“Hypocrites” Keep You from Church? 😂

I am daily asked many questions on Quora about Christianity in general, or some theological tongue-twister specifically.

Tonight, I was asked this question:width=500

The remainder is my verbatim answer.  Either this person is trying to excuse sinful behaviour as a Christian, they are possibly mocking a Christian who has pretended for too long that they are perfect, or some other permutation I have not yet considered. As a result, I will let the Bible speak for me on this subject of Christians and sin. I hope it helps someone out there who either is a believer and struggles with their sin nature, or isn’t yet a Christian, but wants to know more about God and His love for us.


Every single person on earth has sinned, except for One – Jesus Christ Himself, because He was the sinless Son of God:

  • As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10)
  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23)
  • Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord..” (Romans 6:23)

Christ died on the Cross to save all not just Christians, but all of mankind from their sins.   Anybody who accepts that sacrifice of Christ for the penalty of sin (that they should’ve paid themselves) receives all the benefits of His death on the Cross:

  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believe it’s in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

  • Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. (1 John 5:1)

Instagram-TAG-a-friend-Our-Church-Memes-3dfb53Those who believe in what Christ has done for them and accept it are referred to as “Christians” – which is just someone who follows the teachings of Christ. And the moment we accept Him as our Saviour and Lord, He grants us the ability to have eternal life with Him in heaven.

However, battling the sin nature will continue to ravage us as long as we live on this planet. But now that we are believers in Christ, there are benefits to that – membership has its privileges:

  • No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but Godisfaithful, whowill not allowyou to be temptedbeyondwhatyou are able, but with the temptation will also make theway of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

  • And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact,together with Christwe areheirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. The Future Glory ”(Romans 8:17)

  • But thanks be to God, whogives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(1 Cor 15:57)

  • I do not understand what I do. For whatI want to do I do not do, butwhat I hate I do. …17 As it is,it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but Icannot carry it out. (Romans 7:15, 17-18)

But our sin nature doesn’t have to control us any longer. It doesn’t have to overwhelm us and lead us around by the nose and make us do things we don’t want to do. God has given us the ability to overcome these things. Yes, many Christians have not learned that yet, and it’s a process that takes people their entire lives to be regenerated. A person does not become instantly perfect when they become a Christian – in fact, they don’t reach perfection until they get to Heaven at the end of their life. For the remainder of this life, it is a process of continuous renewing of our minds and hearts, with the help of God:

  • Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

  • Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”(Romans 6:12–14)

The beauty of the message of Christ and his work on the cross for us is that we can’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, and we are never going to be good enough to get it on our own. The sooner Christian learns that he doesn’t have the ability on his own to live the Christian life, and needs God to help him to renew his mind and be restored every single day, the sooner he will see restoration in his life.

I can tell you firsthand from my own family and friends that anyone can be delivered from alcoholism, drugs, smoking, sexual addictions, gluttony, anger, hatred, loneliness, racism and many many more – there are so many things that try to destroy us today:

  • To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving us an example,that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.’ (2 Peter 1:10)

  • So, dear brothers and sisters,work hard to provethat you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away”

It’s important that we always remember, however, that only God can help you to become a better person – only he can make you more like Christ. You don’t have the ability to do it amongst yourselves if you did you we wouldn’t have needed to see him die on the cross in the first place

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  10For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:8–10, New Living Translation)

FINAL NOTE:

Sometimes people refuse to associate with the church because Christians may seem to be less than perfect. A frequent excuse among people for not seeking salvation through Jesus Christ is because the church is full of hypocrites.

Sadly, this charge is partly true. This is an apology, a personal confession, and a statement of fact; Christians are still only people, and people often fail to be at their best. The answer is, yes, there are hypocrites in the church.

But the church is not filled with hypocrites. We should give Christians some benefit of the doubt and assume that, although they are human, they are earnestly trying to live in accord with their convictions.

There is a vast difference between:

  • those who are trying to live as Christians, but who make mistakes;

  • those who say they are Christians, but do not try to live better at all;

  • and those who have nothing to do with God – the majority of humanity – who reject him at every turn

The Church is not the only place where we find hypocrites, however. They are on the golf course, the highway, in business, in government, in school… They are everywhere.

Although you may not attend church because of them, have you given up golf, or driving your car, getting an education or working for a living because of them?  Of course not, it wouldn’t be practical.

We overlook the hypocrisy of our golf companion when he cheats on his score, we do not cease to drive our car because the man in the next lane speeds, and we do not refuse our paycheck even though a fellow worker steals and does not give a day’s work for a day’s pay.

And at the end of your life, you will stand before God alone and He isn’t going to allow any excuses for why you didn’t accept His gift freely offered – which His Son voluntarily paid, a tremendous price to give you freedom from Sin, Death, Hell and the Grave – thanks to His death on the cross.

I urge you to accept that free gift of salvation today, that Jesus offers to you. God doesn’t promise anyone tomorrow” anywhere in the Bible – He only promises TODAY…and ETERNITY.

You can choose to not believe that God exists if you want to. That’s certainly your prerogative. But if I live my entire life for the cause of Christ, and I die, and then it is discovered that everything I believed was a lie, I won’t know any different.

But I will have lived a victorious life before I die, free of loneliness and fear and worry, knowing that Somebody out there cares for me and takes care of me and guides me.  I have lost nothing if I have traded my doldrum life for one with purpose, meaning, and victory.

Oh, it’s not going to be perfect on this side of the grass – and there will be times where being a Christian will be an incredible challenge for a lot of people. We face a world that hates God and hates the church and will do anything it can to discredit both. And there are a lot of Christians that have certainly helped to make that a lot easier, by some of the most outrageous actions and behaviours.

But there are hundreds of millions of us who have accepted the message of Jesus Christ have claimed his victory over sin and death in our lives, and we echo the scripture that says:

  • I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:28)

So again I choose to live my life for Christ.  If I end up being wrong and there is no Christ I have lost nothing– I have given up nothing that satisfies more, nothing that gives me more hope, nothing that gives me joy, nothing that gives me peace, that what I believe I have through Christ.

Now, however, if you lived your whole life and you wind up being wrongand there was a God, you lose everything.  We are given no mulligans, no do-overs or second chances when it comes to eternal life – the Bible says that:

  • It’s appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

20 seconds or less after you’re dead, you’re going to either have a very strong punch in the face of reality – when you quickly realize that there is a God and there is a Heaven and you’ve just stumbled into the very centre of their existence…

…or you will live a less than fulfilled life, feeling that there is something missing – money, popularity, relationships, power – none of which can or will satisfy you.

None give you hope for tomorrow – or even for today!

And the ultimate disaster would be to learn that, after having lived your life for so long for yourself alone, that at the end of life, there is nothing but darkness and finality.  You would die at the end of all that and have…nothing. 

What a motivating factor THAT would be to live a long life.  Or perhaps, more importantly, to pray that you never die.

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By Shawn Jorgensen,  Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Original Post:  June 1, 2019
[God’s Got A Plan For You!]

What I DON’T Think About Israel – Part 2


IsraelIsrael Is Forever:
Special feature to the Calling Out Community, Posted January 19, 2016.

(From Part 1):

Along with all the nonsense in the media today about Israel, there are some pretty fundamental beliefs about Israel and the Jews that I hear from major Christian pulpits as well – even sometimes from Jews themselves – and I just do not, will not or can not agree with some of it.

I’ve decided that it’s time to set the record straight. No more grey areas – I want everyone to know exactly where I stand, and to stop propagating some of the “phony baloney” I hear all the time.

Warning: many will find this to be highly controversial. However, please read right through to the end, as I believe it will put things into proper perspective for you. I might even win some of you over along the way.

slide-march-christians-640x341Christian Flakes and Israel

Of course I would like this posting to find camaraderie or kinship with at least some of my readership today, but my opinion won’t be swayed even if everyone that reads this posting sends comments through WordPress (or notes written in red Crayon or fashioned with the cut-out words from 20 magazines) to call me an idiot, an opportunist, brain-washed, uneducated or deceived.  You will not be able to ridicule or shame me into changing my mind, so don’t expend the energy trying.

I will start by first saying that I do not merely like Israel.  I do not just “appreciate” Israel. I am not only “friendly toward” Israel. I do not have a “healthy respect” for Israel. I do not simply “stand with” Israel, nor do I feel I can categorize it as “support” for Her, as some better Christians than I innocently state. I do not even “follow Israel with interest” in the media.

d745da141c99679903d142f8050f05c9I also do not cling to the Biblical passage that tells us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).  In my opinion, that’s a pretty myopic, narrow-minded viewpoint. In fact, when people tell me that, I’m suspicious of their motives, as it sounds more like they are doing the absolute bare minimum possible in order to obey God without actually having to LIKE it.

Jerusalem is without a doubt Israel. But Israel is much more than Jerusalem. And if one were to pray for someone they cared about – dare I say, that they loved – would they really stop at praying just for her peace? Would a fan or supporter of Israel not believe that prayer for the following things for Her would also be wise, if they have watched even the smallest amount of media coverage about Her:

keep-calm-and-pray-for-israel-15protection, comfort, wisdom, physical health, government and leaders, success, strength, victory over her enemies, deliverance from fear and worry, military self-control, wisdom in finances, entrepreneurial spirit, inventive mindset, favorable harvests, influence and favor amongst other nations, and protection from the schemes and devices of evil people

…to name a few items.

Yah, there’s a lot more that Israel needs you to bring before God than just Her peace – though that would be great and very welcome sight as well. However, I believe She can’t really have peace as long as the other items I’ve mentioned are threatened – so perhaps the Psalmist was actually asking a lot more from the believer than it seems on the surface, and/or more than some believers are willing to do?

resized_butthurt-dweller-meme-generator-weather-getting-colder-zionist-conspiracy-e2016eThis is why I am not some “fan” of Israel – because I see the high price that needs to be paid for stating support of Her.  I have not been influenced by Christian bumper sticker theology, nor am I part of some radicalized right-wing political rallying cry for Her. I am not a schemer or puppet of some global Zionist conspiracy to conquer the world, nor unwillingly or unknowingly a mouthpiece for some Semitic propaganda. I am not a Messianic Jew. I have never yet even visited Israel, though I would practically give my right arm to do so.

I had no Jewish friends growing up, and though I’ve had some in my various careers, I currently have none today. I attend a very large surburban Christian evangelical church (Canada’s second largest) with a weekly attendance of over 4,500 – and I have no idea what their official position is on Israel, because it’s never vocalized.  I receive no financial compensation of any kind from any Jews anywhere for any reason.

I was not “brainwashed” to love Israel by my parents as a child either. They taught us that Israel was the “Apple of God’s eye” and we always were taught to appreciate and respect the Jewish people, but they never pushed an overly aggressive belief system regarding the Jewish state in my home. In fact, I do not believe I even met a Jew or socialized with one in any capacity until I was in my mid-30s – long after most personal philosophies about the world are long since cemented into our characters.

enough-lies-about-israelI have been a news junkie since CNN first gave us the 24-hour talking head back in the 1980s, and all I hear is that Israel is a bully, a war criminal, a sadistic invader of its neighbours and brutal oppressor of the Palestinian people. I have even heard some mainline Christian churches expound the same belief.  So clearly, were I to become a cheerleader for Israel, I would be swimming hard and fast upstream. It certainly would not be criticized as jumping on some popular bandwagon or doing the politically correct (PC) thing, nor is this some fad or phase, or some “movement” or group I have recently joined.

There were even non-denominational charismatic churches I attended as a young adult who preached a form of “replacement theology” – that Israel’s position with God has been usurped or replaced by the Body of Christ – some going as far as to say that Jews’ rejection of Jesus as Messiah has put them into some divine “dog house”.  I’ve even heard some make the suggestion that the Jews were “Christ-killers”.

Let me say flat out that this theology is erroneous at best, stating from a theological perspective, and evil at worst. I know what I’m talking about, having graduated with honours after 5 years of full-time study with a Bachelor of Theology and a Bachelor of Education.  And I’ll counter that by stating categorically that I believe my viewpoint in Israel would be considered perhaps extreme by even some of my professors – and though they were quite influential in my life, I can say without hesitation that not one of them has led me to believe as I do about Israel today. In fact, I’m confident that I would make some of them at this very conservative evangelical College located within Canada’s “Bible Belt” very uncomfortable. And I’m totally OK WITH THAT.

israel_is_forever_by_thetechnotoast-d6kuz12

Get Caught Up – Read All About It:

What I DO Not Believe About Israel – Part 1
Jews Are NOT Taking Over The World

What I DO Not Believe About Israel – Part 3
Were the Jews “Christ-killers”?