Hypocrisy in Our Churches

Churches in the mid-west are usually small and attendance is often irregular. If you ask a person on the street what they think of church, God or even Christianity - the answers often suggest they don't know or care or they feel strongly about not going to church because of the hypocrisy that "lives" there. We just finished Vacation Bible School in our new church and I was amazed and even shocked at how little the kids knew about God or the Bible. One night I taught the Ten Commandments. NONE of the 12 kids had ever heard of them.

So why are these kids completely ignorant of God's Word? Why do their parents have no interest in coming or even bringing their children to church? If you ask people why they don't come to church you will come across this blanket statement. "Church is full of HYPOCRITES." The sad thing is that they may be right. Hypocrisy is rampant in our churches across America - but here in the mid-west, it's casting the church into the shadows. But is it really hypocrisy? Or is the root problem something more basic? Something simpler?
Sin - specifically PRIDE, self-pity, and deceitfulness. What happens when we sin? What happens after? 

 We hide.

From the beginning of time, from the beginning of sin's existence on earth we have hidden as a result of the guilt our sin produces. 
"And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." Genesis 3:8
Hiding our sin is a product of the terrible sin nature that we were born carrying. You don't have to teach a child how to hide after doing something wrong. It comes NATURALLY! As we grow older and as others exemplify this hiding or covering up our sin, we become more and more of a professional at hiding who we really are.

Recently my husband (I'm married to my pastor!) asked this question in one of our church services: "What do the unsaved expect from true Christians?" There were responses about being good and not sinning, the necessity of having a good testimony. That's what we've been taught. But it's only PARTLY true!

People know if you are a fake. They can sense it. They despise falseness and hypocrisy. And where do they see it the most? In those who claim to follow a holy God. In those who claim to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. They see that we might be following Jesus but they also see us missing a step or two or three. . . and then we try to cover it up and hide that we fail, hide that we fall, hide that we are not as Christlike as we should be.
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. " Matthew 6:1
We know and the unsaved know and GOD knows that we are not perfect. It's still there - that sin nature. But the difference with children of God? It's what we do AFTER we sin. The good testimony that we need to have before unbelievers is GOING to be contaminated by sin because of that sin nature. Sin is allowed by God for HIS GLORY. When others are aware of our sin it provides OPPORTUNITY to bring glory to God.

We need to be walking this walk following CHRIST and the Bible's definition of following Christ - not our culture's perception of following Christ! 

May my testimony be more about HIM and less about me. 

Note: This post was first published as a guest post on Beautiful Mommy Feet

In His Grip, 

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder Ann! Thanks for sharing. :)


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