Judgmental and Hypocritical, two words no one likes being called. We ask big questions this summer at Christ UMC in Gastonia, NC. This is a fair question, one we must address. Here is our Sunday Rewind for July 17, 2016. We ask the big question, “Why is the church so judgmental and full of hypocrites?”
Okay…I confess that no one at my church asked this question. Chances are that no one actively attending a church thinks their church is judgmental. Few people actively attending a church thinks their church is full of hypocrites. No, we’d leave and attend churches we considered more loving and authentic. Few people at any church would say such things. No, this question comes from outside the church.
Many people who chose not to go to church do so because they view the church as hypocritical and judgmental. They hear our proclamations of Jesus. They read our politics. They know our loud stands on controversial issues. Then they witness our behavior. What they see fails to match what they hear. Divorce occurs within church families at approximately the same rate as non-church-going families, and those on the outside scoff at our concerns for marriage and family. People outside the church see our simple (and maybe shallow) attempts to alleviate generational poverty and they laugh at our call for generosity. Above all, they see little difference between their actions and ours…and they wonder if Jesus is really worth it. Many people consider us judgmental and hypocritical and I can’t say I blame them.
In fairness, I don’t believe we seek to be judgmental. We don’t aspire to be hypocrites. Instead, we fall into these behaviors with the best of intentions. We look at the world around us and honestly hope for something better. We church-goers want to make the world a better, more peace-filled, more loving place. To use our biblical lingo, we want to see God’s Kingdom revealed and made true in our communities and across the globe. We see the need. We desire the opportunity. But we miss making change where change matters most.
Why is the church so judgmental and full of hypocrites? In this Sunday rewind I hope to not only address the problem but offer the church, our church, a way forward. How can we change the world? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Click below to listen to this past Sunday’s Message