Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Christianity: An Impossible Standard?

Christians are often accused of hypocrisy by non-Christians; because we preach a lifestyle that we often fail to practice. The ever-present hypocrisy of Christians is used by many to argue that Christianity posits an impossible and/or undesirable standard.  
Because of this, we Christians are told that we cannot and should not preach the Gospel. After all, can a creed be true that its proponents fail to practice? Impossible standards are useless at best and harmful at worst.
Furthermore, those who accuse Christians of hypocrisy are absolutely correct in their assessment. Christians who preach the Gospel are frequently hypocrites, because most Christians fail to live the Gospel to the best of their ability.
But this hypocrisy does not mean that Christians should stop preaching the Gospel. Nor does it mean that the standard upheld by Christianity should cease to exist.
For Christian standards are not impossible. God demands perfection of us (Matt 5:48). If we wish to be perfect, we can be - God never gives His creatures more than they can handle.
However, the Christian lifestyle is indeed difficult - and we as humans often take the easy way out rather than take up the yoke of Christ. It is often "easier" to give into temptation and overeat or lie or gossip or any of a myriad of different temptations, than to face that temptation and overcome it. And being weak humans, we fail to do so.
But the lives of the saints prove that a Christian lifestyle is indeed possible. For the saints actively lived that Christian life to the fullest - and as a result of their fidelity to the Christian code experienced joy-filled, fulfilled lives.
The difficulty of a standard is no reason to ignore it. We do not claim that lying is a positive good because most people tell white lies. Wrongdoing is still wrongdoing, no matter how many people commit it.
So our failure to live a Christian lifestyle is no argument against its validity. Indeed, the knowledge of our frailty should serve as a spur to live that Gospel we preach more fully.

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