My thanks goes out to Premier Radio in the U.K. and the program “Unbelievable” with Justin Brierley as the host. I just recently found this program while on vacation last week and friends, this is a program you need to be listening to. I’ve been pleased with what I have heard often and many a time I’ve wanted to be on there dealing with the skeptic.
The program also has a section for frequently asked questions with a different one each week. I plan to go through these and give my own reply. The first objection is that the church is a load of hypocrites.
I honestly find this an odd objection.
Let’s suppose that it is. Since the church is full of hypocrites, Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead? That doesn’t seem to make sense. On the other hand, if the church was full of people who weren’t hypocritical, Jesus Christ did rise from the dead? That doesn’t seem to follow either. Good deeds are an important part of a religious life, but they are not the ultimate proof of the propositional truth that that religion is portraying. However, living a good life can make people more open.
So let’s really deal with this objection.
First off, yes. It’s true. The church is full of hypocrites. We are an organization full of people who don’t consistently live out what they believe. However, that is why we’re the church. We’re members of the body not because we’re perfect, but because we’re imperfect. Ironically, the church should be the one organization where unworthiness is exactly what gets you in the door.
Now if we are hypocrites and being in denial, that is a problem. If we are hypocrites and admitting it, it’s a problem still, but not as large. When people approach me about my faith and we start talking about example, while they often think I’m a good one, I tell them that I try to be, but I also would not consider myself a saint in the RCC sense. (And I am Protestant.)
I have my failings. I’ve fallen short in the past and made some huge blunders. I’m sure I’ll make more in the future. I know this though. A friend of mine is a huge fan of Xena who in a podcast of hers recently played a clip with one of Xena’s opponents telling her it often bothered her that Xena never had to pay for her crimes. Xena then says “It bothers me too.” I love that reply!
What should we do? We should deal with sinners in our midst and unfortunately, church discipline is not really practiced today. Now I’m not saying that someone went over the speed limit to get to church so kick them out. I’m talking about serious sin to the point that it’s interfering with the lives of members of the body of Christ.
Also, while we must preach forgiveness, let’s not take it for granted. We make it seem such a light point at times that the world doesn’t know the awesomeness that forgiveness is. One way we do treat it lightly is by living in sin. Now naturally, we will still have struggles with sin. This is also a place where we could bear to learn some openness. Again, I’m not RCC, but I think the Catholics have something with the confessional. We’ve lost the joy of confessing our sins one to another.
What needs to be remembered though is this is a secondary issue. The primary issue is “Did Jesus rise from the dead?” If that’s the case, then accept it and when you are part of the body, help us to live the lives that we should. Yes. The church is an organization of hypocrites. Thank God though that there is an organization where hypocrites can go to become saints.