isn’t it about time to question the legitimacy of the Church’s translation of those particular verses. Tell me one time that Jesus found it important to talk about homosexuals?

    Jesus is God, and is all knowing. Wouldn’t Jesus have predicted the homosexual lifestyle becoming more accepted in the modern day? I’m proposing to you to question about what the church has taught. Jesus told us to have compassion, love, and understanding for one another. I’ve not met one Christian, who’s willing to understand what it is to be homosexual. Instead, they are always trying to “fix me” and make me more “Christ-like.” Maybe we should start questioning what is more christ-like… And loving one another even though we may have differences.

    Slavery wasn’t christ-like and Christians accepted it back in the day. In fact, they also felt that segregation was important. All of us who are thinking clearly know it was and is wrong. We changed our viewpoint. Slavery and later segregation was eventually abolished for that reason. Gay people are refused rights based on a few verses in the Bible. That Jesus didn’t even reiterate… I can’t speak for the blogger, but I can speak for myself. I want love just like everyone else. It’s much easier to get intimacy in the gay community through sexual acts. If you look at the history of gay culture, they have been looked down upon for generations. So the only way gay people could have a relationship with the same sex was through brief encounters. They were too scared to have a real relationship with someone of their gender. So they either ended up killing themselves, or living a life of secrecy. In fact there are still many men (and women), who are internally homophobic for that reason. That same fear has been passed down for generations. I was just a child when I realized I was gay. I spent hours trying to pray the gay away. It didn’t work. Maybe Jesus put gay people on this earth to teach acceptance and understanding to those who believe. So it’s understandable that he falters and “sins” with engaging in activities of the homosexual lifestyle. How would you feel if you couldn’t have a relationship with your boyfriend, fiance, or husband? Let’s say being straight was outlawed and there were laws passed preventing you from getting married? Would they be fair? Would they be just in Jesus’ eyes. No they would not.

    I’m a gay man who wants a loving relationship with another man. I would want him to be Christian, because aside from the verses about homosexuality… I believe in everything about Jesus in the Bible. My only difference is that I take certain things about the Bible as transcribing an historical event. There are parts in the Bible, such as the teachings of Jesus, that I deem to be more relevant. I don’t want sex to be the main focus of my relationship with a man. I want to be able to love another man, yet still put Jesus as my main focus. Sex isn’t the only important thing to a gay man as most Christian organizations would like to say. Love is. Some gay men just think “this is as good as it is going to get.”

    Reply
    • The English meaning(s) for the word “love” are woefully inadequate, however the form of it asserted by our Redeemer (ἀγαπάω, agapaō) is not connected with gender or romance at all. In essence, it is being entirely trustworth from the loved one’s perspective.

      Since God cannot/will not lie, he is entirely trustworthy to the point of defining that sense of the word “love.”

      The Laws of Moses are not so simple to deal with, however Noah was instructed to take seven pair of each clean kind of animal, two pair of each unclean aboard (and they arrived by themselves), no definition for clean/unclean was offered or requested, and Moses was not born for a considerable time after that, so a line needs to be drawn between the two concepts.

      The Law of God is not the same as the Law of Moses; it condemned Cain’s murder of Abel, will again condemn those who refuse to take aboard our Redeemer’s sacrifice (so who — in refusing to allow his spirit to flow through them — choose to continue acting against that Law).

      The Law is neighter good, nor bad. It is a boundary. As long as we refuse his spirit, we cannot remain on the survival side of that boundary.

      That applies regardless of any gender-oriented choices we may happen to make, so somebody who has thought, acted and felt entiurely heterosexually for their entire life — male of female — yet who acts kleptomaniacally, or occasionally knifes somebody who treads on thier flower-garden, or who also reverences a statue (regardless of what name they use for it) remains on the non-survival side of that boundary.

      I am quite happy to discuss things, as discussion is aimed at discovering what is right, then we can each do it. I have no time for arguing, which is aimed at discovering who is right, for the purpose of portioning out guilt and self-righteousness.

      Reply
  11. Julie. I also want to apologize on the behalf of some of the gay community. Talking about a topic that is close to someone’s heart can enrage them. It encourages people to get defensive and point out flaws in someone or a group of people. I don’t expect Christians to be perfect. However, I do agree with others statements on Grindr. That is definitely a gay hookup site. It kind of correlates with what I was saying. If you choose to deny a basic urge of companionship from those you deem sexually attracted. It becomes almost an obsession. I’m not saying that people should go out having sex with everyone. But, why can’t gay people have an open loving relationship? God loves everyone… It’s a few misinterpreted verses that the church refuses to reevaluate that oppresses a large group of gay Christians. And by law all of those who are gay. It’s not right.

    Reply
  12. I don’t see Christian’s be shamed for their beliefs, then again I don’t seem many true Christians. I see a lot of people acting rightous and throwing judgements around like they have a right to do so. I see people condemning others while their own behaviours are anything but Christ like. Jesus said, “Don’t lie, and don’t do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed.”
    Jesus said When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.”

    Reply
  13. The Greek word usually translated as “hypocrite” (ὑποκριτής, hypokritēs) means “actor,” or interreter, the implication being that your actions do not reflect your heart, your genuine feelings.

    Said blogger, as far as I can tell, was quite frank in what he did, so is not a hypcrite.

    The Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world presents an unanswerable threat to the world-view of those who spent time emotionally abusing him, so they gain a (false) feeling of superiority through their abuse.

    Militantly gender-confused people really hiccup at those like the previously-homosexual previously-gay-activist who has been married for over two decades and is the proud father of a daughter. Such people are a living disproof of their “born gay” posture.

    Atheists also accuse Christians of being “anti gay” when the reality is that Evolution is by definition “anti gay” since there are no genetic survivors at all to be naturally selected.

    Reply
  14. Hi Julie, I just clicked to follow your blog. To be honest I haven’t read a lot of what you have to say but I will in time. From what I have read so far I assume you have a heart for the pain caused by some conservative Christians on Gay people. I have recently started blogging as well and am of the opinion that as long as we continue to call same sex attraction sinful we will continue to hurt the LGBT people. It is my sons birthday so I will not make a more detailed comment but for now invite you to read some of my blogs and perhaps stretch your opinions that bit further.

    Reply
  15. It’s because “Christians” (not all, but enough to create a popular impression) want to legislate their version of “morality” (i.e., loving gay married homes are “deviant”, “the evil lie of Satan”, and “intrinsically disordered”). After a lifetime of hearing the hate for us, you’ll pardon me if I’m a little critical of the anti-homosexuality spokesperson who cruises for homosexual sex.

    Reply
  16. Ahem. Julie, read the book “Juniper Green” by my good “Good” self, available on Amazon Kindle. Perhaps it will explain a little better how Christians are viewed by non Christians. I think
    non Christians become perplexed as to what exactly Christianity is supposed to stand for, or represent.

    Very best wishes,
    Good Friday

    Reply
  17. Pingback: I Should Be Standing Up | dogtorbill

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