That Dog Won’t Hunt: 'The Hypocrisy of Ethic-less Christianity'

The Dangers of Ethic-less Christianity

That Dog Won’t Hunt – The Dangers of Ethic-less “Christianity”




So, once upon a time you “asked Jesus into your heart.” You are good for heaven, but I am supposedly hell-bound if I haven’t done the same. 

Yet after years of “being a Christian”  you :


  • Cheat on your taxes.
  • Steal supplies from work.
  • Get to work late and leave early.
  • Do as little as possible at work and try to get paid as much as you can for it.
  • Lie, manipulate, gossip, and slander
  • Pursue more and more and more money. Making money is the center of your life.
  • Are stingy with your time, talents, and money. Your goal in life is the American dream, not Jesus’s kingdom.
  • Are not generous with your finances.
  • Oppress your employees by paying them as little as you can.
  • Don’t fulfill contractual obligations. You hire lawyers to get out of your commitments.
  • Are a racist or a misogynist or homophobe.
  • Do not keep your word. Your promises and commitments are meaningless.
  • Are hateful to those who are different.
  • Are exclusive, elitist, separatist.
  • Are indifferent toward the poor and the oppressed. You think they just need to “get over it” or “get a job.”
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant in the assembly of the saints.
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant on the job.
  • Are contentious, combative, discordant and self-centered in your marriage and in the home.
  • Are unmoved by others suffering.
  • Are angry, embittered, and unforgiving, quick to take offense.
  • Are vindictive and vengeful.
  • Are lazy, irresponsible, immature, and self-centered.
  • Are unloving toward people in your church and in the world (1 John says you do not know God if that is the case, regardless of whatever “saving prayer” you muttered years ago).
  • Justify the egregious behaviors of your self, your friends, and your political heroes, but demand behavioral consistency in others and your enemies. You want and expect grace for yourself, but dish out condemnation and performance expectations on others–thus, not understanding grace at all. 
  • Are confident in your Bible knowledge and are over-bearing with  others about it.
  • Rejoice at others pains and sorrows as “judgments from God.”
  • Do not ask for forgiveness nor repent for anything. It is always the other person’s fault. You are a victim.

. . .  but you are “saved” and “going to heaven when you die.”

Well, you are not doing much good for anyone but yourself while you are still here. 

The world and our culture are fed up with this kind of hypocritical “Christianity.” Ethic-less Christianity is a humanist myth.

If any one is in Christ, that person is a qualitatively new creation.

The new birth starts with a transformative act, the new creation. It continues in transformation every day, so that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal body (2 Cor. 4:11 – Note: not in heaven in the sweet by and by when we die. )

A typical gospel presentation in a Western Evangelical church today is so out of balance with over-emphasis on spiritual metaphysics of what happens in the invisible realm regarding salvation, that the matter of being a new kind of human while we are on this planet is not only ignored in some brands of hyper-Protestantism, but also taught against as “irrelevant.”

I have had scores of Evangelical and Fundamentalist  “believers” tell me that our behavior  is allegedly irrelevant because Jesus was “God in disguise” (an egregious and inaccurate cliché) and that we cannot expect to be like Him. He is  supposedly not our example in our behavior because “He was God and we are not.” In that line of thinking, He is only relevant for what He has done for us as “God.”  I have heard these type of things over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. 

Jesus said: You will know who is His by their behavior (fruit) . . . not by their faith confession. 

This is not about moralism and perfectionism. Both are bondages. This is not about works righteousness, earning favor with God by behavior, or policing each other.  Anathema on all that sort of thing. This is about living in relational reality and integrity with one another on planet earth.  The issue is one of authenticity before an observing world, not our “forensic status before God.” When our failures are evident–and they will be for all of us– God has made a way not only to be right with Him, but also with our fellow human beings. It is called contrition, repentance, sorrow, asking forgiveness . . . and moving on.


Copyright 2020. Dr. Stephen R. Crosby. For video and audio resources, sign up as a student here. You will find a mix of both free resources and those with cost. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this blog article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution through our Paypal button to help? Stephanos Ministries is NOT a 501-c-3 corporation Click here to understand why. Thank you and God bless you.

5 comments on “That Dog Won’t Hunt: 'The Hypocrisy of Ethic-less Christianity'

  1. Thank you Steve for sharing your thoughtful and convicting comments. I was reminded of several of our Lord’s teachings including Matthew 7:5 “remove the beam from your own eye” , the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sermon on the Mount. Our outward behavior is to be a reflection of our new inner life!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Rolf. Indeed, if we identify with others in our humanity, we will be far less likely to set ourselves above others or lecture others about “what the Bible says.”

  2. I agree but it was a hard read (It was a trigger) because I am soooooo used to the policing moralists and controllers in the church. They constantly harp on how worthless and what a sinner we are that it (for me) actually started to create some additional and serious mental health issues for me…..I am still recovering (I have a family abuse + spiritual abuse (they were christians too) history which made it all worse….these people put my earthly father’s words into my heavenly Father’s mouth which honestly, chased me away from God). I have to remember I need to hear this because of why I hurt too….that what was done and happened to me mattered…..For me, God focuses on teaching me and loving me, but He doesn’t seem to constantly lecture me or harp on every singe potential failure. He doesn’t tear me down. I have sooooo much to learn, but I find when God corrects me it is because He is for me. It is because He loves me and He does care about His name. He teaches me so much about what love is and who He is…..The Holy Spirit put Jesus back in the center for me. I am beginning to believe I really am that new creation after all and out of what seems like nowhere, I start behaving like that new creation genuinely and with greater ease. It also shocks me…this work He does….I have been misinformed much by previous teachers and Christianity in general….I still have literal anxiety and some disassociation around the Bible and reading teaching because of my past but little by little, His love brings things back into balance and I discover though I have genuine failings, I am also precious to Him. Thank you for writing and reminding He cares what image we bear. People like me who have been truly devastated by the excuses (i.e. sinners saved by grace” instead of just repenting) and the excesses (control and authoritarianism) the “church” makes for its behavior need to hear this more….it matters and it mattered. I need to change too, but what happened was still really not right.

    • Thanks for writing a very reasonable response considering your background. When it comes to church abuse, my family would win the gold medal. If I told you what was done to us, it is likely you would not believe it. This is not about scrupulous perfectionism versus sloppy grace. It is about human authenticity, something that is not allowed in most churches I have attended.

      • I am saddened to hear this about your family too. That word authenticity really leaps out as for me, that is part of the journey….to be real. You cannot learn if you are not really who you are, mess, mistakes and all. Looking pretty means love never really gets to hold you….and that (at least for me) is where so much of the healing really is….yeah, I am a mess. True! I have made bad choices. True! But We are not alone and that provides me so much comfort to know that God is seriously invested in me because that is who He truly is. That gives me hope. Thank you for responding. Blessings and peace to you.

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