This is a common excuse for not attending church, and my less than righteous, off-the-cuff reaction is, “C’mon and join us, there’s always room for one more.” The truth of the matter is that everyone has probably been guilty of some hypocrisy at one point or another, but it is a dangerous thing.
The word “hypocrite” comes from the Greek language and was used in the theater to speak of an actor who puts on a false face to play a part. It came to be used in a metaphorical sense of someone who is a pretender, and not genuine. Hypocrisy is denounced in both the Old and New Testaments, with Jesus speaking against it very strongly. He warned people saying,
“…you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (Matthew 15:6-9)
All people are sinners, but we do not have to practice hypocrisy. Hypocrisy has to do with dishonesty; putting on a face that isn’t genuine. Hopefully we are genuine when we come to God. He certainly isn’t fooled by our words or outward actions since He knows our hearts. Another issue here might be a misconception of what a Christian is. A Christian is not a person who is perfect, nor one who gives the impression that they are. In fact, in order to become a Christian, one has to genuinely admit to God that he is an unworthy sinner, and in need of God’s mercy through Jesus. No doubt people can and do attend church for the wrong reasons at times, but that is not everyone, all the time. And if some are hypocritical, it certainly doesn’t have to affect your relationship with God. He calls you to be honest before Him and totally committed to Him. A church worship service is to be a group of forgiven sinners who honestly seek to honor and thank God, and learn more of Him. They gather together to encourage one another in that faith. Someone once said it this way: “Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners!”
In the final run, Christianity does not stand or fall with how well people live. It is based upon Jesus Christ who is NOT a hypocrite, but is “The Truth”. He did give His life to pay for our sins, and He did rise from the dead as He said He would do. It would be a pity for you to allow someone else’s failures to keep you from growing in your relationship with the Lord and being obedient to Him. May God help us each be genuine. We need to make sure that we are not like those of whom Jesus spoke; those who honor Him with their lips while in reality their hearts are far from Him. Thanks for reading and have a great day.