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Jmy1975
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On Hypocrisy

I really got into the Bible when I was 13. I mean my passion for Jesus, mixed with puberty , etc., made me almost like a firebrand Protestant preacher. In short, I was into it.

But some things in the Bible I couldn't understand because they just seemed like common sense to me. Hypocrisy was a biggie.

Jesus talks a lot about hypocrisy. He doesn't like snap judgment, he doesn't like rote and ostentatious displays of piety by the Pharisees. He seems to keep drilling down on the fact that hypocrisy is vanity, is borne of pride. Is empty.

I kind of glossed over these warnings because it seemed like common sense. Of course hypocrites are showing off, of course they're insincere, of course their only reward is their empty self regard. To me it seemed like everyone should know that there is nothing genuine/worthy about hypocrisy.

I was wrong! The reason Jesus talks about hypocrisy so much is because humans seem to be hypocrites by default. We can't help but act exactly the same way Jesus tells us NOT to act.

We will sin, we will judge. We will not follow the rules while simultaneously preaching them. But we always should try to do the right thing.

Coming from me this might seem hypocritical. And so it is.

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My favorite point of Jesus' life is when he is hungry and curses the barren fig tree. That is a revelatory insight into his humanity, his flesh and blood. I identify with this strongly.
philosopher
@Jmy1975 Good points all. Christopher Hitchens was one of the late 20th and early 21st centuries most articulate and influential atheists. I use to follow a lot of his debates (as his philosophical enemy, of course) and the main style of his rhetorical debates were never a positive case for atheism. Hitchens for the most part argued negation contra Christians (notice not Christianity). His …More
@Jmy1975 Good points all. Christopher Hitchens was one of the late 20th and early 21st centuries most articulate and influential atheists. I use to follow a lot of his debates (as his philosophical enemy, of course) and the main style of his rhetorical debates were never a positive case for atheism. Hitchens for the most part argued negation contra Christians (notice not Christianity). His number one negative was hypocracy- and he played it like a Stradivarius violin. Hitchens would say (exaggerated), if Christianity is true, then why can we not find one true Christian in the world- every single one of them is a hypocrite! Then he would enumerate his lengthy historical examples, even mentioning Columbus, years before the young ignoramus' of today read about the problematic discoverer on Reddit.

The best way to answer this is to own it, as a protestant apologist once answered this attack against Christianity, "its true humans are hypocrites and dear madam, if you could look in my heart, you would spit in my face". A Catholic could follow up, that through the Grace recieved in the sacraments Christ liberates us from hypocrisy and unhealthy pride. Moreover, as you pointed out, show that it is essentially an aspect of humanities fallen nature- the "default position."
Jmy1975
Atheists often are extremely hypocritical. Our political leaders, of course, seem most hypocritical.
Alex A
I would argue that many of our Church leaders are far more hypocritical than any of their secular counterparts.