I love this quote from Zig Ziglar: “If a hypocrite is standing in the way of your relationship with God….the hypocrite is closer to God than you are.” Think about it positionally. But let’s face it, while it’s perfectly okay to be skeptical of the claims of Christianity (after all, a healthy skepticism can lead to investigation, and that’s good), the hypocrisy excuse isn’t about skepticism or unbelief. If hypocrisy on the part of some of the adherents to a particular belief were the reason not to believe, you couldn’t believe in anything.
Do you believe in evolution? Are there no hypocrites in that camp? Do you believe in patriotism? Are there no hypocritical patriots? How about whatever religion you claim, or atheism? Do you know any hypocrites therein? I don’t believe I have ever heard someone reject a belief system because some of the believers are hypocrites….other than in the case of Christianity.
So why apply the hypocrites excuse to Christianity when you believe all kinds of things on faith without worrying about hypocrites who espouse those beliefs? Speaking of believing things on faith, do you believe that subatomic particles–protons, neutrons, electrons–are the basic building blocks of the material world? Why? Has anyone actually seen an electron? The answer is……no. Their existence is based on the behavior of larger, visible particles. (In fact, much of science is the same thing–inferences and constructs rather than visible proof.) Research that question for yourself, then you can try to ridicule my belief (today being Easter Sunday-resurrection day) on faith that Christ rose from the dead. There were a lot more eyewitnesses to that event than have ever seen an electron! But I digress.
What is the real reason behind the hypocrisy excuse? It’s the weakest dodge there is. What would happen if you accepted the claim of Jesus Christ on your heart? The issue is what you would have to give up. Human beings in their natural state cling to their lusts. Anything that threatens the satisfaction of those lusts is the enemy. That’s certainly no problem for atheists or evolutionists, or postmodern pseudo religions. Embracing Christ means, or it should, that pleasing Him rather than self becomes the focus of life.
This is where the hypocrisy excuse comes in. Christians often fail to tame their lusts, and many do put on a false piety to try to cover up their struggles. We might be redeemed but we still fall into temptation, but when we fall we can repent and come closer to God. The cycle of temptation, falling, repentance and restoration is not hypocrisy. It is being human. Hypocrites are those who pretend they are above that cycle, but no one hated hypocrites more than Christ himself.