I listened to a sermon from Andy Stanley this morning that blew my socks off. He addressed the issue of Christian hypocrisy, which is a big deal to me and a lot of people I know.
Hypocrisy is the number one thing that kept me from exploring Christianity my entire life. And it's the number one thing that I hear people complain about in regards to Christians. And as a Christian, now, I understand it differently -- I understand that we all fail, we are all just human beings. Being a Christian doesn't make you perfect, but it should make you try harder. If you love God, you should do your best to make Him proud.
Sadly, there are a lot of people who claim to be Christians, but don't actually love God. People, in their free will, can easily fall away from God. And maybe those hypocritical Christians that I have met throughout my life had simply fallen away from God. "Christian" was part of their identity, but they weren't living it out.
Speaking from experience, when you are close to God, you want to do right. Like being around your parents makes you put your best face forward, being around your Heavenly Father makes you want to make Him proud.
In his sermon this morning, Andy Stanley talked about the impact we can make when we come together as one and move toward the same mission. When people see a large group of Christians walking the walk, it speaks louder than any evangelistic speech. He said, "It's not like people don't know what a church is. They don't drive by churches and think, What are all those weird buildings with crosses all over them? No, they know what they are but they don't enter because they have had a bad experience with Christians!"
This can be said for any group of people -- but because it's been going on for over 2000 years (and Paul addresses this in the Book of Ephesians, so you know it was happening from the get-go!), hypocrisy and lack of unity in the church hits people really hard. Just think about the cultural thought patterns that have grown from that, the universal energy.
Anyway, the sermon got me shouting Yeah! at my computer screen this morning, so I wanted to share my thoughts. Take 'em or leave 'em!