I had a very interesting Facebook conversation yesterday with a Hindu who was also an atheist.
Why in the world I would get into such an exchange is a very valid question but unfortunately I won't be exploring it at this point!
We had a quite lively exchange over his personal reasons for rejecting the Christian faith. Thinking back on the experience it is fair to say that he had one objection. Christian hypocrisy.
The short debate that followed helped me to come to the following conclusions.
Christians have been pretty bad hypocrites
Now I knew this before, this is one of those things that you can't not know. But yesterday I was really confronted by the extent to which professing Christians have failed to live in conformity with their ethical beliefs. It's something that should give all Christians reason to pause and evaluate the type of faith that they are presenting to others through their actions.
Non-Christians love to point this out
That being said, it still doesn't provide a justification to non-Christians to continually beat the same drum. You can't go onto an atheistic website or page without being presented with supposed evidence of Mother Teresa's misdeeds or testimonies of those effected by the abuse of churchmen.
I don't downplay any of the historic failings of professing Christians. I don't believe there's any reason to. But to pretend that these failings define Christianity is simply an overstatement.
Christian hypocrisy is not a valid argument against the Christian faith
I hope that this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. It should be obvious that Christian hypocrisy isn't a valid argument against Christian faith.
The big question is, are these hypocritical Christians acting in conformity with or in contradiction with the teachings of Christianity? Hopefully the adjective 'hypocritical' gives away the answer.
At the end of the day all the atrocities and moral crimes committed in the name of the Christian faith are always against the very doctrines that it teaches. Therefore these actions can't be representative of the Christian faith itself.
Christianity has to be measure by the efficacy and coherency of it's major doctrines, those being the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the triune nature of God.
Is Christian hypocrisy an issue? Yes. Should you use it as a reason to not believe in Christianity? No.