Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | May 25, 2009

Christian Hypocrites & Finding Comfort

I attended a lecture last year where the speaker presented recent statistics on why people today don’t join the church. One of the most popular responses was the belief that the members of the church were hypocrites. I remember thinking that this was a perfect example of a few bad apples (Christian hypocrites) spoiling the barrel (the church). I remember thinking that the respondents had probably not visited very many (if any) churches and that if they would just give church a real try they would find that most Christians are decent people. Yep, sometimes I’m a little blind to what people think of us, or maybe I’m just real hopeful. 

I must admit that I truly believe that most people who attend church are decent people who try to do the right thing and treat people well. We aren’t always successful, we all blow it now and then, but by and large we’re a good group of people. Unfortunately though, when we blow it we sometimes blow it big time. Too often, we have earned the tarnish on our reputation and being in denial makes the situation worse. 

So what brought on this walk down memory lane about a lecture I attended a year ago? I got blindsided by some Christians today. They were sneaky and deceptive, they’re playing dirty and it hurts. I found myself thinking wow, the people in those polls were right; the church is full of hypocrites. Okay, not full, that’s not fair, but there’s definitely some. I find myself wondering how I failed. If Christians I know intentionally choose not to have the heart of Christ when dealing with me have I done something to make them feel that this conduct is acceptable? I’ve also been thinking about what I learned in seminary about dealing with conflict, all those talks about icebergs and systems theory made sense then but now I’m having trouble figuring out how to really use that information to improve the situation. I remind myself that situations like this happen to Christians, including pastors, all the time (sad but true) and I can’t expect to be immune. And yet it still hurts. 

It hurts to come face-to-face with the reality that the body of Christ isn’t always Christ like. It would be easy to join the poll responders and denounce the church as being full of hypocrites, but I know it’s not true. I know many Christians who have the heart of Christ, who repent when they’ve faltered, and who love when it’s hard to love. I know many Christians who try to do their best to follow Christ’s teachings. Most of the Christians I know genuinely want to be better people and I find comfort in knowing that churches are full of them – I know because I’ve seen it. That comfort isn’t really enough right now, I’m feeling too wounded, too betrayed. I need Christ, not reason, to get me through this.

I know that Christ is with me as I go through this difficult time. It’s hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced Christ in their lives but I truly feel Christ’s presence with me right now. It feels like his arm is around me and he’s pulling me in, placing my head on his chest, caressing my head and sighing. Sighing because Jesus doesn’t like seeing Christians hurting Christians and he doesn’t like seeing me hurting, he wants to take my pain away. I’m going to stay here for awhile with my head resting on Jesus’ chest, letting him comfort me. There’s comfort in surrendering to Jesus’ embrace, it’s the one place I am always safe.

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Responses

  1. Pastor Nancy,

    I’ve seen my share of hypocrisy in the christian environment, within several churches and even within my christian college. It’s always sad and hard to understand. But I agree the majority of christians are honest most of the time. Sometimes the “Sunday Saint, Monday Ain’t” personality rears it’s ugly head.

    The situation we’re in is especially hard with two churches trying to meld into one. Everyone has a set way of doing things and as a first year preacher it makes your position especially hard. I don’t know if you’re blogging about something in the church or outside of our church, but it’s none of my business. Regardless I’ll pray for you! 🙂

    Brad Jerew

  2. Nancy,

    I was once at a meeting where a few members of the Trustees accused our pastor of stealing cable TV, when in reality they intentionally set him up. Of course it didn’t work, but it was still painful for the pastor to have to defend himself when he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s a long story, but just know that you are not alone. You could be my pastor any day of the week and twice on Sunday! Well maybe only once on Sunday, I get pretty tired after the first service 🙂
    Blessings my friend!


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