Is the church full of hypocrites?

by Matt Slick

Is the church full of hypocrites? Yes, it is. It is also full of liars, cheaters, adulterers, and much more. All people are sinners. That is, all people have lied, stolen, lusted, etc. Just because someone is a Christian does not mean that he has never done these things. But it does mean he is warring against them. The church is full of people who have struggled with various sins in their lives, and all people in churches still struggle with various sins. The fact is that we have a fallen nature and we war against it--sometimes without success, which makes our failures all the more visible to the world. Being a Christian does not mean we are perfect. Being a Christian means that we recognize our sins, try to turn from them, and try to act like Christ. But obviously, we fail.

Also, there is a sense in which the church, the people in it, are overly hypocritical. The Christian church is supposed to reach out to the lost but often seeks nothing more than being comfortable within its own doors. It is supposed to reach out to the poor and support them, but too often we see people on TV asking for millions of dollars. The hypocrisy is plain for everyone to see.

If someone has a high moral standard and he fails, then his hypocrisy is more evident. But if a person has no moral standard, how can he be rightly accused of hypocrisy? The reason the accusation of hypocrisy can so easily stick upon the Christian church is because the moral standard set by Jesus is so high. We Christians are supposed to be loving, kind, and gracious, and when we are not but instead act selfishly, our hypocrisy is all the more evident. We profess Christ and him crucified, but we often fail to exemplify his great loving sacrifice by being selfish and cowardly.

Therefore, we need to repent, admit our failures, and try to live as Christ-like as possible. We will fail, of course, and the world will point out our failures. Our actions should match our profession nonetheless.

So, what do we say when someone accuses the Christian church of being full of hypocrites? We say, yes, you're right.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.