Big questions (2)
Another question that people might ask about Christianity is: Isn’t the church full of hypocrites? The word hypocrite comes from the Greek word for ‘actor’. Hypocrisy is ‘the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold’. The true church of Jesus Christ is made up of true believers; hypocrites are ‘pretenders’ who sit among God’s people. Jesus even had one among His twelve disciples – Judas. People have left the church because of hypocrisy, and there are many people in churches today who are just pretending to be believers. They might think going to church makes them look good, or they might be going in order to deceive people for their own purposes. But even the most faithful believer isn’t perfect, so we’ll still continue making mistakes and going wrong, even when we’re true believers and churchgoers. But we need to be careful of judging others, as we don’t know their heart and motives. Struggling with something, questioning God, or making mistakes doesn’t automatically make us hypocrites. There might even be people in our church who genuinely don’t realise or understand that just going to church doesn’t make them a Christian. ‘You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things…Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?’ (v.1-4 NLT). Don’t worry about hypocrites in the church; God will sort them out, the ‘wheat’ from the ‘tares’ (see Matthew 13:30).
Have a quick check of your faith today – are there any areas where you’re just ‘going through the motions’ or trying to look good to others instead of really believing from your heart? Ask God to help you build up your faith and confidence in Him.
The UCB Word For You