by Travis Lauterbach

Pastors and church goers often hear the line: “The church is full of hypocrites.”

Some people throw it out hoping it will get them out of an uncomfortable conversation.

Others really mean it and understandably so. Something sinful really did happen in church that made them decide never to go back.

The Church can be a breeding ground for hypocrisy.

People try to put on their “Sunday Best,” and I don’t just mean clothes.

If you’re a regular church attender, then watch yourself to see what I mean? Do you act differently on Sunday morning than the rest of the week? Do you try to present yourself in a more upstanding, favorable, and maybe even an “I’m better than you” kind of way?

Do you act as though God watches you on Sunday morning more than other days? Do you compare yourself to others? (He’s got a successful business and God must be happy with him. She’s pregnant and unwed, hanging out with questionable people, what’s she doing HERE?)

Churches can give off the appearance that God requires us to be perfect before we can step into the Church building, which is 100% contrary to the Gospel of the free forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

At the same time, we as individual people can expect too much from churches.

We may think that because they’re Christians, I’m a Christian, and we’re all in Church it means that sin won’t occur, that gossip, arguments, disagreements, and hurt feelings are impossible in the church among Christians.

In other words, it’s easy for Christians to forget that other Christians in church are still sinners. Entering the doors of the church doesn’t mean sinfulness magically evaporates.

We don’t go to church to look good before others, nor should we expect others to be more perfect than us.

All Christians need to remember why we go to Church: to get the forgiveness of sins with the company of fellow Christians.

Gathered around the Word of God, Christians hear “the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) There’s no better place to be!