Okay, deviating from my usual, here, but feel compelled to do so.
Ever heard it said, “The church is full of hypocrites.”? I have. Many a time. And you know what, many a time I’ve seen it to be true.
But I’ve also seen it to be false more times than not.
Here are some instances I’ve personally experienced in church that caused me to shake my head and wonder.
- The father of one of my best friends was a physically abusive alcoholic.
- The father of another friend died of AIDS some years after his divorce.
- The husband of a friend sexually abused their toddler.
- One friend spent time in prison for drug abuse.
- One friend terminated her teenage pregnancy.
- One acquaintance often showed up with unexplained bruises and broken bones…that wall she kept running into was her husband
- One friend had the Bible he received at his baptism stolen from the church pew…once he left his parents’ home, he vowed never to step inside a church again.
- One friend’s parents divorced after it was discovered her minister-father was addicted to pornography.
There’s more, but that’s more than enough.
Some of the people in the above examples were honest with themselves, God, and those around them. They turned their brokenness into healing through the power of Christ’s love. They made it their mission to educate and serve others from what they experienced and learned of God’s grace.
As I’ve said before, and I’ll say along with the Apostle Paul…I am chief among sinners, saved by the wonderful love, mercy, and grace of God through the forgiveness of my sins, by the power of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross of Calvary.
Yes, there is hypocrisy in the church. Always has been. Always will be. Just look at the Pharisees in the time of Christ to see a perfect example. But that shouldn’t keep us from being involved with a local body of believers who are just as flawed as we are. It should compel us to use our brokenness to bring Light to a world of darkness.
The difference, I believe, is in letting God take our brokenness and using it to help heal others. That takes honesty, and that, my friend, is a very difficult thing to do.
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How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You are hypocrites! You are like tombs that are painted white. Outside, those tombs look fine, but inside, they are full of the bones of dead people and all kinds of unclean things. It is the same with you. People look at you and think you are good, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and evil. Matthew 23:27-28 (NCV)
I wish you well.
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