Love of God Podcast Personalities

Christian Vices

Question: Why should I be a Christian when there are so many Christian hypocrites?

That's a great question, but there's a greater answer—the response below covers not just hypocrisy, but all vices.

  1. Old American Trees. One reason this question is common is because many American (and Western) churches that used to be full of life are now trees low on sap. It's understandable to expect fruit, but find bark. However, when taken corporately, over history, and around the globe—particularly where persecution occurs—Christianity is a penetrating, dynamic force with practically uncontrollable growth. "Label-only" Christian churches make it harder to find Christ—but it's never an excuse, for he promises that all who seek will find.
  2. Christ First. Christianity should not be chosen primarily based on the virtues of Christians, but because of Christ. See the Jewish Carpenter
  3. All Sin. You can always find Christians with vices (100% are sinners), so that question can never be a logical reason to stay out of the body of Christ. You don't join when you're perfect, but to get your sins forgiven. Christianity is not a museum for saints, as much as a hospital for sinners.  "Not going to church because of the 'hypocrites', is like not gonig to the gym because of 'out of shape people'".
  4. The Game's Not Over. The fair question is not "has every person who has accepted Christ become obviously virtuous?" For example, some are newer, some are more challenged, etc.  The real question is "what is the difference in a person's life between having Christ in them and not?" (And even given that, we are not the final judge, of anyone or ourselves.)
  5. More Than an Answer. If a non-believer encountered a perfect believer, that still might not be enough for a conversion, for some people who experienced Jesus did not follow him. Conversion requires a person to respond to Christ's offer to be their God and to give up their allegiance to themselves. God is a lover who is after love—nothing but a heart response will do.
  6. Heart Motivation. Sometimes our real motivation for asking the above question is not to sincerely understand the answer, but to use the question as an excuse. Even when we know the right answers, we still find inside us the spiritual disease of sin: rebellion to God. Surrendering is the only way to experience the health of God's love.
  7. Now is the Time. God promises that ultimately we will experience Christ fully alive in all who are his, in the next life. Now is the moment to freely invite him in—increasing his light, love presence and power in the world. When we encounter hypocrisy can there be any other response? Each has a unique part to play in the revelation of God's goodness.

Where is it you seek My goodness?  Do you see Me in the same places Christ sought His people?  Amidst the lost, the broken, the downtrodden, the unrepentant, malicious, slanderers, those who have wronged you?  Do you see Me also amidst your Christian brothers and sisters who you feel 'don't get it'?  Do you see Me within yourself when you don't feel worthy or feel far from My plans for your life?  What do you expect Me to look like?  And where do you expect Me to dwell?

For you who carry My spirit, wherever you are, there I dwell.  You always have enough of Me in you to make an immediate impact on your world.  Ask Me for the opportunity to move among the lost and the least.  Do not do the choosing of who is worthy for I call all to My shadow of redemption.  Let others see My face through you.  For I still call others to you many times to open your eyes to My words.  Do not be like Jonah and run from the 'unworthy'.  Vengeance is mine alone in My time at My call.  But I do give you My mercy, My compassion, My vision—to receive and then to give.  'Freely you have received, freely give' (Matthew 10:8).

I have called you to go out into all the world to every one.  Remember, My will is for all to come to glory.  So you have My commission and My will to go with you.  Now I need your heart, open and free, to love Me by loving My people.

Whoever has the world's goods and sees his brother in need,
and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
I John 3:17