Hypocrites in the Church?

hypocrite-mask.gifHave you ever been confronted by a friend with the accusation that churches are full of hypocrites?

Perhaps you are engaged in a spiritual conversation with a person with whom you are hoping to develop a redemptive relationship. This might seem like a brush off.

Perhaps you are speaking with a dear friend who is caught in a sin that you are hoping to gently restore. You might feel like such a statement is an attempt to deflect the discussion to some other topic, any other topic, in fact.

What if you are talking to someone who has encountered real-life hypocrites in the church? What do you say? How does this make you feel? Well, a new-found-blogging-friend by the name of Erin MacPherson has written an excellent article about this. Not only does she share her heart, she also shares excellent insights into how we can sort through our thoughts and feelings related to our struggles with the reality of hypocrites in the church. I urge you to take a couple of minutes and read this post. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Grace and peace to all,

-bill

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Christianity, Church, Kingdom Living. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Hypocrites in the Church?

  1. John M. Kenney says:

    Bill,
    I am dealing with a fallen brother who now says the church is full of hypocrites. That’s why he says he left God. the truth is he is living in adultery and blaming it on God and the church. So, I will check out Erin’s post. Thanks brother!

  2. Bill says:

    John,

    I’m sure you will find Erin’s post informative. However, you’re dealing with a tuffy. When people are playing the blame game, it’s difficult for them to take responsibility for their actions. But, I’m sure you don’t need anyone to tell you that, huh?

    May God give you wisdom. May God’s Spirit work in this brother’s heart. May he be responsive to the Spirit’s promptings.

  3. Erin says:

    It is difficult when people use the fact that there are hypocrits in the church to justify their actions. My friend is in a similar situation and all I can do is pray for her and hope that she sees Jesus for who he is.

  4. jel says:

    that was a very good post,
    thanks for sharing it!

  5. loriannhouse says:

    You have no idea how often I hear those words said about people that I am around. They don’t go to church because…I will infact read Erins post.

  6. Kathy says:

    Congratulations to Erin! Good entry on her blog!

    If we are ever going to have any kind of defense against the hypocrisy challenge, we are probably going to have to take more seriously the injunction to “confess your sins one to another,” and do so more openly. We [Christians/Believers] are absolutely going to have to be more transparent. We have discovered how to perfectly and successfully present a facade that says, “I’ve got it all together. There’s nothing wrong in MY life!”

    Until we begin to be more open with our struggles, there is NO way we’ll ever be able to successfully erase the image of being a bunch of hypocrits.

    When we are witnessing to another, we do well to show our soft underbelly – our battle with temptation and sin – all the while mirroring our joy and thanksgiving to the LORD for His grace, without which we’d be more than lost. Isn’t that, after all, the heart of the Gospel?

    When you get right down to it, aren’t we really truly just a bunch of victorious hypocrits? 😉 We say and believe the ‘thou shalt nots’ and the ‘thou shalts’ but how often do each of us fall short of that goal. Paul reminds us of that in what I call Paul’s Lament in Romans 7. Also, as he writes in in that same chapter;
    24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  7. Bill says:

    Wow! Thanks to all of you for the fantastic comments!

    Kathy, you are so correct. Sooooo correct! Thanks for the steady stream of wisdom that flows from your heart, refreshing all of us at the Spiritual Oasis.

    Blessings to all,
    -bill

  8. Greg England says:

    Erin: Excellent article! Love your “however” … that it really is all about God. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Bill, thanks for the link.

  9. Dee Andrews says:

    I had an uncle who had wanted to be baptized as a very young adolescent and his parents (my dad’s parents) wouldn’t let him. He became one of the most cynical people I’ve ever known.

    Years later when I was a very young adult I had the opportunity to be around him a whole lot after we moved to northern Virginia near where they lived in Maryland on the other side of the Washington, D. C. infamous “beltway.”

    He constantly talked about how how hypocritical all of the Christians he knew were and how that was why he wouldn’t even consider being a Christian. Somehow I loved my uncle to pieces, even though he was so cynical, and I really thought he was one of the most genuine people I knew. And God put it in my heart and mind one evening to tell him, “Uncle Glenn – whether you go to Heaven or not is directly between you and God. It doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with what other people, Christians or not, do or don’t do. If you will read your Bible and do what it says, God will make you His child and save you.”

    He was taken aback and for once (and he was very articulate) had nothing to say. What was there to say?

    He died when he was only 64 years old of heart trouble. But I’m very happy to say that he became a Christian a year or two before he died after studying with a minister for a good while and going to church with my aunt, who was also baptized. When my dad called to tell me about it he was very happy. He asked me to call my Uncle Glenn and I did and heard the happiest man I could ever hear.

    I don’t know how much what I’d said to him years before helped in bringing him to Christ. I wish I knew. But I know that the words I spoke to him are as true today as they were those 40 years ago and that Jesus Christ and His blood shed for us is what we must focus on. Not on our own shortcomings or those of the Christians around us.

    It is God who calls us to be His children and we are HIS offspring and Jesus Christ’s bride, for better or worse. May we never forget that and always focus on that.

  10. cwinwc says:

    Hypocrites in the church? Say it ain’t so. Of course it is because the church consists of people. This kind of reminds me of folks who have stated in the past, “The church must be kept “pure.”” Well, once the church became full of people that ideal went out the door. The people are the church and we can call them things like “the Body of Christ” because Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for The Church is pure.

    I also like the way Jeff Walling put it when he said, “People who are “messes” need a “Mess”-iah.”

  11. Kathy says:

    As I’ve said before, Bill, I’m not known for my reticence in speaking what’s on my mind. LOL

    But we really do need to bring down the walls of self-protection becoming more transparent with those that we’re witnessing to if we ever hope to really present Jesus to the world. With those walls in place, they become a barrier between the seeker and their LORD – we become the focus rather than it being Jesus. All of course, imho. 🙂

  12. Maria Toth says:

    I enjoyed the replies as much as the post

    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

  13. timglass says:

    The only church without hypocrites is an empty church.

  14. Greg England says:

    Have you ever known anyone … ANYONE … who is not hypocritical to some extent? I haven’t, including myself. Isn’t it wonderful that God adopts us into his family, lets us wear his name, and gives us a full inheritance … and we’re all hypocrites!

  15. Bill says:

    Thanks to all who have made such excellent comments! Maria is correct, in my estimation. The comments from our little, world-wide-blogging-community are extraordinary. I am especially grateful for the way you enrich my life!

    Greg: Someone said that a hypocrite is a person who pretends to be what he does not intend. Even with this somewhat more generous definition, I still must plead guilt of many counts on many occasions. It seems to me that our most important response to this reality is to cultivate an atmosphere of love, acceptance and forgiveness in which the “need” for pretenses is greatly diminished.

    Blessings to all,
    -bill

  16. Maria Toth says:

    What a little discussion going on here!

    Every blessing to you this day
    In Jesus,
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

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