Unless you were born and raised in a cave where you have never been around other human beings, you have certainly heard someone say they won’t go to church because there are too many hypocrites there.
Do you know what a hypocrite is? It’s a person who pretends to be someone he’s not. Or a person who says one thing, but does just the opposite.
Why is it that whenever people think of the word “hypocrite,” they automatically think of Christians? I’m not saying there aren’t Christians who are hypocrites. I have met plenty of them! People who attend church and brag on Jesus on Sundays and then go to their work places and curse up a storm. Those Christians who are the community gossips and are always spreading rumors throughout the neighborhoods. Did I mention the preachers and deacons who are seen driving well in excess of the speed limit, deliberately disobeying the laws of the land on their way to and from church? There are Christian hypocrites alright. There’s no denying that one.
But… are Christians the only people who are hypocrites?
When I was around the age of nineteen or twenty, I got a job working in a company where the majority of my co-workers were non-Christian. The only exception was one hypocritcal Christian – the occasionally church-attending supervisor who was cheating on his wife.
I took my Bible to work with me and I read it during my break times. On a regular basis, one of my co-workers would say, “Why do you read that all of the time? It’s just a book of mythology!” This man was a proud atheist.
One night, the weather had gotten fierce. Snow had been pouring down and the roads were treacherous. We didn’t get off of work until midnight. Mr. Atheist and I both lived in the same neighborhood – which was approximately 45 minutes from where we worked. What I will never forget about working with him is what he said and did that night. When it was time to get off of work, he looked at me and said, “I hope you don’t mind tail-gaters. I’m going to drive as close to your back bumper as I can. If God’s going to protect you, if I’m close enough I’ll be protected as well.” He did just that! He stayed on my tail all the way to his house. That, my friend, is a prime example of a non-Christian hypocrite. He didn’t believe in God except when his life was in danger.
Now I have a question about that. That individual works in a secular job where customers go in and purchase products. Isn’t it odd that unsaved people don’t boycott that store? Why is it they will go in and buy things from a company that has hypocrites working there, but they won’t go to church where hypocrites are? Isn’t that a bit… hypocritical?
I have invited former co-workers from other jobs to church just to be told, “No, I can’t go to church. I got offended when I was growing up. There were too many hypocrites there.”
These same individuals came in to work every day and complained about how management would give them too large of caseloads – they were overworked, while their supervisors had plenty of time to walk around chit-chatting and enjoying life. I would point out their hypocrisy. “Why is it you come to work every day when there are hypocrites here, but you won’t go to church? You say you won’t go there because of hypocrites, but you come here. What’s the difference?”
I bet you’ll never guess what answer I heard. Typically it was one of two things. Either, “Those are not the same thing whatsoever,” or “Shut up!”
Do you know why people really don’t go to church? It has nothing to do with hypocrites being there. I don’t care what they say. It has everything to do with fear and possibly even rebellion. They are afraid of change. Afraid of finding out who they really are. The Bible acts as a spiritual mirror. They know that. When they hear the Word of God preached, they are going to find out how wretched they are. They are going to find out how much they need to be saved. They are going to find out what God would like them do with their lives. They don’t want any of that. They don’t want anyone to tell them what to do – not even the Word of God. They are too set in their ways. Too stubborn to hear the gospel.
Instead of admitting the truth behind why they won’t go to church, they make excuses and place the blame on others.
A woman is coming to my mind right now. She has been invited to church by multiple people. Sometimes she says she won’t go because of one of her relatives who has been in church for years and years is always talking bad about her family. He’s so hypocritical that she won’t go because of his horrible example. Sometimes it’s not his fault. It’s because a lady at the grocery store curses and she knows that lady goes to church. Hypocrite! Sometimes, it’s because of another man – a man who flirts with her grown, adult daughter – who attends church. Hypocrite! It’s always somebody else’s fault she won’t go to church.
The truth is, she is a lost sinner. She’s on her way to a devil’s Hell. She won’t listen to or receive the gospel because she’s too prideful. She knows she’s living in sin and instead of admitting that, instead of confessing it, instead of turning to God, she constantly lashes out at Christians, attempting to tear them down. Isn’t that kind of… hypocritical?
Think about this the next time you hear someone use the term “hypocrite” to explain why they won’t go to God’s House.