Are all Christians hypocrites? Why is the claim that Christians are hypocrites so popular? Is it true?
Hypocrites are people who say one thing and then do the exact opposite—people whose preaching does not match up with the pattern of their lives. Christians often get a reputation for being hypocrites. Some of the time, these accusations are fair and true. Other times, they aren't.
Most of the time when Christians are accused of being hypocrites, it stems from anger and resentment. All Christians strive to produce morality in their own lives—the problem comes when they point fingers at other people, requiring standards from others and judging anyone who does not measure up. Those who are judged inevitably find a lack of morality in the person pointing fingers and then they think "why is this person judging me when they do the same things?" This attitude was addressed by the apostle Paul, who confronted the Jews, saying, "Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things" (Romans 2:1).
Christians who do this are hypocrites, and they should repent of their hypocrisy and stop judging other people. As Paul said, "Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand" (Romans 14:4). But not all Christians are hypocrites. Many Christians are keenly aware of their own sin and failures, and do not judge others or require Christian morality from those who have not decided to follow Christ. However, all Christians are called to uphold goodness and beauty, and to speak the truth. Sometimes, a passion for truth and goodness is held up next to personal failures and the Christians in question are labeled hypocrites.
So, some Christians are humbly trying to live out their lives in Christ, communicating a passion and interest in what they believe, and sometimes failing to live up to their own standards. Other Christians judge harshly, or use morality and standards to control people, or control the way people see them. It is important to know the difference between these two types of Christians, because only the former is exhibiting Christian behavior. The latter may be also truly connected to Christ, and simply showing immaturity or making a mistake (Galatians 2:13). But Christians are not supposed to be hypocrites, and when they are, it is a sign something has gone wrong.
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