Hypocrites? Us?

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Many people have developed the perception that Christians are hypocrites.  I wonder why:

  • Churched Christians give away an average of about 3 percent of
    their income in a typical year- and feel pleased at their "sacrificial"
    generosity.
  • Fewer than one out of every ten churched Christians donates at
    least 10 percent of their income to churches and other nonprofit
    organizations.  (More than one-third claim to do so.)
  • When asked to explain their understanding of biblical stewardship,
    less than one out of every twenty includes resources such as time,
    relationships, ideas, or skills in their assessment.
  • In a typical week, only one out of every four believers will
    allocate some time to serving other people.  Most of that time is
    dedicated to volunteering in church programs that serve congregants;
    little effort is invested in serving needy people outside the
    congregation.
  • Most churched Christians admit to having seen homeless or hurting
    people in their community or travels during the past year; a very small
    percentage says they interacted with any of those disadvantaged people.
  • The typical believer would rather give money to an organization to
    allow it to do good deeds in society than personally assist in
    alleviating the needs of disadvantaged people.
  • Fewer than one out of every six churched believers has a
    relationship with another believer through which accountability is
    provided.

  • The biweekly attendance at worship services is, by believer's own admission, the only time they worship God.
  • Eight out of every ten believers do not feel they have entered into the presence of God, or experienced a connection with Him, during the worship service.
  • Half of all believers say they do not feel they have entered into the presence of God or experienced a genuine connection with Him during the past year.
  • Only one out of four churched believers says that when they worship God, they expect Him to be the primary beneficiary of their worship.  (Most people say they expect to get the most from the experience).
  • The typical churched believer will die without leading a single person to a lifesaving knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • At any given time, a majority of believers do not have a specific person in mind for whom they are praying in the hope that the person will be saved.
  • Most churched Christians believe that since they are not gifted in evangelism, such outreach is not a significant responsibility of theirs.
  • Only nine percent of all born-again adults have a biblical worldview (i.e. believe in the traditional tenants of Christian faith).  The other 91 percent of born-again adults possess a patchwork of theological views and rarely rely upon those perspectives to inform their daily decisions.
  • When asked what constitutes success in life, few believers define success in spiritual terms.  Most describe outcomes related to professional achievement, family solidarity, physical accomplishments, or resource acquisition.
  • When given the opportunity to state how they want to be known by others, fewer than one out of ten believers mentioned descriptions that reflect their relationship with God.
  • A large majority of churched believers rely upon their church, rather than their family to train their children to become spiritually mature.
  • In an average month, fewer than one out of every ten churched families worships together outside of a church service; just a few pray together, other than at mealtimes; and the same minimal numbers study the Bible together at home or work together to address the needs of disadvantaged people in their community.
  • The likelihood of a married couple who are born-again churchgoers getting divorced is the same as couples who are not disciples of Jesus.
  • Apart from church-based programs, the typical Christian family spends less than three hours per month in endeavors designed to jointly develop or apply their faith.
  • Most Christian parents do not believe they are doing a good job at facilitating the spiritual development of their children.
  • * adapted from Barna, George.  Revolution: Finding Vibrant Faith Beyond the Walls of the Sanctuary.  (Carol Stream, IL: Barna/Tyndale House Publishers), 31-35

    ** hypocrite image taken from northernsun.

    Ken Castor

    Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

    4 thoughts on “Hypocrites? Us?

    1. Thanks for these comments guys. I’m so pumped today reading through the book of Jude. He addresses some hypocritical issues in that letter – with intensity- but reminds us what the love of Jesus does for us as we live out a raw, real faith. Reading through Ezekiel 34 is refreshing too. Christians are supposed to reject hypocritical living, reject false shepherds who only feed themselves, and rely on the Good Shepherd… the epitome of the anti-hypocrite. Jesus is amazing. He is who we are to look and be like…

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    2. Yes, God does still use us, even when we are so inherently sinful! God’s grace is so amazing. After reading the hypocrite posting, the question must be asked why would a perfect God use us to accomplish his work? What is it that sets us apart from the world…aren’t we supposed to be different!!?!

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    3. Despite how damaged Christians are on a spiritual basis, God still uses us to do His will. Wow. If the roles were reversed (hypothetically speaking of course.) I can’t honestly say I’d be doing the same thing God is without some reservations….

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    4. I think that you said it best last night, Ken. We need to be Christians who recognize our hypocrisy and are willing to be called on it. We might, will, screw up and fall short, but it is the fact that we openly pursue Christ with transparency to the rest of the world that sets us apart, not that we are the best at hiding our inadequacies. Great talk Ken.

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