Calhoun Times

A little hypocrisy goes a long way

- Fulton Arrington is a past president and current board member of the Friends of the New Echota State Historic Site. He can be reached by email at fultonlarr­ington@

Ibelieve in Jesus Christ. I believe he is the son of God. During this season when we celebrate his birth, we should I think, take a little time to reflect on our own imperfecti­ons and meditate on his grace.

Unfortunat­ely, many of the people I meet who call themselves Christians would not know Christ even if he came to them in person and walking on water.

Indeed, almost since the day of his ascension, his gospel has been misdirecte­d, polluted, and politicize­d to suit the interests of evil men pretending righteousn­ess. It is these of which the Lord Christ said “Therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation”, Matt 23:14.

We quite often hear the statement “The Bible says”, but it seems when we hear that statement, most of the time anyway, it is a quote from the Old Testament and is being used as an excuse to condemn someone else. I hear very few actually quote from the words of Christ or use their religion to promote harmony and forgivenes­s.

The examples of this hypocrisy and misuse of scripture are many, but a few of the most recent and egregious come to mind. Just a couple of weeks ago, I read an article about a high-ranking cleric in a major “Christian” denominati­on removed from his post for having an inappropri­ate “friendship” with a woman.

A woman above the age of consent no less, in violation of his vows of celibacy. This cleric’s removal happened so quickly it makes one wonder why they could not have been equally effective in dealing with the pedophiles in their ranks. And now some in this same organizati­on are seeking to deny communion to politician­s they don’t like.

The message, it would seem, is that child molestatio­n is less of a sin then thinking for oneself.

Another example from out west comes to mind, when a very famous mega-church pastor faced a withering backlash for refusing to open his 16,000-seat arena to hurricane victims. I also read an article where another very wealthy church closed its food pantry because the deacons did not want “those people” coming to “our church”. I guess they never read the part where Jesus said, “Come onto me”. Or maybe they just do not know Christ at all.

In another interestin­g case from a couple of years ago, a very large protestant denominati­on faced some interestin­g questions regarding the treatment of women members. It was hushed up fairly quickly, I think they “disfellows­hipped” the people who reported on it, but the issue appeared to center around the reaction of the clergy to the issue of domestic violence.

They apparently were of the opinion that a woman who divorced a man for beating her was guilty of a greater sin than her abuser. Hard to justify, in my opinion. And then there was the famous Atlanta pastor who swore divorce was a sin …until he himself joined the ranks of the formerly married. Hypocrisy indeed. When it comes to the role of women, Christmas has much to teach us.

Under the law of Moses, the punishment­s for sex outside of marriage were rather severe. Also, women did not have many rights, it was very much a man’s world, and yet God chose to have a son by an unwed teenage girl. For those of us who believe in the Lord Christ, there is much for us to learn from close study of the Christmas story.

One lesson is to avoid a rush to judgment, had Mother Mary been stoned for sex outside of marriage (a barbaric tradition still practiced in places given over to religiousl­y inspired savagery), the world would have suffered irreparabl­e harm. But St. Joseph chose to handle things in a different way. We give thanks to St. Joseph during this season for both his wisdom and his discretion. His example is one from which all men who claim the Christian faith should learn from, but I meet very few who do.

The Apostle John tells us “…The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”. This Christmas let us take the Apostle’s words to heart. Grace and truth are much to be desired over the law, and forgivenes­s is preferable to judgement, as an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind according to the old proverb.

So, park your hypocrisy at the door, send your self-righteousn­ess to the recycle bin, forgive so that you may be forgiven, and remember the old adage; “Be careful of stones that you throw, it may be your own windows that you break”.

 ?? ?? Arrington

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