The problem with the statement, “There are hypocrites in church,” is that it is true. If you have been a Christian any length of time there is a good chance you’ve met at least one hypocrite that goes to church, indeed it may even be you! When confronted with, “there are hypocrites in church,” you probably feel a bit awkward or undermined, but this is not the solid argument it first seems.
Letʼs look closely at the lifestyle of the person who uses this argument. Weʼll call him Jimmy. No offense to anyone called Jimmy, but where I come from everyone is called Jimmy. Jimmy says he won’t go to the service on Sunday because there are hypocrites in church, yet on Monday Jimmy goes to the bank to get some money. Wait a minute, aren’t there hypocrites in the banking industry who have zero tolerance with small business customers while accepting breathtaking handouts for their bank, even though it crashed the whole economy? If Jimmy genuinely believes he should never go anywhere there are hypocrites, what is he doing in the bank? After withdrawing his cash Jimmy buys the newspaper, but hang on, aren’t there hypocrites in journalism? Wasn’t there some hypocritical newspaper owners who ensure flawed people were exposed, while hiding their own flaws through super injunctions? Didn’t some journalists pay people to phone hack while taking legal action against anyone who invaded their own privacy? If Jimmy has genuine convictions he should never actively fund hypocrites, so what is he doing buying a newspaper?
Jimmy is outspoken in his views and simply will not tolerate hypocrites in church, yet Jimmy votes for a politician and lives in a democracy. Aren’t there hypocrites in politics who cheat on their expenses, tell lies to parliament and use their position to manipulate others? If Jimmy was consistent in not tolerating hypocrites he would stop voting, sail off in a boat and refuse to live in a democracy. If Jimmy does not go to church because there are hypocrites, but still lives in a democracy where there are hypocrites, has a bank account, reads the paper, listens to music from the music industry and enjoys sports, all of which suffer a percentage of hypocrites, then Jimmy is a hypocrite!
Church does not hold the patent on hypocrites and there is no such thing as a hypocrite free zone anywhere. There are hypocrites wherever you go and in whatever you join, so why just pick on one set of them? No organisation is 100% hypocrite free, so anyone who mixes everywhere else while holding this position against church is, you’ve got it, a hypocrite. But now the good news! For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! Jesus Christ saw your hypocrisy long before you did and paid the price for it, so even you (a hypocrite?) can be saved! Yes, when it comes to hypocrites we’ve always got room for one more, so why not come on in and feel at home?