Changing Perceptions: Hypocrisy

These « Changing Perspectives » vignettes are some Christians’ responses to the negative perspectives that nonChristians have of Christians. This one refers to the charges of hypocrisy.

Jud Wilhite, pastor of megachurch Central Christian Church in Las Vegas and author of many books, his latest being Pursued, advises Christians to be transparent in his contribution to the book unChristian:

The problem is not fundamentally hypocrisy. We’re all hypocrites at some level. The problem is the air of moral superiority many of us carry around. We stop acknowledging imperfections in our lives. We forget where we came from and all God has done in our lives. I don’t see in Jesus’s teaching a call to fake moral superiority. I’m a sinner following him. I don’t have it all together, and that admission is precisely what tweaks the perception of hypocrisy.

In our faith community we say, « It’s okay not to be okay. » We talk about how we as human beings have a lot in common no matter where we are on our faith journey. At the most basic level, we all share the human conditions with all of its brokenness. And we have the hope that Jesus can really transform lives and redeem the future.

The perception of hypocrisy also emerges when we start fighting the « culture war » — meaning we attack people’s behavioral patterns rather than love them as people. Or we lobby to legislate morality. In Las Vegas, where I live, the culture war is over. We lost. Let me repeat: WE LOST. Now our calling is to love and accept people one-on-one, caring for them where they are. Our role is subversive as we carry the light and love of Jesus into the casinos, clubs, and streets of our city. And we’re joining our community in a different culture war — one that attacks poverty, crime, addiction, and pain. We’re active in helping the homeless, we’ve declared war on child hunger in the Vegas valley, and we are showing our faith in actions, even if imperfectly.

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