Whether you define hypocrite as actor or some conservative yahoo doing the very thing they are telling others not to do, there are hypocrites in Christianity, in American churches, and in each of our congregations. Even though this is the truth, it doesn’t mean that the message is wrong. The message, depending on what that message may be, is true. It just simply means that the one delivering the message is still trying to learn it too, whether they can see that in themselves or not. The relationship of those who are attending church together, serving their community together, pursuing God together, and being family together should allow for honest talk between brothers and sisters in Christ to minimalize the hypocrisy in our churches. In community, the awkwardness should be broken and honest, and loving talk should win the day. It might go like this, “You say people should win over their coworkers for Jesus. When you tell all of those off-color jokes around the water cooler, is that helping win people to Jesus?” Gutsy, I know. The risk is making that particular brother or sister very angry and damaging your relationship. You may not be able to talk about the weather, sports, and they may not like your latest picture on Instagram. The reward though, will be that maybe around the water cooler the next week at work, the conversation changes.
The church is made up of people and since the day Adam and Eve decided to eat the forbidden fruit, people have been imperfect. Before we go taking this truth and using it as an excuse to keep going our hypocritical ways, we must know that we are also people who have given our lives to follow Christ and this should change our entire being. His grace is sufficient for us and if that is really true (and it is) then we should live for His grace and not perfection. That means that we live out our lives in complete honesty. I may know that the right thing to do when I hit my thumb with a hammer while I’m working with my church at a Habitat for Humanity house is to remain calm and say, “Wow! Hey guys, I just hit my thumb with this hammer and I’m experiencing incredible pain and even bleeding. Isn’t that just terrible? Can we huddle around and pray for my pain?” But instead what could possibly come out of my mouth is something more like, “S#@&!, Oh my dear Lord!! Owwwwwwcccchhh!! I hate you hammer!” Look, I know it’s wrong to curse and really I don’t even like typing the symbols knowing that when people read this, they will know the word. However, that was an honest, real moment in college and I apologized for my action, but I’m just real. I’m about to tell you a secret. People who go to church, Christians, even the most enthusiastic and passionate, sin! Yep, they sin. And not just once, but all the time. And it’s a good thing, too, because if they didn’t, then Jesus would lose his claim of being the only one who was perfect. The church is made up of people who are sinful, yet live lives that are covered with grace because they pursue the one who takes away the sins of the world-Jesus! They aren’t hypocrites. They are in sinners like anyone else, but also realize they are forgiven.