Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Am A Hypocrite

I had an interesting conversation with a non-religious friend of mine the other day. She felt that I am a hypocrite because I do not always follow the teachings of my faith to the letter. Sometimes when I mess up I fess up, and other times I keep it quiet and repent on my own, and sometimes I make personal choices based upon my understanding and interpretations of Scripture and our customs, some of which may differ from what others of the same faith may do under similar circumstances.

It's a really common misconception people have of religion, that if you are not following every rule that somehow you're a hypocrite. Thatis basically what she said -- if I have a religion, I should follow the religion. But that is not what true faith is about. Ours is a faith of grace and love. We're all imperfect people and we are going to make mistakes. As well, it is absolutely impossible to keep all the commandments, all of the time. That is why we have Yom Kippur, to atone for our sin, and why we are covered by the blood and grace of Yeshua, to forgive us of that sin.

Sin is a private matter, like faith can be. When we sin, we don't have to make a proclamation at the front of the Sanctuary. Some of us have accountability partners, and what we tell them stays between the two of us (or, it should anyways. And if it becomes church gossip you might want to consider finding another accountability partner). And even when our choices are not necessarily sinful, just personal, I don't think we're necessarily under an obligation to tell our pastor, elders, and church body everything going on in our lives. You would not tell all of your friends everything going on -- why would you tell your congregation?

If that makes me a hypocrite, then so be it. It's not the worst thing I have ever been called.

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