Monday, January 23, 2006

Hypocrites in the Church?

Bumper Sticker Hypocrisy: A police officer pulled a driver aside and asked for his license and registration. "What's wrong, officer?" the driver asked. "I didn't go through any red lights, and I certainly wasn't speeding.""No, you weren't," said the officer, "but I saw you waving your fist as you swerved around the lady driving in the left lane, and I further observed your flushed and angry face as you shouted at the driver of the Hummer who cut you off, and how you pounded your steering wheel when the traffic came to a stop near the bridge.""Is that a crime, officer?""No, but when I saw the 'Jesus loves you and so do I' bumper sticker on the car, I figured this car had to be stolen." Citation: Adapted from Homiletics magazine (May 2004); submitted by Gino Grunberg, Gig Harbor, Washington.

It's not a scientific study on my part. But I've asked around. There are a lot of people who personally believe in God. They may believe in a personal Messiah. But they don't participate in organized religion. Why? Overwhelmingly they talk about "hypocrites in the church".

I'm always interested in what believing, non-church attenders think. If you don't mind, send me a quick reply. Do you go to church? Why/not?

Jesus thought hypocrisy was a problem too. The following is from Matthew 7 (via Eugene Peterson's The Message) "Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way of life - to God - is vigorous and requires total attention. Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincereity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or another. Don't be impressed with charisma. Look for character. Who they are is the main thing, not what they say."

May the way we live match the things we say we believe.

Grace & peace

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