Hypocrites and Hypocrisy in the Church

Probably the most common objection as to why many people today either no longer attend, or have never attended church regularly, is that “the church is filled with hypocrites.” I have heard this reason stated more times (and by more people) that I can possibly recall regarding their own greatest personal problem with the church today. And while the typical response from a Christian who regularly attends church is often something to the effect of “but hypocrisy exists everywhere!” And “it doesn’t matter where you go, you will find hypocrites!” While both of these statements are most certainly true, I recently discovered a quote showing how this problem facing the church might actually work in our favor.

“As strange as it may sound, it is the hypocrisy of Christians in the Bible that sometimes encourages me more than anything else. It reminds me that God’s relentless grip on me, not my relentless grip on God, keeps me in his love. It reminds me that if there is hope for prostitutes and crooks and adulterers and racists and elitists and murderers and terrible husbands and coveters, then there is hope for somebody like me.”
~ Scott Sauls (Jesus Outside the Lines)

As one who knows he has a problem with hypocrisy and being a hypocrite in the church, this quote gives me much comfort. I am not at all proud of my hypocrisy, and would never want to be known for being a hypocrite, but let’s face it: who amongst even the best of us can really live up to standards? The truth is…none of us even live up (perfectly) to our own standards, and even those that we want to hold over the heads of others! At this point, there is a temptation for the pendulum to swing completely to the other side saying “OK, so do we just get rid of standards then?” That would be impossible, and neither we, nor our society would be able to function like this. Rather, what this should lead us to is readily admitting and being repentant over our hypocrisy, and casting ourselves on the grace of God in Jesus. That in turn will bring about greater humility and dependence on God’s mercy through His Spirit…which is the goal of Christianity by the way. It’s not to prove ourselves strong, but to become more and more dependent on God’s grace in Jesus as each day passes. Maturity in Christ isn’t about measuring up, it’s about continually receiving what God offers us through faith in Jesus. It’s something we haven’t earned, or deserve in any way, yet is offered to us by God and great cost to Himself. Because He paid the cost, then there really is hope. There is hope for those hypocrites who gather together Sunday after Sunday, but it also means there is hope for hypocrites who are hypocrites about hypocrites.

That is good news!


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Riverside Community Church
Sundays at 10:30 am
311 Old Mill Road
Cartersville, Ga 30120
(470) 315-2344

Riverside Community Church is a mission church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)