I know merely mentioning the word “hypocrite” in the same sentence as “Christian” will not be very popular, but I feel it needs to be addressed. Hypocrisy is defined as “behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.” One example we see nearly every day: someone casting judgment on others for the way they act or believe; especially around election time. Ut-oh, did I just mix politics and religion? How can we not? Our country, our complete foundation of living is a marriage of the two whether we like it or not.

We are all guilty of being hypocritical from time to time. It is in our flesh. However, some have the ability to bridle it and remember we all fall short of the glory of God. Yes, every one of us. If you think you are an exception, this article is right for you.

There are also some who will try and use your Christian beliefs against you, even though they themselves like to place the label of “Christian” on their sleeve when convenient. I have been spotlighted a few times by a people who claim they are appalled by my ability to be blunt and a little matter-of-fact when it comes to my professional position. They can’t believe a man who “claims to be Christian” can say and do what I have done. I guess it goes both ways. One would not believe the level some go to draw those responses from me. I don’t believe in mincing words. It is just one of many ways I fall short everyday. You will never find me saying I am perfect. I am not!

The word “hypocrisy” or “hypocrite” is no stranger to the Bible. It is found all through it. And those who have been a victim of it can show you many examples in their own Christian circles. I have seen good members of Christian organizations be pushed out simply due to a difference of opinion. Is that how Jesus would have handled the situation?

We could give example after example of Christian hypocrisy. I am certain lists of people’s names we consider hypocrites would go on and on, but we would have to add our own names to the list. A so-called Christian who stands with their finger pointed with intentions of bringing unnecessary attention to another is no Christian at all.

Another example we see frequently is a person who attends church every Sunday, every Wednesday, and every other chance they can get in the door, casting judgment on those who do not attend a church. Again, I have been a product of this judgment. I have been told to my face, “if you don’t attend a church, the words in your articles are just empty words.” Being thick skinned, I didn’t allow that to cut into my spirit. My response is typically, “can you please tell me which church Jesus attended every Sunday?” It usually gets a change of conversation. Church is not a building, it is the people. It is wherever two of more people gather to talk about God.

If two people sitting in a bar, enjoying a nice cold beer, begin talking about Jesus and how He has impacted their lives, is that not church? Now be honest with yourself, are you judging them for sitting in a bar? Is that hypocritical Christianity? Are you casting judgment on this article? Christian hypocrites are what make converting non-believers so difficult.

James Fansler is Lake Placid police chief. He can be reached at lakeplacidchief@gmail.com .

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