Posted by: Tim | November 30, 2009

That’s a Good Question #10: Why Become a Christian when so many are Hypocrites?

Let’s face it, we’ve all met Christians who turned out to be hypocrites. It can be real turn-off for people who might otherwise consider following Christ. #10 in the “That’s a Good Question” series of articles deals with this issue.

That’s a Good Question #10

Why would I want to be a Christian when I see that many Christians are hypocrites?

One of the biggest complaints that people make about Christians is that they are hypocrites. Maybe they have a Christian coworker who goes to church on Sunday but who cheats the boss at work during the week. Maybe they knew of a pastor who preached the gospel with passion but who was later caught in some scandal. Maybe they have a family member who is always talking to others about Jesus but who won’t talk to their own mother or father.  Or maybe they grew up in a church or Christian organization where hypocrisy seemed to be the norm. Many people see hypocrisy in followers of Christ, and decide that they want no part of their religion.

You may be surprised to learn that Jesus spent a lot of time talking about hypocrites, and He reserved some of His harshest words for them. If hypocrisy drives you crazy, then you would probably get along well with Jesus.

Chapter twenty three of Matthew’s gospel records Jesus’ stinging rebuke of the hypocrites of His day, as He condemns them for many of their worst qualities. They don’t practice what they preach. They love to be seen by others to be doing spiritual things. They major on the minors in others, but overlook major sins in themselves. They are concerned about outside appearances, but neglect deep spiritual matters of the heart.

We have all experienced hypocrisy at one time or another, and we usually don’t like it one bit. I think that Christians need to admit that we do not always practice what we preach.  When I talk with Christians in our community, most will freely admit that they do not always live up to God’s standards, and they have had times of hypocrisy. I include myself in this admission, for being a pastor doesn’t make me better than anyone else.

But while hypocrisy amongst Christians is real, I also know many Christians, who though they are not perfect, are seeking to live out their faith sincerely and humbly. They may not get noticed a lot as they quietly go about their daily lives, but they make our world a better place as they practice what they preach.

It is important to realize that Christians do not claim to be perfect, just forgiven. They do not claim to be sinless, but most do try to sin less, though they don’t always succeed. There is only one person who has ever lived the Christian life perfectly, and that person is Jesus. We need to trust in Him to forgive us and to save us from our sins. We also need trust Him to help us live according to God’s laws, for He is the only one who knows how to live life the way God intended.

Please don’t miss out on Jesus just because some of His followers are hypocrites. For the hypocrisy of His followers, as distasteful as it may be, does not change the truth about Jesus. In fact, in a strange and ironic way, the existence of hypocrisy supports the claims of Christianity, for human experience accurately reflects the truth of Jesus’ many words about hypocrisy.  The Bible is stubbornly candid about the reality of hypocrisy, but this reality is no reason to miss out on knowing the power of God at work in your life through Jesus Christ.


  1. […] #10 Why Become a Christian when so many are Hypocrites? […]

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