Ask Pastor Matt: Isn’t Hypocrisy Evidence that Christianity is False?

by Matt Rawlings

Every week I receive great questions from readers. This week I someone sent me the following: “Pastor Matt, I grew up in church hearing about the work of God’s spirit within Christians. But doesn’t the hypocrisy of Christians mean that this isn’t true?”

Great question. I became an atheist as a teenage preacher’s kid and one of the reasons I came to doubt the faith was the hypocrisy I saw within the church. I too wondered how people could claim that the spirit of a never changing, all-powerful, moral, loving deity could dwell within someone who claimed to praise God on Sunday and then cheat on his or her spouse on Monday.

But the Christian faith does not actually state that those who call themselves Christians will be perfect or even consistent. In fact, the Bible actually teaches that many who call themselves disciples of Jesus are no such thing. Christ is recorded in Matthew 7:21-23 as stating, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the

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kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

But one may object that it is difficult to find any Christian who does the will of God. Certainly many churches do not adequately disciple their members to help them grow but Christians actually do a lot more than you might think. The Barna Group found that evangelical Christians (i.e., conservative believers) give more to charity and volunteer to help others more than non-believers. Contrary to public opinion, evangelicals also divorce at a lower rather than others…

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