Christian Hypocrites

At the age of 27, I walked into a church looking for help. I wasn’t there to find a close relationship with Jesus Christ, nor was I there to make friends or seek Christian guidance. I walked in 4 days clean and sober from drugs and alcohol, looking for a narcotics anonymous meeting.

This incredibly sweet woman greeted me with a smile and no judgment. Instead of seeing a person who had made bad choices, she saw a young woman in pain, desperate, and in need of some good ole’ Christian love. Alice (that was her name – my angel sent from above) told me when I could come back for a meeting, and then invited my children and I to the Wednesday Worship service. She said they served dinner and I would be on the guest list.

My boys and I went to the dinner and felt so welcomed and loved that we kept going back. Today, 18 years later, my world revolves with Jesus as the center.

This brings me to the dilemma I am faced with today (and I’m sorry to say, but a little bit of a rant).

Someone very dear to me (a long distance friend) called me the other day and wept about how lonely she was. She said she had tried to make friends at her new home but no one had time for friendship. They were just too busy to do anything extra. I suggested that she attend a church group meeting and reach out to her fellow Christians (as she had lived a Christian life in the past). Her response broke my heart.

“There are too many hypocrites in church and I’m just not interested in going back.”

I found myself defending Christians, and encouraging her to go back to church because I knew (or prayed) that someone would reach out to her and her loneliness would subside. The truth is though, I knew the awful truth. Even Christians are too busy to add extras to their schedule. Many Christians speak words of faith, but then their actions contradict what their words are saying.

What my friend was saying was true. (now please don’t get me wrong. I am not passing judgment on Christians or saying that we are ALL guilty of this. I’m just saying, as a general rule, Christians don’t have a good reputation in the secular world).

Let me give two examples from my own life.

1. Tattoos

While I was out making bad choices as a young adult, I got a few tattoos. Thankfully they were nothing hideous, but they are there for the rest of my life. I made those choices before I became a born again Christian.

Some time into my walk with Jesus Christ, I was approached by a fellow Christian that was told me I was a sinner and what I did was wrong. He began quoting scripture from Leviticus 19:28 which says, “you must not put tattoo markings upon yourself”. This guy was passing judgment on past mistakes I had already been forgiven for. Thankfully, I was strong in my Christian faith and I was not offended by what this person was telling me. I KNEW the word of God and I knew that I was saved from all that I had done in my past.

But here is my dilemma.

What if THAT was the person who greeted me when I first walked into the church? What if, in my brokenness, I was greeted with condemnation and judgment instead of compassion and the love of Jesus? What if I was made to feel like I was tarnished forever because of a mistake I could never erase?

I would have walked out and thought just what my friend had said, “Christian hypocrites!

2. Music

As a teenager, my favorite bands were Judas Priest, Metallica and Megadeath!! Yes it’s true, I was a total rocker!!…

When I began attending church regularly, a new friend (who was strong in her faith) began to plant seeds that maybe my music was not pleasing to God. She introduced me to a few musicians in the church who shared their vast collection of Christian CD’s with me. I was amazed!!

Christian music that wasn’t hymn music??? It was straight up – Rock & Roll!! (DC Talk – Jesus Freak, Jars of Clay, Kutless, Thousand Foot Krutch). I traded in all my Secular Rock CD’s and began to worship with Christian Rock. I found a way to connect with God through music and it was so exciting.

Years later, a woman said to me, “that music does NOT glorify God and you should be ashamed of yourself!!”

Thankfully (again) I was strong in my faith and was able to discard what she said as judgment (that was not hers to make). I explained to her it was through music that “myself” and thousands of young teenage kids were coming to the church’s because they were able to connect with the sound. The message in the music glorified God – really, it did!!

She was solid in her convictions and continued to pass judgment on me.

Here is my point…

This last week has been heartbreaking for me as I watch loved ones avoiding church because of “Christian Hypocrites”. What does that say about the job the church is doing (as a whole)?

The scripture says that we are to wash the feet of others as Jesus washed our feet (John 13:14), we are to love one another as Jesus has loved us (John 13:34), we are to stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:13), we are to be completely humble and gentle and patient (Ephesians 4:2), we are to forgive grievances (Colossians 3:13), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), not slander anyone (James 4:11) and live in complete harmony (I Peter 3:8).

As a church, I am pleading that each of us walk through our days as a shining example of Christianity. A billboard for Jesus Christ.

I don’t mean with bumper stickers or jewelry or those little Jesus fish that people have on their cars. I mean with our actions, with our words, with our unconditional love for others. We can give correction without condemnation. We can plant seeds of love like my friend did with my music. We can greet someone with a smile like my sweet Alice did. We can share God’s word without making people who don’t know Christianity feel “less than”.

We need to take a stand and help the world see that Christianity is not full of hypocrites. I am not perfect and I fall short all the time (this message is for me too!!). My prayer is for all of us to reach out to that new person in church, make time to share with others, be kind to strangers for no other reason than your love for Jesus Christ.

Let’s take a stand Christians!!!  The world should look at us and be SO amazed that they want what we have 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by! Many blessings, Rene’

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22 thoughts on “Christian Hypocrites

  1. Hi, this is so true. I know that God is at work in the church. I will pray for your friend to find someone that shows her that unconditional love. To bad she doesn’t live near me. We have a very loving church. We aren’t perfect, but no church is. We have some older ladies that can seem judgmental about dress, but they want our girls to dress appropriately. I think we should have a fun fashion show for our younger girls to demonstrate the beauty in modest dressing. I also want to give some of the girls nice clothing because coming from some of the communities, they can’t afford to dress well. Our church needs prayer in this area. Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking post.

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  2. I really believe this is something God wants stirred up in us and I have actually heard from many about this issue. I think my greatest concern is that people can be welcoming only at the door but we don’t go the extra mile sometimes and people, even a church setting, feel very alone. I have had times where I have asked Christian friends to hang out with me, sometimes when I was really struggling, and they usually say they are busy. After awhile, you give up. God has answered some of my prayers with some great friends, but, yeah. It can be hard for those who look at Christians as fake or only taking care of themselves. Great post and I am glad you came to know Christ through the love of others! Keep being that light!

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    • Thank you Elizabeth!! You’re right that its usually at the door. I have yet to find a church like the one I began my walk in.. I try and try but its hard, even for me who is a long time Christian. Imagine the new baby ones. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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  3. Love this, Rene! My friend just posted a FB status about over hearing some young girls talk about Christian hypocrites and how they have never been treated nicely by Christians. My friend went over to them and told them Jesus loved them and from a Christian she was so sorry that they had never heard that or felt love from a Christian. We all need to start showing love.

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    • Awwww Brandi!! Your friend did the right thing. It saddens my heart when I hear stories like this – my mission in life is to try and change as many hearts as possible …. prayers to those young impressionable girls.

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  4. I’ve lived in those churches, and felt like I had to adjust who I was to be there. I worried about my pantyhose and my skirt and my blouse. I felt like I was being judged or living up to expectations walking through the door. While no one was ever unkind to me, I can only imagine how someone who doesn’t look as plain jane from goody-two-shoes land would have felt. Would they even have walked through the door? My current church has NO dress code, although not nekkid is the pastor’s standard reply. We come as we are, but we come. We have more people covered in tattoos than dresses. We have people wrapped in the love of Jesus that never would have found Him in another setting. I’ve learned more about being loved and loving others in this unconventional church. God certainly placed me here to learn some wonderful things and people. It may not be our forever church home, but I wouldn’t go back to stuffy and judgmental.

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    • Thank you Jennifer .. what a great point! We don’t have to be unkind to make people feel uncomfortable.. That is SO true! My church in Las Vegas has the same motto “Come as you are” and I think its beautiful. Come tattooed, scarred, broken and we will love you right where you are.. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

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  5. Great post! Awesome. I agree with your friend – I would love to go to a church (and have a church-going past) but have hesitated for a variety of reasons. And honestly – there’s NOTHING un-Christian about tattoos or rock music, no matter your past. Some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known are tattooed rocker types; conversely, some of the less than wonderful ones were the most “pious looking”, if that makes sense.

    I think it was Dear Abby who once said (and I’m paraphrasing here), that churches are supposed to be hospitals for sinners, not museums for saints. I so love that!

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    • Thanks Katie!! Wouldn’t it be so exciting if this could be seen by every Christian – and then the world changed!! Thank you for the comment on the tattoos and music. I am fully comfortable with who I am and praise God for letting me become a strong Christian before confrontation like the ones I was met with. LOVE the paraphrase …… hospital for sinners!!

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  6. This is my first time visiting your page and I am so glad to be here! Thank you for sharing your story here and also for encouraging all Christians to drop their judgments. I’m joining you in trying my best to be a billboard for Jesus through my actions!

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    • To some extent I agree with you Andrea, but for the individuals that haven’t formed a relationship with God, as a church (an by church I mean just a group of loving Christians) we need to set an example of how Great having a relationship can be 🙂

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  7. Wow, it sounds like the Lord has really done a huge transformation in your heart over the last 18 years! I’m so encouraged to read that you found Christian community to be warm and welcoming. It is sad your friend hasn’t had the same experience. We’re all still broken sinners unfortunately. Thankful your friend still has you in her life! Have a blessed week 🙂

    Lucy @ Spirit-Filled Simple
    http://www.lucymargaret.com

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    • Thank you Lucy – a HUGE transformation. I wonder sometimes how much is appropriate to share with others because I am such a different person today, but God is leading me to share little bits every time I post. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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  8. Love this Rene. Sadly, we’re all hyprocrites, even when we don’t want to be. But when we keep the focus on trying to love each other the way Jesus does, we run a good chance of being less judgy – I think. So glad your family found a welcome at church. Thanks for writing.

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