There’s this weird tendency I’ve noticed in my religion. We do this thing where we highlight some group or segment of those who claim to be Christians and point out some aspect of their belief or practice in order to talk about how wrong it is. For example, I listened to a conversation recently about how legalistic some Christians can be: no dancing, no drinking, no shorts before 4pm (you think I’m joking). And some other Christians we just aghast, couldn’t believe there were Christians out there who lived like that. “Talk about not being accepting,” one pointed out. I agreed, but I also realized I wasn’t being accepting of the unaccepting. I was judging the judgers and being intolerant of the intolerant.
But I don’t think it’s new. I was reading just today an old school Christian who recounted a story “about a group of believers who thought only of 'fellowship.' They had little concern for reaching the lost or for defending the faith against its enemies. In front of their meeting place they hung a sign: 'JESUS ONLY.' But the wind blew away some of the letters, and the sign read 'US ONLY.' It was a perfect description of a group of people who were not balanced Christians.”
For me it was legalism and intolerance, for this writer, it was “balance.” I mean we all get up and say “this is a good virtue to have” but then break it immediately by bashing those who don’t share that value. We eat our own. We are legalists in believing that legalists shouldn’t be legalists and thus can’t be good Christians; “The way they do it just couldn’t be the right way!”
Man, being a hypocrite is so easy. I’m never a hypocrite.