In the book unChristian by Kinnaman and Lyons, the first major area they examine where Christians are unChristian concerns hypocrisy. Don’t roll your eyes this time; there are some important things in this chp that I’m not sure are known well enough. Some of this might surprise you.
1. Hypocrisy is not defined accurately, but it is a general term used by many for Christians but Mosaics and Busters are not as bothered by hypocrisy as many might think. Why? Skepticism and cynicism lead many to think humans can’t be counted on. (This doesn’t minimize the trenchancy of the accusation.)
2. Born-again Christians are barely different than non born-agains. Their words: “No difference.” 84% of outsiders know a born-again Christian but only 15% of those think they are different in lifestyle.
3. What’s the problem? Christians convey that moral difference is inherent to who they are. Lifestyle — doing good, being good, doing the right thing, not sinning. This is how born-agains describe what they think is most distinct of Christians.
4. This leads to a temptation to give off false pretences.
5. Few outsiders say they don’t want to be Christians because of the high moral standards.
The next two surprised me the most.
6. Born-again Busters are dramatically looser in morals than older born-agains (42+). E.g., 59% vs. 33% accept cohabitation; 58% vs. 38% on gambling; 44% vs. 23% on sex outside of marriage; 35% vs. 13% on getting drunk; 28% vs. 13% on same-sex sexual relations. Young people are reshaping morals.
[Busters are born between 1965 and 1983, hence 24-42 yrs old.]
7. The unChristian charge is given more potency by the morals of Busters.
8. Transparency is a needed virtue for born-agains. Public apologies, etc., are signs of change and are signs of authenticity for outsiders.