Is Hypocrisy Driving People Away from God?

Hypocrisy Driving Away from God

It’s the age of hypocrisy. Probably every decade of human history would fit the bill, but our current times seem to reflect it extra fiercely. We have state governors, world leaders, scientists, public health officials and doctors behaving in the most cruelly hypocritical manner.  Implementing ever more stringent and supposedly necessary Covid policies which include forcing lockdowns, closing small businesses, restaurants, gyms and churches, mandating masks, threatening mandatory vaccines and making impossibly ridiculous, contradictory and nonsensically dictatorial laws. All while blatantly ignoring their own rules, but guilting the public when there is non-compliance.

They apologize of course – when they get caught. They have to in order to keep the masses from revolting.  But the narrative, as with all forms of hypocrisy, is wearing thin as more and more of the general public wake up to their behavioral dissonance. In their arrogance, wealth and power-hungry privilege, they care little about the countless thousands of lives they are destroying, even while they pretend they are saving them. Though, not quite biblical characters, Luke 11:46 may come to mind: And He said, ‘Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.’“

But it’s not just secular figures who are showcasing hypocrisy on such a grand scale, binding hard burdens which they won’t touch themselves.  Our churches are, too, and the results are every bit as damaging on an emotional and spiritual level – even worse. There’s a very real reason Christ reproached and condemned the hypocritical actions of the Scribes and Pharisees in the gospel accounts. (Luke 11:39-52)

Personally, I’ve seen so many people leave church organizations due to the heavy-handed, hypocritical, do-as-I-say-but-I’m-above-you-and-the-rules-do-not-apply-to-me practices of ministry and the lack of love, and unreasonable judgement of members – all while just the opposite has been fervently preached and advertised.   I also know people who have left the Christian faith entirely for other religions or even to the point of becoming agnostics and atheists. You’ve probably witnessed this, too.

There are those who say that young Christians are falling for evolution and humanistic ideas once they go to a college or university because they weren’t grounded enough in the faith. Because they weren’t well-instructed or tested.  But that’s not the whole story.  The reality is, once again, that it’s the hypocrisy of both members and ministry that is playing quite a large role in discouraging and driving away young people. With far too many who’ve grown up in the Christian faith, continually witnessing poor examples that have been precisely the antithesis of what they were taught their church and Christianity are about.

Frankly those off all ages who might consider coming to church are being put off.  Some leave after one or two visits, some after years – broken-hearted, sorrowful, confused or bitter.

Brethren, fellow workers in the faith, it is so important that we are true to the God we profess to worship and the faith we profess to believe.  When we act in a hypocritical fashion, we can drive people away from the Faith.  This includes both long time members, and prospective. It includes our children growing up in the faith and it includes those coming from other religions who seek Christ.   We are causing offense and we know what God’s Word says about that: “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:2

In all honesty, why would anyone want to belong to a church group or religion that says one thing, while participants do another.  Who would want to worship a God that appears to endorse this according to the churches that say they are His? Instead of love, there is judgement. Instead of discernment, there is foolishness and naivete. Instead of courage, there is cowardice. Instead of following the life-giving words of the Bible, there are excuses, the explaining away of scriptures, the installation of self-serving doctrines, and shaky justification for unsound biblical positions. Instead of ministry who lead in love and service, there are loveless tyrants behaving in ways that Christ warned against.

Are we worshipping God in sincerity and truth?  Is this what the world sees?  Or is it this: “…Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me'” (Mark 7:6)?




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