Our “Quick Shot” series offers brief answers to common objections to the Christian worldview. Each response is limited to one paragraph. These responses are designed to (1) answer the objection as concisely as possible, (2) challenge the objector to think more deeply about his or her claim, and (3) facilitate a “gospel” conversation. In this article, we’re offering “Quick Shot” responses to the objection, Quick Shot: “Christian hypocrisy proves Christianity is false.”
“Does atheist hypocrisy prove atheism is false? If a scientist lies about his findings, does this undermine all scientific endeavors, or just expose a single hypocrite? All of us are hypocritical in some way; it’s part of our human condition. We are consistently inconsistent, some more than others. This says less about our respective belief systems than it does about our human condition. I won’t hold the inconsistent behavior of some atheists against atheism as a whole, if you don’t hold the inconsistent behavior of some Christians against Christianity as a whole. Does that sound fair? Isn’t it more important to examine the evidence for our claims than to critique each other’s misbehavior?”
“Why would you be surprised when a Christian behaves hypocritically? There are two reasons why Christians will always be considered more hypocritical than non-Christians. First, our worldview is public and objective rather than private and subjective. Non-Christians understand the standard Christians are trying to personify. It is publicly available (just read a Bible) and hasn’t changed in two thousand years. Christians, however, have no idea if an unbeliever is violating his or her moral standard because the unbeliever holds it privately as a matter of personal opinion. Secondly, the Christian standard is grounded in the perfect moral nature of God. While atheists can meet their own personal standards, Christians never achieve the moral perfection of God’s standard. We know – in advance- that we will always fall short of the mark. Given the objectively high, public standard posited by Christianity, why would you ever be surprised to witness Christian hypocrisy, and why would you hold this against Christianity, rather than applaud Christianity for its high standard?”
Our “Quick Shot” series was written specifically for the Cold-Case Christianity App (you can download it on Apple and Android platforms – be sure to register once you download the App). When confronted with an objection in casual conversation, App users can quickly find an answer without having to scroll beyond the first screen in the category. Use the App “Quick Shots” along with the “Rapid Responses” and Case Making “Cheat Sheets” to become a better Christian Case Maker.
For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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