The Church Is Full Of Hypocrites
“Church is full of hypocrites.” “When I go to church I feel judged.” “The views of the church are outdated.” “Church is boring…” I just read that these are the primary reasons why people don’t go to church. Since I have spent most of my life outside of the church I can relate to these sentiments. However, from my 20 year perspective within the church I also see another side of things.
Church is full of hypocrites. The church is a place of healing, hope and love. My pastor recently made a point that I had never considered before (this happens often). He said few people come to Christ at the top of their game, almost all of us come in need and we bring a mess with us. We come broken and looking for hope. We should find hope and encouragement within the church.
Since the church is full of people it is not perfect. Despite the fact that many of us are actively trying to live a life that is honoring to God every single one of us falls short. The ability to humbly receive His grace and forgiveness and move forward is a sign of a maturing Christian. The willingness to reach out to love others, despite of, or because of, our inherent weakness is the true measure of Christ within us. We are hypocrites if we deny our weakness while casting stones at others for theirs. This is not a reflection of God’s love.
When I go to church I feel judged. God has an amazing plan for each of our lives. It is a plan of prosperity and fulfillment. Like an athlete in training, there are things we can do to help us along that path and there are things we can do that are detrimental to that path. One of the ways we know what might not be beneficial for us is the conviction we feel about that thing when confronted with it.
God uses the feeling of conviction to show us where we are falling short. The sole purpose of conviction is to bring about change for the better. I have sat in church many times feeling convicted about things I have done or left undone. God does not bring shame, He does not beat us down with the weight of our sins. He sent Jesus to bear our sins that we could be free of shame and self-loathing. We may feel conviction, not judgment, as we sit church but that is simply a gentle call to a fuller life by a loving Father.
The views of the church are outdated. Recently a popular celebrity has been condemned for expressing his Biblical views on homosexuality. I have read that those views are outdated and do not take into consideration today’s enlightened thinking and our newfound sensitivity. It can be unpopular to express Biblical viewpoints. People might get offended. This man was fired from his job.
Some may view the word of God as outdated but His word does not change. It does not take into account what is trending today. It is the same yesterday today and forever. It is absolute and it is relevant today.
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We do so daily, all of us. God does not call us to sit in judgment of the world. He calls us to be faithful, to love others as we love ourselves, to deal with the plank in our own eye before we concern ourselves with the splinter in our brother’s. While we were ALL sinners Christ died for us and He calls us to love others as He loves us. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a verb, an action word, something we do.
God’s word is timeless, not subject to trends, it doesn’t go out of style. His message is love and reconciliation. Let’s make sure that when we publically express it we do it in a spirit of love otherwise we use His name in vain.
Church is boring. Jesus’ church is not boring. If your church is boring you might want to start looking around. Church isn’t about entertainment but any place that the living, vibrant word of God is preached should be full of life. Our church should challenge, teach and help equip us. It should breathe life into our families and our communities. The church should be helping to radically change lives, feed the hungry and give hope to the hopeless. None of this is boring.
Our worship should be heartfelt and passionate. The scripture is full of encouragement and examples of praising God in our worship. Jesus said the very stones would cry out if His disciples weren’t praising God. David danced with wreckless abandon before the Lord. Psalm 150 extols us to praise Him enthusiastically, praise Him according to HIS greatness. Psalms 95 says, “Make a joyful noise…” None of this sounds boring to me.
There is no doubt that some people’s motivation in praise is to draw attention to themselves. John 4 tells us that God seeks worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. It may be hard not to judge people’s motives as they worship but, for most of us, every moment we spend worrying about what others are doing during worship is a wasted moment. Worship can be a dynamic interaction with our Father and no one has ever walked away from real interaction with God yawning and bored.
If the church you go to isn’t what you think it should be then you can find another church or help change the climate of the church you are in. Just make sure what you are looking for is Biblical, yes, that means you have to read the Bible to see what is Biblical.
One last thing, don’t give up on church because you have been disappointed in church in the past. That dog won’t hunt. We didn’t give up on women after the first one (or several) didn’t work out. Back in the day I didn’t swear I’d never go to another bar because I didn’t like one I visited. God has something amazing for you and it is in church. What do you think?