Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hypocrisy and the Church

Yesterday while at the Hairdresser, they were talking about a friend of theirs whose wife died and they had no ends of problems trying to find a church to have the funeral. They went on to tell me that they had approached the church I became a member of and used to attend for about 15 years, who denied them having the funeral there because the woman was a Informal Commercial Importer (ICI) or what we commonly call "higgler" in Jamaica. They thought that because of the person she was when she was alive, it would not be in the best interest of the I don't know what of the church, but they would not be able to accomodate a woman who lived in the same community where the church is situated because the patrons would smoke, drink, curse, etc. on the church compound.

IMHO, the church is there as a community service to its members and the community in which it is located. I find such demonstration of hypocrisy absolutely wrong. It goes against basic christian principles to deny those you think to be "unfit" of utilizing a community service. What they have in essence done is decided that this person is not worthy of a spiritual burial in their place of worship because of the life the person led while they were alive. Does the church have the right to decide that? Is this not the church "judging" an individual? Christianity should be about embracing non-christians. Jesus himself said in the bible that he comes not to save the righteous, but the sinners. The epitomy of Christian behaviour was demonstrated by Jesus through the people with whom he interacted while he was on earth. The "low lifes" of society were the persons he would be seen with and criticized heavily for. The modern day church is now turning its back on the example set by "the big man".

It is because of several hypocricies I witnessed and eventually became the victim of why my desire to be a part of that church community became non-existent. I know that I shouldn't let the behaviours of others prevent me from participating in the fellowship which is also very important. However, I refuse to become caught up in the double standard that I see in every church. I am content in my one-on-one interaction with God and in smaller groups of which I am a part. And then the church wonders why people do not readily come to be a part of the happy life they preach about. Until they realize that what will draw people to them is the way in which they live their lives, the Christian fellowship they share with every single individual they come in contact with, and not the acts of shun, judgement, condemnation and condescension (I acutally searched to see if this was spelt right ... and it was!) that they so frequently demonstrate.


SunsetMan said...

To my mind Christianity is about love and forgiveness, not about judging others. Too many of the religious leaders preach hate. Its one thing to disapprove of a persons actions but its wrong to hate that person. I could easily get into a rant about this. I have written a few posts about these kind of hypocrisies.

Unknown said...

I guess it is up to the ordained minister of the congregation (church) to decide if the funeral service should be kept in their place of worship. If they refuse because of the person's status in life or job then that is not the action of true Christians. If they refuse because the person blatantly lived a life contrary to the Bible's standards and morals then they have a valid point. There is a lot of hypocrisy in many religions, we just have to study the bible for ourselves and then examine the religions to se which one is truly following the Bible or I should say God's word.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is a tough one without knowing all the facts.

We need to be careful that we are not the ones who are judging by the way react to what we have herd about this particular church.

Some would say much of the Church could be accused of hypocrisy because it does not stick to what it preaches. I think that maybe there is a place for us to say something like "You were not interested in God while you were alive, so why should you be interested now you are dead".

Yes we should be loving, and also integral to the community but the number one thing God asks of is integrity! If the pastor felt it would be wrong to allow this funeral then he needs to go with that. His integrity is what’s most important to God in such situations. (In my opinion).

I am not really commenting on this particular situation. It's just a thought

Melinda said...

I am currently in search of a new church myself, for alot of the same reason you left yours. I don't expect nor want to find a church filled with "perfect" people (lord knows i would stick out like a sore thumb there) BUT I WOULD LIKE A CHURCH that doesnt seemened filled with people who are fake. A church that is accepting ( hello..the way christianity is supposed to be) and one where i actually feel i am learning. I am catholic and a lot of what mass is, is rituals. I want to learn too!! So i am on the search.

Dr. D. said...

So, what is wrong with making a living as a ICI (higgler)? She wasn't a tief! She wasn't a Don! She naw shot and kill nobody! (Bear in mind that when Dons die they have funerals at the arena with coffins costing hundreds of thousands and many poilticians attend.)

IMHO, I am in full agreement with you CD. The church leaders that refused to bury this woman have made a big mistake. As you rightly say, GOD is the final jude. Leave Him to make those decisions!