Changing Perspectives: Hypocrisy

These « Changing Perspectives » vignettes are some Christians’ responses to the negative perspectives that nonChristians have of Christians. The introduction to the series as well as the post on hypocrisy and then on sainthood provide background to this post.

Leroy Barber, president of Mission Year, an organization which plugs college-aged followers of Christ into the street culture of many American cities writes in his essay for unChristian:

Standards and rules without sacrifice and solidarity is hypocrisy.

Christian rhetoric without tangible acts of love is hypocrisy.

Churches on every corner with hurting people outside is hypocrisy.

These young adults with full hearts are ready to serve and listen to the voices of the rarely heard. They set out to bring Christ’s love outside the church’s walls. These young people quickly discover a loyalty to their new neighborhood. They fall in love with the streets and all those who live there.

This should be a match made in heaven. But it isn’t. Instead it turns out to  be a sharp gust of wind, extinguishing the flame of trust that these young adults kept lit for their vision of « church. » Their new church is not ready for the neighborhood kid who comes to youth group for the first time without a Christian foundation. The homeless men really smell when they come to services. The building fund, pew fund, and organ fund lose their importance when you encounter hungry people daily. Those who have put in a year or more living with families in pain, people on the street, and victims of injustice, quickly lose respect for the church.

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