Making a Difference, One Hypocrite at a Time

A recent Lifeway research study found that 70 percent of unbelievers surveyed agree that “Jesus makes a difference,” but more than 70 percent also affirmed that “the church is full of hypocrites.”

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and author of The Reason for God: Belief in an age of skepticism says “When they see Christians saying they are born again and they don’t see an incredibly changed life they assume you are a hypocrite.

Seems like a reasonable assumption.

78 percent of those surveyed said they are willing to listen to a Christian talk about faith and are open to having conversations about God.

What? The church is full of hypocrites, but you’re willing to listen?

Imagine the opportunity if we could rid ourselves of the hypocrisy. We’re thinking it time to start our own set of surveys…


9 Responses to “Making a Difference, One Hypocrite at a Time”

  1. Just wonderin’ … if the hypocrites are the majority answering the survey, will everything appear to be hunky-dory? I’ve had a recent incident with a “mature” christian of late. In this case “mature” ended up referring to age and not their walk with Jesus. There’s just something about being corrected by a hypocrite that sparks up that devilish desire in me to vent. Then I remember that when He was falsely accused, he remained silent.

  2. i once heard a man say he hears the hypocrite excuse a lot as why people don’t go to church. his counsel was as long as you look at people to judge the sincerity of the faith as opposed to jesus, who is the only authentic thing, then you will always be disappointed.

    our faith cannot be a third party faith. unfortunately, sometimes the brand is only as good as the ones who use it.

  3. EVERY year that this survey is done the number one reasons for people not attending church is hypocrite Christians. I believe, though, most of the hypocrites are actually not really Christians. Billy Graham onced quipped that 80% on the pews are not saved. Jesus told that many will “Lord of Lords” to Him, and He reply that He, “never knew you.” Furthermore, plenty of those who claim hypocrites are looking for an excuse not to attend. All in all, however, those who are saved need to live UP to the standards that God has set for us.

  4. You know I have spoken with a lot of people about Christ…

    I would agree that most are willing to listen… for a few minutes anyway…

    It has been my experience that when I share Christ with someone I have less than 2 minutes to hold their attention…

    Most often I hear things like professing Christians say thanks, but I’m already a Christian… go talk to someone who needs it…

    Or from a non-believer, “well that’s your truth, I have a different truth”…

    But both of these think most Christians are hypocrites..

    Hey lets go out with a video camera to the streets and shoot some footage… it would make for a great revealing video ??? anyone, anyone?

  5. “All in all, however, those who are saved need to live UP to the standards that God has set for us.”

    Last night I was talking with some friends about how we don’t see Christian’s lives being different from others, but how we desire to have a life like that. We don’t seem to be living like we are “new creations”. What is it we are failing to do that is making that difference if we are trying to live up to those standards?

  6. Living up to the standards…
    Christians are criticized for not showing changed lives or being different. But if you are different, you are criticized for being judgmental and irrelevant since you cannot relate to the culture. What is the standard? Not making mistakes? Loving the “sinner” and not the sin?? What does an unchurched person say would lead them toward Christ? Is there a study that shows that information? Sometimes I think there are too many excuses–blame the Christians and then they don’t have to deal with their own stuff. What is the expectation on a Christian life by the unchurched culture?

  7. What is the expectation on a Christian life by the unchurched culture?

    I personally think that the unchurched culture expects us to hold up to some sort of standard, and are sorely disappointed when we don’t…

    I once heard a non-christian saying that Jesus wasn’t acting like a very good “Christian” when he turned over the tables in the synagogue…

    That one had my mind racing… ???? what, Jesus wasn’t being a very good Christian????

    I honestly think in this day and age so many are professing to be Christians, and saying and doing things to represent a Christian culture that are so contradictory… it is hard to tell, and hard for them to know the standard…

    Since the bible is seldom as preached as often as current events or practical self help, it is hard even for Christians to know what the Christian culture is supposed to be like…

    It wasn’t a mystery to the apostles at all, in fact their standards are pretty clear…

    Why is this so blurred today?

    I think it is because even though almost every American has at least one bible, and in most cases 2, but never read them…

    How will we know the standard unless

    a. we believe one exists
    b. we are willing to correct to the standard
    c. we are willing to look to God when we fail for assistance

    The results would be unity, clarity, growth, and grace

    The opposite would be:

    a. not believing or knowing their is a standard
    b. not having anything to correct to
    c. not looking to God for help and having nothing change…

    The results would be confusion, lack of purpose, emptiness, and again confusion…

    So the culture must believe their is some standard to live up to, or they wouldn’t call anyone a hypocrite…

    Why then does the culture know their is a standard and the church doesn’t… that is the question I am asking God right now… and have been for a few years now…

  8. I wonder if part of the problem is that we try to lead people into our churches with overblown expectations. You know – “Want to have a good marriage, obedient kids, financial stability, joy and love in your heart? Then come to church and we’ll teach you the right principles to follow.” But then they see Christians who struggle with those things as well.

    What if, instead of promising “blessings” we just presented Jesus? Could that be part of the problem?

  9. In some cases, I agree with Joni – we can’t win.

    Like Crazy says, people are looking for an excuse not to believe and its easy to put the blame on others rather than take personal responsibility.

    Avery says “Since the bible is seldom as preached as often as current events or practical self help, it is hard even for Christians to know what the Christian culture is supposed to be like…” You mean I can become a “better me” without reading Joel Osteen?

    Brian… Just take a look at the catchy sermon titles and you’ll find exactly what you are referring to. And don’t forget the donuts and designer coffee.

    Presenting Jesus. Next thing you know you’re going to ask us to trust God.

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