People don't like hypocrites, and they get a pretty bad rap in the Bible (especially from Jesus), but is hypocrisy itself a sin?

In reformed theology at least, every one is fallen and cannot avoid sin, and is by definition a hypocrite if they point out anyone else's sin. It seems to me that hypocrisy is a necessary evil in the process of accountability.

The difference I see is in the manner of being hypocritical, Jesus was critical of the prideful hypocrites who could not see the flaws in themselves, but maybe there is a safe way to be both hypocritical and humbly acknowledging your own sin?

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    You are mistaken about your definition. Hypocrisy is pretending to be virtuous when you are not. It is not necessarily hypocritical to point out someone else's sin - only if you do so while pretending not to be sinful yourself. (There may be other reasons for not pointing out the sins of others apart from hypocrisy). – DJClayworth Jul 22 '13 at 21:08
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    Eh? Actually, the Bible is very clear about requiring believers to point out sin in one anothers' lives. Can I ask what source you're using for that definition of "hypocrisy?" Here are a few others that might be helpful: 1, 2, 3,4, 5. – Philip Schaff Jul 22 '13 at 21:54
  • @PhilipSchaff What about John 8:7? – Zetta Suro Aug 2 '13 at 18:54
  • @ZettaSuro: If you have questions about how to reconcile verses that command rebuke with those which require humility, that might be something to ask on the main board. I think that would be better than talking about it in comments. Thanks. – Philip Schaff Aug 3 '13 at 7:51
  • Trolling in a rather obvious way. – KorvinStarmast Oct 14 '18 at 23:34

I'm going to take a stab at this:

Essentially, reformed theology suggests that man is completely sinful. That's the T in TULIP for Total Depravity. We're so sinful that we're beyond saving on our power.

The thing that might get lost in this is that even a single sin. No matter how small is enough to keep us completely separated from God.

Hypocrisy is definitely a sin. It's a sin motivated by pride, but ultimately it's bearing false witness. It's lying to yourself and other about how bad off your spiritual state really is.

Reformed theology though brings us out of that hypocrisy, we see and confess our sin for what it really is: Total and complete depravity and in such complete separation from God.

This is where we get to the good stuff though. We don't leave it there. As sinful, hypocritical and depraved as we are, God's grace is more than sufficient to cover it all. Yes hypocrisy is sin, and considering the nature of the reformers as intellectuals it was certainly one they struggled with (I certainly do myself), but the truth is that Grace is sufficient. We're forgiven.

  • "That's the T in TULIP for Total Depravity. We're so sinful that we're beyond saving on our power." I don't think this is the Total Depravity doctrine. All Christians believe we have need (read: necessity) of the grace of God to be saved, and purely by that. I think Total Depravity goes beyond that to say that even with the grace of God, after regeneration/justification, you still are beyond saving. (Since those who adhere to Calvinism adhere to the doctrine of righteousness extra nos, which means nothing in you has changed, including your state as unfit for heaven because sinful). – Sola Gratia Oct 10 '18 at 15:35
  • In other words, your explanation of Tulip has to not be what you say it is, because Catholics definitely don't believe in Total Depravity (a statement about inability which endures and remains even after being made a new creation), yet have always affirmed, "we're so sinful that we're beyond saving on our power." But I don't know how 'professional' Calvinists would define it. – Sola Gratia Oct 10 '18 at 15:37