Hypocrites in the Church
I agree with you that many many people in the churches are hypocritical. One of the most common statements that I here when I talk to people about coming to church is, “There are too many hypocrites in the church.” Although, I am not so sure it is all hypocritical. I think most people that go to the church house haven’t met the Lord. Haven’t you noticed that most don’t seem to give a rip that they don’t look like a church that is modeled for us in the book of Acts? They don’t even look much like churches written to in the epistles of Paul. There are hypocrites in the church, to be sure, but there are also hypocrites in life. Therefore, I suspect that the so-called hypocrites of the church are actually lost people that need Jesus. The Bible tells me that you must be born again (John 3:3). Born-again folks are not just church folks. They live like they are changed and people know it!
I’ve been studying the Anabaptist movement and the radical reformation. And I have been thinking a great deal on how those Christians believed that Luther and Zwingli, Calvin and Knox had not gone far enough in the Reformation. Among other things, these early Anabaptists believed that baptism had no saving powers, but that it was a demonstration of the saving change that had already been brought about in a new believers’ life. Once they put their beliefs to practice and became the first to follow the apostles in believer’ s baptism (in nearly 1200 years), they immediately went house to house sharing the gospel of salvation. Many for the first time heard that Jesus alone could save the soul from sin, not the church. Within a couple of years, tens of thousands are recorded to have been saved according to the gospel and were baptized in believer’s baptism. These newly baptized believers were called re-baptizers, because for hundreds of years infant baptism had been taught to save the lost. Thus the Catholic and Protestant church hunted them down fiercely and ultimately killed most of them and their preachers. But those that were burned at the stake, tried and were tortured for preaching the gospel, preached, convicted, and convinced without fear of death.
It is this type of Christianity; one must be willing to die for. And if you are truly saved and you love your neighbor, especially those of the household faith, you have to be willing to die for them; or at least live for them. This type of Christianity required the Holy Ghost in order to survive and flourish. In its very nature it was a way of life. (And in most cases a brief one.) One couldn’t help but wear that garment of grace for the world to see. Nor could they avoid sharing the good news that set them free with the folks they met.
I’m convinced that was the church that the Lord builds. That was a Bible church. I believe that is the only church where the true power of the Holy Ghost is demonstrated and lived out in the eyes of the world who needs Jesus. No, I don’t believe there’s a bunch of hypocrites in the church. I believe the church needs Jesus. I believe the church needs to read the Book and live exactly as it says in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then the world would not be judging the church. It would have to make its judgment against Jesus, who is the Head of the church.