Doesn’t the hypocrisy in the Christian Church show the Bible is not true?

The fact that there are sinners and hypocrites in the Church does not prove that the Bible is false. Rather, it shows that God, in His love, has given men free will, and they can behave as they please. Nevertheless, a common reason people ignore the Bible and Christianity is Christians themselves. They are often the most flagrant sinners on God’s green earth. Prisons are full of Christians, bankers regularly write off bad debt incurred by Christians, and it is far too common to meet Christians who are ungodly, unthankful, mean-spirited, jealous, liars, conniving, and just plain inconsiderate. Of course, there are people who call themselves Christians who are not—they go to church but have never given their heart to Jesus. However, even committed Christians can be overcome by their weaknesses and sin against God and man. Christ, speaking of his disciples’ failure to obey, commented that, “…The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41-NASB). Scripture is honest about men’s faults and failures. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins,” and Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Even Christians who try hard to be godly cannot escape the weakness of their flesh. The great Apostle Paul wrote, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Rom. 7:15).

A great truth of Christianity is that God saves sinners, and a great blessing of Christianity is that we do not have to be perfect or even close to perfect to be saved. The Bible makes it clear that God saves sinners, not saints: “…While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8b). If we had to be holy before we could be saved, it would be like having to take a bath before we could take a shower. Jesus Christ saves the unholy. When unholy sinners do get saved, they still sin (ask any Christian, and he will tell you that is true). Christians should try to live holy lives, certainly, but they often fail. It is unrealistic for those who are not yet saved to judge God or the Bible because of the behavior of His children, us Christians. If you are unsaved, the fact that Christians sin should actually give you comfort because it proves conclusively that God will save anyone who comes to Him and asks for salvation—including you.

Christians should try to live exemplary lives, and God commands us to not lie, steal, commit sexual sins, etc., but that does not mean Christians will ever get to the point of perfect obedience. On the other hand, if you are a Christian, you need to be aware that your personal behavior can either draw people to Christ or drive them away, and it is very important to the Lord that you live in a manner worthy of your calling as a Christian (Eph. 4:1).

If you are not a Christian and are considering Christianity, but you are “turned off” by Christians who are hypocrites, take comfort in the fact that Jesus Christ was not a hypocrite, but was loving and giving. Also take comfort that Christ saves sinners. Being a disciplined Christian is challenging, and if you become a Christian it will not be long before you fall short of perfection. When this happens to you, you will want others to understand your human weaknesses, and you can be confident that Christ still accepts and loves you.

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