Monday, 12 October 2009

blogging and hypocrisy

One of the difficulties of writing a blog, particularly one shared with close family and friends via Facebook, as well as the world at large via the web, is the huge range of people that may be reading. Now I don't for one minute flatter myself by thinking I have a big audience. Indeed, from the number of comments I get, it may be that no-one is reading! (I write as much for my own benefit in any case). Nevertheless I am aware that some people will occasionally read it and that amongst those people are those who are Christians and those who are not. My aim in both cases though is to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope in life and death. The only one who will unconditionally forgive and accept them. The only one who loves them enough to die for them. The only one in whom they will find real meaning, hope, peace and deep, lasting joy - even in life's difficulties.

No doubt amongst the non-believers are some that think I'm a nut-job and others still who perhaps know me better and think I'm a hypocrite. What they see me writing about here doesn't match up to what they see of me in person. Well, this may come as a bit of a surprise but I will readily admit that I'm a hypocrite. But in a very real sense, that is precisely the point. You see, Jesus came to save sinners. Those who are messed up, those who know they fail and let others down. From murderers to complainers. Rapists to occasional white-lie tellers. Yes, even hypocrites.

Most non-Christian's perception of Christianity is that it's for a bunch of fuddy-duddy, frowning, rule-keeping, freedom-robbing, fun-hating boring people. But true Christianity, when rightly understood, produces freedom and joy because it is based on recognising that we can't keep the rules but the Lord Jesus Christ has kept them for us.

Now I admit you may have met Christians who fit my dull description very well but that is no more representative of what a Christian should like than if I put a fluffy hat on my head and said I was a rabbit. A Christian is a real person like anyone else. They will mess up regularly like everyone else. Sometimes they'll get angry. Sometimes they'll do things that you'll think Christians shouldn't do. Maybe even things that most non-Christians wouldn't do. But the difference is that a true Christian is someone who knows how deeply flawed they are and isn't afraid to admit it. Why? Because Jesus accepts them just as they are. No need to try to clean themselves up or put on a show to impress anyone.

The sad irony is that the fuddy-duddies who are stuck on the treadmill of trying to keep God's rules in order to earn his favour are often the ones farthest from God and the ones who find the Gospel message so hard to accept. Like I said Jesus came to save dirty sinners - not those who are trying to scrub themselves clean.

As I work through the implications of growing in my own understanding of the gospel it means I may speak about my own failings. This is because not only is the need to protect my reputation of decreasing importance compared to my growing understanding of the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:8) but also because showing my failings and weaknesses is a great way to demonstrate how great the gospel is. Deep down, everyone knows there is a God and knows that they need to be right with Him - it's what drives so much of what we do - and the wonder of the gospel is that we are far worse than we think we are yet we are never so bad that we are beyond the reach of God's grace. Turn to Him. Turn from all your self-reliance and trust in His unfailing love. You'll never look back!

Oh, and to the one person who is reading, do feel free to drop me a comment - even if only to tell me that you agree that I am a nut-job and hypocrite. :-)


  1. You know, Martin, I think you're right. You are a nut-job and a hypocrite. If only you were as spiritual as me! :)

  2. Indeed, I can only bow before your superior wisdom and spirituality and dream that one day I may perhaps be considered worthy to untie your boot laces.

    Thank you for stooping to share your pearls of wisdom with me. :-)