Have you got one of these in your church? Someone who raises their hands visibly, sings loudly at the top of their voice, and appears at all the right meetings? Then this same person is highly critical of the worship team, they dislike the pastors sermons and they have a chip on the shoulder because they have been hurt by church. If you don’t have one in your church, it’s probably because you are not keeping your eyes open. Sadly, religious hypocrites are everywhere. Why write about this, when Passion Network is supposed to be encouraging one another?
Well, let me say that the purpose of this whole series is to make us sit up and take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror. In recent weeks I have come across not just one or two, but multiple people who have told me that they love Jesus but not the church. In fact I know of a lot of people who don’t go to church but they sincerely love the Lord. Why would anyone not want to go to church? The sermons can’t be that bad, or the singing can’t be that bad? The reason these people don’t go to church is simple – they don’t like the hypocrisy that goes in at church. And that means they think people are fakes. Jesus loves people, but he hates hypocrisy.
Perhaps you say “so what, let people think what they want to think”. That is all well and good, but the world is judging Jesus by his followers. Jesus spoke out against the people who made out to be these wonderful saints, but in their hearts they were far from God. People are wonderfully good at knowing what to do to look good. We say the right things at the right time, we go to the right meetings and we worship in a way that looks like we are at the top of our game. But deep inside we may be far from God.
My plea to you is two-fold. One – do not be put off by shallow Christians. If they do one thing in church and another in the car park, that is between them and God. Two – make sure that your heart matches your worship. Sometimes we are not close to God and in those times we may have to just manufacture worship. But do so in honesty before God. If we do less pretending in church, more people may come back to church.