Have you ever noticed that after coming off a really great church service or Bible study, you feel like you can take on the world? You’re inspired. Uplifted. Ministry ideas start coming to you. You get a bigger vision for what God has for your life. You find yourself making resolutions to stop watching so much tv, pray more, read your Bible etc. Then, about a day or two out, the darkness of the secular world descends once again and very quickly begins to suck all the life out of you. Before you know it, you’re back in line with every other lemming.
This experience of a conflict of behavior is what is often referred to as hypocrisy.
So what causes it?
Well, it seems to be the change in environment. Our natural tendency is to adapt to what’s around us. It’s an evolutionary thing (Discovery Channel said so). Some of us fight it better than others, but I don’t know anyone who would deny the basic attraction to conformity.
Who and what we’re exposed to has an impact on how we act.
Even the apostle Peter had a weakness in this area. Paul had to call him out for his conflicting behavior while among the Jews and Gentiles (Gal 2). The man walked on water and healed people with his friggin’ shadow! Yet he succumbed to what we might call today, “peer pressure.”
If that was an issue for The Rock, isn’t it possible that some less, “spiritual” Christians may fall prey to it?
The Rabbit Hole Goes Deeper
Naturally then, the cure for hypocrisy would be genuine fellowship, more often, with more believers.
So . . .
Why is that not happening? Why can’t we get together more often? Is there a shortage of Christians?
I can’t speak for other parts of the world, but I know this is not the case here in America. There are churches everywhere. In addition, you’ll notice the Sunday morning bulletins always list a handful of home fellowship groups that meet throughout the week. But what you have probably NEVER seen in those bulletins are the places and times of groups from OTHER churches that are meeting.
If you did, I could almost guarantee you that there would be multiple groups down your own street and in your own neighborhood that meet all the time. I mean, literally every day.
Think about how awesome it would be to tell the wife, “hey, let’s take the kids down the street tonight. So and so is having a family Bible study.” You wouldn’t have to mess with traffic or driving all the way across town. You wouldn’t have to worry about arriving late because of your work schedule or feeding the kids.
There’d be so many home groups to choose from, they could accommodate anyone’s life. You could fellowship during the day if you were a stay at home mom or even odd hours of the night for those who work the late shift.
It’d be like a real family—all the time.
So . . . Why isn’t this happening?
The Root Cause
In a nutshell—Division.
Our leaders are afraid you might hear something you shouldn’t. Even though most Christians don’t even know (or care about) the details of the denomination their church subscribes to, and would really rather just fellowship with anyone who loves Jesus, those in power feel it necessary to shield you from other believers.
So we stay divided. Weak. Susceptible to the strong pull of the world’s current.
Our disjointedness has led to our hypocrisy.
Christians everywhere, hiding not from the world, but from one another. Christians who have fallen for the lie that it’s taboo to have real, serious engagements with one another outside their cliques on Sundays. Christians who would rather live, talk and act like the world, than risk hearing something they disagree with. Or worse—face the possibility that they might actually be able to learn something from (GASP!) people from another church!
Christians who have unwittingly chosen hypocrisy over unity.