Blog Devotionals

Is the Church Really Full of Hypocrites?

February 5, 2024 | Sam Rainer

Christian hypocrisy occurs when you make yourself the priority over God. Is the church full of hypocrites? In one sense, yes. A hypocrite is a person who acts differently than his or her stated beliefs. Everyone is guilty of being hypocritical at times.  By the way, you wouldn’t want to attend a church full of perfect people. The weight of perfection would crush you as these demands would fall on your shoulders. You don’t need a perfect church. You need a perfect Savior.

Before we start throwing around the term “hypocrite,” it’s essential to have some discernment. Consider the whole of a person before using the label “hypocrite.” What is this person’s typical behavior? What is the pattern? We don’t need to excoriate people for one-off behavior. But we also don’t need to dismiss a pattern of bad behavior either.  On Sunday, we will continue studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, specifically Matthew 6:1-18, which contains three examples of false piety:

1. Giving to promote yourself.
2. Praying to sound impressive.
3. Fasting to flaunt your discipline.

False piety shows an outward appearance of holiness while not being genuine in your heart. Hypocrisy is rooted in false piety. Correct actions with improper motives do not please God. Consider these words from Jesus in His sermon:

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose
the reward from your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1 (NLT)

In other words, “I will do things to look good in front of others while neglecting my relationship with God.” It’s this very attitude that Jesus condemns in the Pharisees. How does this play out in churches today? When we elevate our preferences as if they are Scripture, and when we lower other preferences as sins. Hypocrisy dies when a church becomes sold out for the good news of Jesus. The gospel is NEVER a burden. Jesus is ALWAYS good news for the sinner.  On Sunday, we will discover six major ways churches can become hypocritical and offer some solutions. I hope to see you there!