Christians have a huge struggle to overcome the hypocrisy that tries to engulf us. Our walk with Christ must be real, and evident to all. We cannot hide, or pretend to hide our Christian convictions in the presence of spectators.
In the passage below, Peter seems to change his convictions based on who he is around. Peter was not being consistent with his morals, he wanted to please everyone.
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even hipocrisy was carried away with their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?"
Our fear of man(peer pressure) can change our convictions. In Galatians 2:11-14 Peter had a fear of what his peers might think of him, and this led him to become a two-faced Believer. His important position in the early church influenced many to follow his crooked ways. In verse 13, Peter's hypocrisy influenced others to follow him, and they were led astray, too. Even Barnabas admired Peter in such a way that he followed Peters example.
Christians cannot ask others to follow Christ regardless of their sin, when our own sin influences our behavior towards Jesus. When our life does not reflect Christ, we lead our peers astray and perverse their idea and understanding of the gospel. None Christians are watching us, waited to see how we respond in situations. When we are hypocrites, we give them a bad taste of what the gospel is.
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle,
Could it really be true? I think that is a huge generalization, but it certainly has reason to support its' premise.
Peter tried to conceal his sin. When we conceal out sin, it creates religiosity, and destroys our relationship with God. Peter was being a religious Christian when we played both parts. He would eat withe Gentiles, but when Jews came in the room, he bolted. Peter was eventually called out in public by Paul, who bravely confronted him in is sin.
Are the only people that know your a Christian from church?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)