The Charge of Being a Hypocrite…

In his book Fool’s Talk, Os Guinness has a challenging chapter on hypocrisy entitled Beware the Boomerang which I am sharing some thoughts and excerpts from.  I said yesterday that he would make the case that hypocrisy can be an advantage for our apologetics, but first we need to see that Os clearly shows that it can be a BIG problem as well.

Asking if it is the “unanswerable Objection” he gives the usual charges that we hear regarding Christians being hypocrites that do not walk the talk.  He then rightly points out that “such attacks sting, and in the acrid atmosphere of outrage or mockery, hypocrisy can appear to be the unanswerable objection to faith.  How can anyone defend the indefensible?  Christian hypocrites violate their own faith in a flagrant contradiction of everything they claim, so who need take their claims seriously?  In fact, there is no need to attack hypocrisy with heavy artillery.  Expose a Christian hypocrite and he will be seen to have falsified his own faith.  Better still, have a whole community to be hypocrites together, and others can walk away and leave faith to die.”

Mr. Guinness goes on to say hypocrisy is a massive challenge for Christians and especially when Jesus said we are to be His witnesses.  He cites many secular sources who mock the faith on this ground and then concludes with this:  “Hypocrisy is therefore a very serious problem for the defenders of the faith.  But what exactly is hypocrisy?  Why is it so serious, and in what sense does it count against faith?  Are Christians the only hypocrites, or perhaps only the worst?  How are we to counter hypocrisy and achieve some measure of true authenticity?  And what are the special dangers for apologists in countering charges of hypocrisy?”

For the answer to those questions, stay tuned as we continue through this important chapter!

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