I get a steady stream of interesting articles from friends and readers (thank you, keep ’em coming). One friend sends me a whole lot of what might fall into the “Christian hypocrisy” file. Though I don’t know his faith, I’m going to guess by what he sends me that he thinks Christians are a bunch of naive, hypocritical fools. The “Christian hypocrite” storyline goes something like this: You preach certain values and standards. Then you don’t live up to those values and standards. Bam (ergo)–you are a hypocrite.
That’s not quite how I see things. I believe that there is no such thing as the perfect Christian. I believe we can preach and learn about an absolute standard, while failing to live up to that standard. Possibly the only form of hypocrisy would be if a church-going Christian knew the rules but claimed “they don’t apply to me.” Those people are out there, but happily, I don’t meet them too often.
This it not a confessional, tell-all post so don’t get too excited, but suffice to say, I preach standards I have not lived up to at one time or another, for example, today. And yesterday. And tomorrow.
Anyway, these ruminations are the result of stumbling across this post. Christians in churches are having abortions. No one is immune to making mistakes and it would be foolish if we thought we were. Healthy churches know this. I just think it’s worth remembering because all pro-lifers, many of whom are practicing Christians, need to figure out how to be in these situations with others who have had abortions when the faith is pretty clear on “thou shalt not kill.”
It actually shouldn’t be any harder than being with other Christians stumbling through life on a great array of difficult topics. (Shouldn’t be any harder, which is to say, it is very hard. Where is the line between being encouraging and being pedantic or patronizing? How do we choose our tone? When do we speak versus not speak? How do we, in moments, conceal our shock? How do you cope with the news that someone you love has made a terrible, huge mistake? Am I brave enough to risk losing a friend to stake out truth? When I lose a friend, is it my fault? Please join me in my world of sleepless nights, people.)
PS I found the linked article sad, because it would be heartbreaking to learn you “should have been an Auntie” in that fashion.