What has gone wrong with our churches here in America? We devote our time to changing our society and fail, yet we seem to forget that everyone has a sin nature. Remember, we are born with one. We then try to reach them with our precious gospel. Unfortunately, they refuse to accept something that promises change, yet the messenger lacks any. We are angered by the title “hypocrite”, yet our churches and church members are overflowing with hypocrisy. We no longer are allowed to preach most sins as vile and corrupt out of fear we might lose some of our tithers. We spend our energies on filling seats and offering plates, yet we fail on both counts. We profess we are reaching the lost and devote all of our energies into reaching them while hungry souls that are present receive nothing. Years ago a community would be thrilled to have a new church to attend. Today, a local Walmart is the greatest thrill. How sad! What has gone wrong with our churches in America?
The church in Jesus’ day was just as pitiful as our modern day religious organizations. Remember, Jesus was the only perfect human to walk this earth. He was so perfect, he didn’t even have a sin nature, yet he was called a sinner by the church:
- Then again called they (the Pharisees) the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man (Jesus) is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. (John 9:24-25)
Remember, the Pharisees were the ones charged with identifying the prophesied Christ, yet they failed:
- But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5:36-40)
Jesus even called them hypocrites:
- All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Matthew 23:3)
- But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:13-15)
These self-righteous, morally correct, holy, sanctified Pharisees could not be hypocrites, or could they?
- And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (John 8:2-9 KJV)
Here is what those same people said about the common people:
- Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. (John 7:47-49 KJV)
They knew the law and in the end violated it for their own religious gain:
- When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. (Matthew 27:1-4 KJV)
Wow! Those that knew the law are now violating it. Even when Judas, which they had given 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus, sought repentance because he now realized he was guilty of murder, these hypocrites responded with, “what do you want us to do, for we are also guilty of murder, and therefore we are in the same situation.”
Does any of this sound familiar to you? When will the church wake up and do something about the rampant hypocrisy that pervades its structures?
We are living in a society that is looking for answers to the mess in their life. They come to the church and leave disappointed because they were sure the church could help them. Unfortunately, they usually find a church that is in the same boat just as Judas did when he repented. This is the ultimate hypocrisy.