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Q: christians are hypocrites ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   9 Comments )
Subject: christians are hypocrites
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: holguinero-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 20 Nov 2003 06:22 PST
Expires: 20 Dec 2003 06:22 PST
Question ID: 278554
a friend of mine wants me to be a christian. i had trouble
articulating why not. don't want to say " because christians are
hypocrites "  to cliche' and insulting for him. help me with a list of
top reasons of "My Objections".

researcher should be non-religious, please. don't want to debate theology.

Request for Question Clarification by journalist-ga on 20 Nov 2003 14:11 PST
Greeting Holguinero:

As a Researcher colleague recently stated, "Christians aren't
hypocrites; hypocrites are hypocrites" and I am in full agreement with
her statement.  Some Christians are hypocrites and some hypocrites are
Christians but neither are always both.

Did you perhaps mean to state something along the lines of "Why does
hypocrisy seem to run rampant in Christianity?" or "Help me make a
case against hypocrisy to show my friend that the hypocrisy I perceive
in many Christians is why I have no desire to join their club?"

I ask because you have presented a blanket statement of "Christians
are hypocrites"  and if you present that all-inclusive statement to
your friend then you are, in effect, accusing your friend of being a
hypocrite by virtue of him/her being a Christian.  If you approach it
that way, you will accidentally be insulting anyway.  Your friend will
hear only accusations instead of reasoning and you are likely to be
best understood if you are clear with your objections.

This is a very interesting question and the clearer you can be with
your expectations, the more clarity a Researcher will bring to your

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by holguinero-ga on 20 Nov 2003 15:59 PST
greetings journalist.

the hypocrite throwaway in the subject line is just that. i like
'headlines' that are attention getters.

the topic and the question have to do with classic objections to
becoming a christian.

i.e. what are the classic objections people have to conversion?

one objection might be:

" i have too many plans in the works right now and frankly those plans
would be threatened- i'm not prepared to give them up"

or another objection might be:

" i've said no so many times that that's the only natural response i have"

or another objection might be:

" i'd become one if i knew anybody that acted like they really were one "

i hold these out as examples but not exemplary responses.  i need a good list.
Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 20 Nov 2003 17:46 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello there,

Well...this has certainly been an interesting challenge.  As my good
colleague journalist-ga's comments make clear, your question has
sparked some thought, introspection and maybe even a bit of debate.

As a non-religious, non-Christian person, I?ve been in similar
situations in my life, with people wanting to bring me into
Christianity for a host of reasons, ranging all the way from
come-join-a-warm-and-vibrant-community, to

I must say, I?ve never felt the need to justify my decision to pass on
their offer.  But it?s interesting just the same to articulate some of
the main reasons someone might choose not to join a friend?s religion. my list.  It?s a highly personal assessment of how someone
might respond in your situation.  It?s not deep or cosmic, but I think
it is pragmatic.   I hope it is of value to you.

If you find that anything here needs elaboration, just let me know by
posting a Request for Clarification, and I?ll be happy to assist you



Pafalafa-ga?s Top Reasons for Not Becoming Christian:

--I?m content with my current religious/spiritual practice.

Of course, I have no idea what your current religious/spiritual
practice is, or how content you are/aren?t with it, but the basic
point here is a simple religious practice is my own, personal
choice.  So, my friend,  I urge you (politely) to bug off!

--I wouldn?t want to make an important decision like that while feeling pressured.

The subtext here is something like: ?OK.  I?m willing to think about
it a bit.  But give me my space, and plenty of time, and I?ll decide
on my own.  When the decision is made, I expect my respect it?

--A religious/spiritual journey is a lifetime journey...I?ll know when
the moment is right to explore new options, if I should ever feel the

Life is a long journey, with many, many important decisions to make
along the way.  Not all of them will happen today, or tomorrow, or
this year, or this decade.  But the opportunity to make them remains
throughout my life.  Now isn?t the time -- for me -- to be making
decisions about adopting a new religion.  Who knows what the future
will bring, but for now, I don?t see myself becoming a Christian.  And
once again -- as my friend -- I ask you to respect that.

--Religion is a very personal matter.  Your beliefs and your practice
may suit you to a tee, but that doesn?t mean they?re right for

....and without meaning to sound like a broken my
friend, so please respect that.

--I have to admit, I?ve always been troubled by the contrast between
words and deeds in the history of the Church, and that adds to my
reluctance to really dive into it.

Your comment about ?hypocrites?, though a bit on the harsh side,
suggests you have some reservations along these lines.  The church has
talked the talked of peace and love, but hasn?t always walked the
walk.  I doubt there?s much to be gained (except, perhaps, as a real
test of your friendship) by getting into a full-fledged debate about
Christianity.  But it?s certainly a fair point to let your friend know
that the Church?s own history -- as you see it -- is an obstacle for

--I know that -- as my friend -- you accept me for who I am, so I
certainly don?t feel a need to join your church for the sake of our

This is a way of challenging your friend a bit to do some articulating
of his/her own, by making clear that you feel friends accept one
another for who they are -- and how they are -- in the present. 
Friendship shouldn?t be contingent on making changes -- especially in
something so fundamental as personal religious beliefs.

--I guess it?s just my basic notion of human rights and the human
condition -- everyone has their own right to practice (or not
practice) the religion of their choice...and I?m afraid I just haven?t
chosen the same one that you have.

This is a way of saying ?Can?t we end this g**forsaken discussion already!?

--I?m familiar with some of the basic tenets of Christianity, and they
just don?t resonate for me.  I don?t accept the main doctrine of the
Trinity, and without that, I?m afraid I wouldn?t make a very
convincing Christian.

I?ve learned about it, considered it, rejected it...let?s move on to
some other topic now, shall we?

--What other religion(s) are you willing to try?  If you?re willing to
convert to another religion, perhaps I?ll reconsider my own stance

Turn the tables a bit.  Let your friend make the first move to see if
they are willing to take as dramatic a step as they?re asking you to

--Why is it so important to you that I practice the same religion that you do?

Again, turn the tables, and ask your friend to do the articulating,
while you find things to agree or disagree with.

--I must admit, though, you guys do have great holidays!
This is obviously half-facetious...but only half!  It?s a way of
saying ?There ARE things I like about your religion.  I AM willing to
participate at some level and perhaps even learn a bit more about it. 
But I have to take it at my own pace, and in my way.?


I hope this is helpful, even if only in a small way.  In the end, I?m
sure you know that no one else can put words into your mouth, just as
no one else can tell you what religion to practice.  What I?ve offered
here is just a little food for thought.  The right words will come to
you I?m sure, as will the choices about if or when to make a change in
your spiritual practices, your religious beliefs, and -- for that
matter -- your friends.

Best of luck.  Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on
anything I?ve written here.


Request for Answer Clarification by holguinero-ga on 21 Nov 2003 05:00 PST
thanks paf. great response. therapeutic even.

if i may speak frankly, i have doubts. i'm guessing that it's 'normal'
to doubt, that is, for non-religious people to wonder if it might be

to take another tack: i owe my friend a better shot at me. i.e. more
than 'bug off'.  if i were to give him, let's say, specific windows to
be persuasive with me, what would i say?  i.e. what exactly is my
problem to his faith, what could he say or do that would really be
persuasive to me?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 21 Nov 2003 09:02 PST
>>if i may speak frankly<<

Of course...

>> i have doubts. i'm guessing that it's 'normal' to doubt, that is,
for non-religious people to wonder if it might be true<<

This is beginning to take quite a different tone than your original
question.  At first, it seemed as if you were looking for a way to
articulate a defense of your not wanting to explore Christianity
despite your friend?s insistence.

Now, you?ve qualified that by acknowledging some ?doubts? and
wondering ?if it might be true? after all.

If that?s what you think and how you feel, then...go ahead and
explore.  The real question, it seems to me, is not your original
question (?what are my objections?), but rather a question of: what do
I want to explore and how do I go about exploring it?

It sounds like your friend would like you to explore -- and would be
glad to help you explore -- Christianity.  Fine.  But you also need to
decide if that is your highest priority.  Are you only curious to know
if Christianity might be true, or are you more broadly casting about
to see if other approaches to religion and spirituality might have
some truths to offer you.

Face it.  There are those who find their faith in a mainstream
conventional church or synagogue or mosque, and there are those who
find it in Hare Krishna (or what the mainstream likes to refer to as
?cults?), and there are those who find it through a personal quest
that isn?t easily given a name.

You?ll have to set your priorities there, and figure out where the
church and Christianity and your friend lies on the spectrum of
possibilities available for you to explore.

>>to take another tack: i owe my friend a better shot at me. i.e. more
than 'bug off'.  if i were to give him, let's say, specific windows to
be persuasive with me, what would i say?  i.e. what exactly is my
problem to his faith, what could he say or do that would really be
persuasive to me?<<

Why look at this as such a and your objections as the
obstacle course that your friend has to somehow surmount?  If you want
to explore, then by all means, explore.  Offer to attend services with
your friend.  Tell him what you think of them (they moved me....they
were boring as all get out....I didn?t really understand what was
going on....What a bunch of hypocrites....Anything, really, that comes
to mind).  Get the dialogue going.

Ask your friend about his own personal experiences with faith and
religion.  Has he ever had his own doubts?  When and how did his faith
arise?  Have the kind of conversations that friends have.

In short, you seem to be looking for a guide, of sorts.  Your friend
is there, offering his services.  Be aware that he can probably only
show one of the highlights on the may need to look around
to find others as guides for matters of faith and spiritual quests
that aren?t tied directly to the kind of  Christianity practiced by
your friend.


I don?t know if all this helps or not.  Bottom line is that it seems
to me you?re asking how to be a friend to your friend, and that?s just
not something I can tell you anything useful have to just
figure that one out on your own.  Talk, agree, argue, play, do stuff,
explore, respect one another, and move closer or, if you have to, move

More than that, I?m not sure I can offer.

All the best....

holguinero-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00

Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: pinkfreud-ga on 20 Nov 2003 20:50 PST
As a former atheist, I'd like to recommend two books which (among
other things) discuss the reasons why their authors chose not to be

Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on
Religion and Related Subjects":

Martin Gardner's "Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener":

Although I am now a Christian, I can still enjoy reading these books,
which deal with the difficult choices of faith in an intellectually
stimulating and fair-minded way. The books I've mentioned above are
worthy counterparts to the works of C.S. Lewis and Dorothy L. Sayers,
who present the opposing point of view in similarly rational (yet
passionate) terms.

Regarding the matter of hypocrisy among Christians, a wise old man who
used to be my Sunday school teacher dealt with this accusation in an
amusing way. He asked an acquaintaince to come visit our church. The
acquaintance said "No, thanks. The Christian church is full of
hypocrites." My Sunday school teacher replied cheerfully "Oh, it's
nowhere near full. There is always room for one more."
Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: hlabadie-ga on 20 Nov 2003 21:53 PST
Would not the unassailable objection be that one does not accept the
divinity of Jesus? Either one believes or one does not.

The adoption of an agnostic opinion would also be a reason to demur,
i.e., the evidence does not support acceptance.

See these essays by T. H. Huxley:

Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: wolfenheart-ga on 21 Nov 2003 10:17 PST
If you are a Christian whose only reason for turning away from
Christianity is the actions of certain people, it might be good to
look at Christians who have used their faith as a source of strength
and kindness.  Mother Terresa is the best example I can think of.
However, if you really know that Christianity isn't for you and you
feel the need to defend your choice this site might help.
As a non-Christian, I wish I could say that every debate with
Christians has been civil with both sides understanding the other, but
most times I've only gotten Bible quotes angrily spitted out at me. 
These people respect only the Bible, so I actually have had to use the
Bible to defend my stance.
Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: bikerman-ga on 22 Nov 2003 06:04 PST
Start with the idea that considering an idea or philosophy can only
make you stronger.  If your friend is unable to change your mind, you
will be standing in a stronger position than before because your own
beliefs have withstood some resistance.  If you conclude that your
friend was right, you stand in a better position because you now
consider that you know the truth.  Either way you win.

With that in mind, I have some questions which you should get your
friend to answer for you.  Be warned, however, that those who
subscribe to "Christianity" do not typically appreciate a rigorous
examination of their faith.  They don't like it because their faith
won't stand up to it.  If and when your friend becomes agitated, it is
probably time to walk away.  People who are convinced that what they
believe is right because they have thought it through thoroughly do
not need to become agitated and argumentative.

-- "How will believing what you do benefit me?"
This should be your first question when considering anything.  If it
doesn't serve your best interest, don't do or believe it.

-- "God started this whole mess, right?  So what was His purpose in doing so?"
I am, and I didn't create myself.  I can't buy the idea that a
rational, living being formed on its own, so I believe that someone
else created me.  Whoever that person is, is the one I call God.  He
who had the power to create me must also have the power to destroy me.

-- "What do I need saving from?  How do you define salvation, precisely?"
Don't be satisfied with vague generalities.  The center of any
"Christian" faith is some guy named Jesus who supposedly is your
saviour.  A saviour implies that you need saving from something.  Get
your friend to be very precise about what that is.  "Believe that
Jesus Christ was the virgin-born, sinless son of God who died for your
sins a was raised on the third day and sits at the right hand of the
Father and you will be saved." is not a satisfactory answer, IMO. 
What is your sin?  Jesus was a teacher--to "believe in him" is to
follow his teachings, so what exactly did he teach?

-- "What is a christian?  Can one God agree with all these different
'christian' faiths?"
Everyone seems to have a different idea of exactly what it means to be
a christian.  There are more denominations and divisions in the church
than Carter has liver pills.  If you ask an astute "Christian" about
this, he/she will tell you that they "agree in the essentials, have
tolerance in the non-essentials, and love in all things."  So ask
this: If it was a non-essential issue, why did you split into seperate
churches over it?  What exactly does the almighty God consider
non-essential that you agree with Him about?  Remember the trichotomy
axiom from math class: If a=b and b=c, then a=c.  If I agree with God,
and you agree with God, then we'd better agree with each other.

-- "How can I have the freedom to choose whether or not I will be saved?"
Someone in need of a saviour cannot save himself.  What if God wants
me to be saved, but I choose not to be; or vice versa, God does not
want me to be saved, but I choose to be.  In either case, I have power
to determine God's destiny...I have overcome my own creator and he
ceased to be God.  Salvation is not mine to choose.  I did not choose
to need a saviour in the first place, and I do not choose to be saved
in the second.  Don't let your friend confuse this issue with
"foreknowledge".  God knowing what you are going to chose before you
chose it has nothing to do with who determines what you will chose.

These are just a few very elementary questions which your friend
*should* be able to answer very simply and effectivly.  I found the
answers to these questions and more, but only after leaving
"Christianity".  The truth makes sense--don't let anyone tell you that
any of these issues are mysteries that are beyond your comprehension. 
That is just a nice way to hide a lie.

I hope this helps you some.  Best regards,
Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: kriswrite-ga on 26 Nov 2003 09:30 PST
<<<Be warned, however, that those who
subscribe to "Christianity" do not typically appreciate a rigorous
examination of their faith.  They don't like it because their faith
won't stand up to it.  >>>

Ah! Then ask away! Because Christianity does, indeed, stand up to the
very closest scrutiny. (So many of the best Christian writers were
once staunch atheists, and scholars to boot. C.S. Lewis, Josh
McDowell, etc. etc. etc. began their research into Chrisitianity in
order to *disprove* it. And came away believers.)

Unfortunately, many Christians only know how to answer the questions
*they* had before they became Christians; they do not study up on the
questions that others may have. Therefore, they are unprepared to
provide answers to those who are seeking truth. But if someone is
truly seeking the reality of Christianity (and not just the same old,
tired myths about it), there are tons of resources out there. The
Bible itself (please, read a modern translation. Unfortuantely, most
people don't understand the language of King James anymore), plus
books like "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" and "Mere Christianity."

Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: pafalafa-ga on 08 Dec 2003 06:25 PST

Thanks for the rating and the tip.  This was an interesting challenge
for me, so I hope my thoughts on the matter were of use to you, along
with the numerous contributions from other researchers.

All the best for the holidays (Christian and others) to you and yours.

Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: bretta-ga on 20 Jan 2004 19:09 PST
Of course a couple of the all time books for true investigation into
the evidence of Jesus and Christianity are:

"The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel and
"Evidence that Demands a Verdict" By Josh McDowell.

Check them out.  You make the determination for yourself.  You will be glad you did.
Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: pugwashjw-ga on 11 Feb 2004 02:36 PST
If I want an answer to a medical problem, I look up a medical book or
see a doctor. And YES I would agree that christians are hypocrites.
Because they do not follow what the Bible teaches, but are more
concerned with "Traditions of Men". There are at least three
scriptures in the Bible which indicate it is up to US to search the
scriptures to "know" what God wants. First Chronicles 28;9, 16;11,
Second Chronicles 15;2. All put the onus on us, and add the proviso
that If we leave God, HE will leave us. By the state of the world
today, HE has left most of us. His compassion is NOT limitless.
Subject: Re: christians are hypocrites
From: cweed-ga on 31 Mar 2004 11:37 PST
One of the great critiques of Christianity was written by Thomas Paine
over 200 years ago. It is available for free at Project Gutenberg,

The Age of Reason
by Thomas Paine

Be sure to note Paine's coverage of
1. Christ's crucifixion: The absurdity of an innocent man dying for the guilty
2. Revelation as hearsay
3. The injustice of punishing people for their ancestor's sins
4. Inconsistencies in the bible
And many more...

While this is a very dated text in light of newer Biblical
scholarship, it contains many great points that are still more
powerful than ever.

This book for me was like a spot-light in the fog of our current culture.

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