You’re All a Bunch of Hypocrites!

Myself included.

There seems to be so much judgement going around lately, I can feel myself becoming desensitized to it. If we’ve got a scoop on someone; if we’ve got evidence of their imperfections, we relish with evil glee in sharing it with the world.It is even more fun to contrast what someone says, with what they do. Because, of course, we are not guilty of having done that very thing ourselves in the past, and thus it is delightfully rare to find such a specimen who does so.

My frustration derives from the observation that, those who throw around the word “Hypocrite” most frequently, usually do not hold themselves to the same, (or even a different) standard, yet take it into their hands to deem one as not respectable, a “douche-bag”; and to twist the accountability card, claiming the individual in question to have said one thing, and then to have done the opposite.

My question is, who hasn’t?

Who hasn’t run into work or class late, apologizing to the glaring boss or instructor saying ” I’m sorry, it won’t happen again!” but then ended up being late again sometime down the road?

Who hasn’t said ” I don’t really drink”, then had a rough day and downed much more than they should have?

Who hasn’t said “I’ll call you!” and not done so?

Who hasn’t said “Picking your nose is gross!” then waited until they were alone to do that very thing?

Who hasn’t said “I’m religious” or ” I believe in _____” and NOT broken at least ONE rule of said religion/belief?

If you have never been guilty of any such thing, I applaud and admire you.

Now, Have you ever called someone else a hypocrite? Why?

If I have a friend in the church, who I know to have the same beliefs as myself, and hear that she is doing something contrary to these beliefs, should I, as one who knows and understands her beliefs, talk to her and confront her about these things?
Yeah, probably.
The Church for me, is a place full of other broken people, lifting up and encouraging each other, because we know no one is perfect. We know everyone falls; we know everyone makes mistakes. But because we are on an equal playing field, we can hold each other accountable.

When I hear someone say “They’re a Hypocrite!”, I can’t help but think, who are you to determine that? How can you hold someone accountable to their supposed beliefs, when there is seemingly none in which you yourself are to be held accountable?

I get it –

We just want to believe in people. We want to trust that, when they say they do or do not do something, they mean it.

However, instead of turning into gossips, can’t we just talk to that “hypocrite”? Can’t we lovingly say. “Hey, I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but I thought you said you didn’t drink?” Maybe we would learn something we didn’t know before. Maybe we’d find out we had actually heard wrong. Maybe they would say it’s none of our +#$% business.
But I think attempting to understand, is a better way to love people than to smack a label on them and shove them aside.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Or no?

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Invitation

Community.
This word is constantly rolling around in my mind. Maybe because in the last few years, I have begun to see what a major and positive impact community, and being part of one, has had on my life. I could go so far as to say that it is one of the top reasons my husband and I,
a) Love the church we attend.
b) Would be hesitant to move away.
(Even though home looks like THIS lately…
P1050652
Gah – December, and I am so done with snow! )

Every so often, I feel a tug to BE community.
Does that make sense?
I am constantly blessed with being part of a community; a family, church family, friends, etc., but I admit to not often being the initiator of community, or the inviter. For example, as someone who has attended the same church for the past few years, I should be the one saying ‘Hello’ to unfamiliar faces; I should be the one making others feel welcome; helping newcomers feel a sense of belonging.
Instead, it is almost like I’m still waiting for the invite. Like I’m the newcomer standing in the corner, hoping someone will say ‘Hi’ to me so I don’t feel painfully awkward and out-of-place.
What prompted this post in the first place, was that a ‘newcomer’ approached me; she extended an invitation to me. Said ‘Hi’ to me.
But not in church.
On my street.
I was just finishing up with shovelling the driveway, my glasses askew, my hair sticking up every which way, and my face all rosy from the cold, when a woman approached me with a card.
She wasn’t a Jehovah’s witness. She wasn’t trying to sell me anything or get me to join some club.
No.
She was simply new to the neighborhood, and was inviting ME over to her open house get together this weekend.
“Oh, how nice!” I said.  I hope it didn’t sound insincere; my social skills could use a little polishing…
Nevertheless, I think I might go. I think I should go.
I don’t know this woman. I don’t know what her beliefs are, or what her religion is. But she is opening up her home to complete strangers.
Christian or not, that’s love. That is being community.
Maybe I can learn a thing or two from her.

Sunday Sermon – Psalm 23

Today we had a guest speaker, who preached on Psalm 23. He talked about the brokenness of our world, and times of pain and suffering.
Psalm 23 reminds us that we have one who walks with us; who loves and cares for us.
One who leads us to “quiet waters”.
One who guides us and comforts us.
psalm23It’s dark out there.
But we are not without light.

So, there’s this Song Stuck in My Head…

And I don’t mind one bit.  Because it is NOT some booty shakin’, regrettably catchy beat that has been played 20 times on the radio in the past 8 hours, nor is it a frustrating earworm that has annoyingly resided, unwelcomed, in the depths of the mind for the past week.
No.
Rather,
It is a song I heard for the first time a few weeks ago, when It was sung during worship at the Church I attend. It is called “You’ll Come”, By Hillsong. And I just can’t seem to get it out of my head.
But I don’t mind one bit.
So, I thought I’d share.

Is the Church Too Overprotective?

My husband and I host young adults’ bible study at our home every week. During the most recent gathering, the young adults’ pastor asked us what we think may be the main reasons Young Adults ( Roughly age 18-30) leave the church. Answers varied from relevance, judgement, pressure, lack of knowledge of scripture, etc.
Based on a Barna Group research project, studies show Reason #1 to be that the church is too overprotective.
(For complete article, you can go to this link: http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/528-six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church )
Too overprotective? What exactly does that mean?
Roughly a quarter of young adults felt that “Christians demonize everything outside of the church”. Others expressed Christianity as “stifling, fear-based and risk-averse”. And still others expressed, “my church is too concerned that movies, music, and video games are harmful”.
Perhaps some churches are too overprotective.
Is this a bad thing?
Sometimes the word ‘overprotective’ can draw up negative connotations. Like, association with what one is not permitted to do. Is this how the church has come to portray itself? The center of dos and don’ts?
The word “overprotective” conjures up  in my mind an image of the fretting parent, hand-sanitizing the kids after everything they touch, dragging them to the doctor after every sneeze, twitching with each minute that passes after curfew, etc.
The thing about being overprotective, is that I believe the intention behind it, is based on love and concern. However, I think being super overprotective can sometimes portray a lack of faith. God is so much bigger, yet still we try to control anything and everything, just to limit exposure to all that may deteriorate that upright, good, Christian armour we’ve worked so hard to maintain.
We try…
Limit exposure…
We’ve worked…
Not leaving much room for the Spirit to work, are we?

Young Adults leave Church because they feel it is too overprotective.
I don’t feel there is fault in protecting our hearts and each other. Except if it comes to the point where protecting becomes condemning and judging instead of loving. Obviously, over the years, some Young Adults have unfortunately encountered this.
We are the church. Sometimes we are broken. Sometimes we are scared. But we are learning what it looks like to completely trust in the Lord.
Perhaps some churches are too overprotective.
If this is the case, what should, or could we do, to figure this out?

Do You think the Church is Too Overprotective?