The Big Question 74: Why Are There Hypocrites In The Church?
Sep 1, 2021 317
Why are there hypocrites in the church?
This is actually a good question. Let’s think it through. People judge a product for how it works for others. If it works for them, then they’ll want to try it themselves.
There are many people who have made the decision to reject Christianity because they don’t like how it has worked for other people. Basically, they’ve some supposed Christians who just aren’t nice people. They’re judgmental rather than accepting. They’re rule-oriented rather than people-oriented. They’re mean-spirited instead of generous.
They’re judgmental instead of gracious. They say one thing and do another. In short, they’re hypocrites. And the fact that there are followers of Jesus who are like that is really tragic.
However, you can’t use the behaviour of some people to judge the truthfulness of Christianity. To put it plainly, just because some people are hypocrites doesn’t mean that the Christian faith isn’t true. It doesn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t born in Bethlehem, or that he didn’t die and rise again.
The Christian faith doesn’t stand or fall on the behaviour of its followers. As a historically factual faith, it stands on the historical reality of the person, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. That means that even if all the followers of Christianity were hypocrites, the Christian faith would still be true.
Still, it is sometimes difficult for people to understand when so many supposed Christians don’t show it in their lives.
The reasons why goes back to the fundamental aspects of human nature. The principal reality we must face is that we are all sinners. There are sinners who aren’t Christians and there are Christian sinners as well. In that sense there is no difference. As shocking as it might seem, you shouldn’t expect to find fewer sinners inside a church than outside it.
This means that there will always be a misalignment between how Christians actually want to live and how they actually do live. As I said, this is common to all humanity. This is true for every human being, and there is nothing inherently wrong with this. We all that this same yearning to be better people.
However, the problem occurs when we try to justify the faults in our actions, our thoughts, and our relationships. The more we do this, the more “hypocritical” we become. In the course of doing this we also invariably relegate people to a lower status than ourselves.
Again, this isn’t limited to only religious people. It is a trait common to all humanity. While it’s often easier to point the finger at religious people, you can find hypocrites everywhere.
But what makes it worse when Christians are hypocrites is that they shouldn’t be. It’s the very opposite of the kind of people that followers of Jesus should be.
But hey, even Jesus himself had Judas as a follower! It didn’t stop him rising from the dead. And it hasn’t stopped his message being true.