It’s the Little Things – Christian Hypocrisy

image You lifted your hands in praise, eyes closed as you sang from your heart, reveling in God’s presence. As prayer was led, your head bowed in reverence as I’m sure you poured everything out to the Father. Your voice could be heard affirming the pastor as he preached the message and you were among the first to the Lord’s Table to partake of the bread and wine. Everything about you told the surrounding body how devoutly you take your faith and I’m certain that you are regarded as a model Christian within the congregation.

But the damage had already been done.

Did you stop to think before you drove into the church parking lot against the one-way sign? Sure, there was probably going to be little outgoing traffic at the beginning of service and if there was you could just pull to the side but that’s not the point. The polished chrome fish on your tailgate marked your allegiance for all to see out on the road. All the people around you on the busy boulevard also watched your shiny fish break the law just to take a shortcut into the church parking lot. They saw the real you and saw a hypocrite.

Sadly, you also made all of us out to be hypocrites.

You see, we proclaim a relationship with Jesus Christ that goes beyond the church walls on Sunday morning. We claim that our lives are constantly being molded and modified by the Holy Spirit. We claim to live in submission to others, sometimes boldly saying that we have a better way of life that we would like to invite others to share. We claim all of that and even try to live it out.

Only to have it destroyed by one small moment where one of us demonstrates that we’re really no different from the rest of the world.

When one of us demonstrates this in the small things (like following the traffic laws) it reflects on the whole Church in the larger things.


Image benlio

Lent 2009 – 12 Steps to the Cross


“O remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt. Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. (Jeremiah 42:19-21)

In one week, our Christian lives will be centered on the events of the Passion leading to the worst and greatest moments in the history of the world. We have followed Peter through the Bible and seen his brief moments of glory and his more frequent times of failure and disappointment. As I reflect on Peter I have discovered a danger, a bad effect of this path; looking at Peter can make me think I’m not so bad after all.

That, of course, is the first step backwards away from the Cross.

Stepping away turns our feet towards a variety of attitudes. One that is especially deadly is hypocrisy. The Christian can say how much he loves God, how much she wants to deny self but the reality shows. What am I doing different when I look at Peter and think, well, I would never do this or that. Baloney! You would and DO do such things and only pretend that you don’t. You and I may be able to convince ourselves that we aren’t so bad in this area but God isn’t fooled. He looks beyond our outer actions and into our hearts, in the dark corners and he knows where our true allegiance lies.

Man, surrender can be hard…

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