I’m tired of hearing people complain about church, and I’m especially tired of hearing Christians complain about the church.
Far too often, I’ve heard people accuse churchgoers of being judgmental and hypocritical. I’ve had too many conversations with individuals who claim to love Jesus but hate church because “church people” are hypocrites.
Singer/songwriter Rich Mullins once said, “No, the church isn’t full of hypocrites; we always have room for more.”
The fact is, yes, church people are hypocrites.
It all boils down to the fact that just because someone identifies as a Christian and goes to church, doesn’t mean they are exempt from failure and mistakes.
The people who occupy church pews every Sunday are flawed because it’s inevitable that humanity is flawed.
Despite the fact we serve a perfect and loving God, we are not always perfect and loving the way God is. Just because we serve a good God does not mean we always act like we should.
Now, that doesn’t mean churchgoers are excused from sinful behavior because they’re apart of a sinful humanity. As a Christian, I know I am covered by God’s grace, but I also know out of my love for my Savior, I’m going to do my best to obey his commands. By grace we are saved and out of love we obey.
Church is not a place where perfect people come to brag about how perfect they are and how everyone else misses the mark. I apologize if you’ve ever had that experience with church, because that’s not what it’s about.
Church is a place you come, whether you’re broken, beaten down and bruised or joyful, excited and thrilled with life. It’s a place where healing takes place, where you’re reminded you’re not alone and where you can be lifted back up.
It’s also a place of accountability.
The job of the church is not just to build each other up, but also to remind us of the life we are trying to live. It’s easy sometimes to lose sight of our walk with God, but being surrounded by fellow believers reminds us to stay strong and focused on our Father, not the world.
As for those of us who are in the church, let’s keep in mind our attitudes and actions. While it’s true — we will never be perfect, we should try our best to represent the One we serve. It’s not our place to judge, rather to welcome all who step through the doors of our church. The church is meant to be a place of love and support, not judgment or exclusion.
Churches will never be perfect, just like you and I never will be either. Instead, let’s look to the One who is perfect. Let’s look to Jesus, who knows our sins, who knows we’re all hypocrites, but loves us anyways. Let’s remember that church is about serving our good and gracious Father and building up one another in love.
Yes, the church is full of hypocrites, but there’s always room for more.