Hypo-what? Hypocrisy in the Church – Karleigh Brunson

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Let me start off by saying, I love evangelism. It’s terrifying to us, but glorifying to the Father all at the same time. That whirlwind of emotions is what keeps me on my spiritual guard. I always get so pumped to share the gospel, but every now and then, I’ll run across a question that will knock me off track simply because I do not know the answer to it.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I were sharing the gospel with a girl at USC. We were talking to her about her spiritual life when she told us that she didn’t attend any kind of church. Curious, I asked her why. My heart sunk when she gave me the answer that I so often hear. In fact, it’s why some of the people whom I love dearly do not profess faith in Christ. Her answer: “I find a lot of hypocrisy in the church.” Ouch. This is such a hard question and one that I find a lot of us come across when evangelizing. So what’s the answer?

Let’s keep in mind a verse that I hold dear to my heart. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This means, you, me, your mom, my pastor, the entire church, everyone. I think this is where a lot of people who make the argument about hypocrisy in the church get confused. I believe that there tends to be a major misconception about Christians. That we all walk around with self-righteous attitudes, believing that we are perfect. This may be true for some, but certainly not for all. Let me make this next point very clear: yes, all Christians are sinners. However, all Christians are not hypocrites. Christians are by no means perfect. In John 1:5-2:2 he writes about this very conundrum. He says that if anyone says that they are without sin, then he is deceiving himself and the truth is not in him. Christians are not without sin; that is why we need God. Further on in the passage of scripture, John points out that even though we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Secondly, the church is a work in progress, as are its people. Unfortunately, there will always be hypocrites in the church. There is no way around that. However, when we learn to separate sinner’s actions from the grace of God and the legitimacy of the gospel, I think we will begin to see that the church is not a bad place to be. Hypocrisy does not negate Christianity or the claims of Christ! As stated earlier, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Finally, I would like to end with an illustration I heard the other day that hits the nail on the head with this issue. Let’s say that there is a guy who owns a major car company. The type of car he sells is legitimately the best car ever made in this country. He makes it his goal to tell everyone else about how great his car really is. Then you see him around town driving another type of car from another dealership. You’re angry because you thought that his car was the best and after all, if he truly believed that wouldn’t he be driving his type of car? While that may be true, his own hypocrisy does not invalidate the truth that the car is still legitimately the best car ever made.

The same is true for Christianity. Even though people within the church can sometimes lead lives that are inconsistent with their claim about Christianity, that doesn’t make the gospel any less true. The beautiful thing about God is that he didn’t need us, but he chose us to be bearers of his witness and gospel. Our inadequacies will never change the legitimacy of the gospel or that Christianity is true. How awesome is that?

I encourage and challenge you guys to really pray about this issue this week and ask God to reveal to you the areas in your life that need to be voided of hypocrisy.

Don’t forget that Go and Tell is this Friday, the 28th, at 3:30 on the third floor of Russell House! Come on out and don’t be afraid of getting into a spiritual conversation that you may not know all of the answers to. God will still use you as long as you are obedient and willing!!

Praying for you all this week.

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