"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27-28)Before you jump my case and tell me to not judge lest I be judged hear what I have to say about hypocrisy. Firstly I think that we are all hypocrites because so few of us are free to be who we really are in our hearts. I think that religion is a weird phenomenom that puts people in positions where they are compelled to be hypocrites. Something inside of them causes them to reject who they really are and forces them to live external lives that are so different than their trues selves.
Fundamentalism really put me in that place of hypocrisy where my whole identity seemed to be external. I can remember times when I wanted to "go forward" to receive prayer and did not because I couldn't deal with the idea that people would question me as a leader. It seemed that my whole life was built around a charismatic persona where what I did was more important than who I was. It was only in pain that I began to reject living from the outside and start living from the inside - from my heart.
I am still challenged to live a life true to who I really am and to not reject my heart and cowtow to the image of the Christian leader that others might want me to be. It is sometimes a difficult journey because I don't like to be rejected and when you live from your heart rejection often comes - even if it is only in your mind :)