Hypocrisy points to one of the deepest truths in the universe that seems to be written into the core of our existence. We know at the deepest level that it is wrong for us to say/believe one thing and do the opposite. This principle is the everyday expression of a profound truth: knowledge has claims on action.
Whenever we come to know that something is true it cannot merely become a bit of information stored in our brain. We must live in accordance with this newfound truth. When a child discovers that touching a hot car in the parking lot causes pain, they must stop touching hot cars. When we discover that betraying a friend hurts us and them we must stop betraying people. When we learn that 5+5=10, we must give at least ten dollars when we buy two five dollar items.
I know that seems elementary, but this reality has serious implications when it comes to how we live in the world as Christians and do ministry as the church. If we, for example, believe that Jesus offers us an example of how to live AND that Jesus loves us exactly as we are and calls us to be more, that has very practical claims on how we live our lives.
We simply cannot live a life of constant condemnation and rejection. We cannot separate ourselves from the “sinners” in our world. We have to accept them. We have to love all the best parts of who they are just as they are.
At the same time, we cannot be passive people. With anyone who will allow us, we have to be about helping people grow, and we have to be about striving to be who God wants us to be.
It is the same for the church. There is no place for judgmental exclusivism. There is no place for passive acceptance. If we are to live out our beliefs our churches have to be a place where people are loved, accepted, and challenged to grow.
That is just two beliefs! Just imagine if we sought to express all of our beliefs about God in our lives and ministry! It's time to discover if we are hypocrites. It's time to take a moment to look at your beliefs about God and ask a simple question: How does this belief tell me to live?
As for the church, I think it’s time for us to take a break from whatever the latest ministry fad we are following and figure out how beliefs tell us we should be doing ministry. In fact, that is the main premise of my book Reclaiming the Lost Soul of Youth Ministry, If you want a field guide for working this out, you can get it from Seedbed or Amazon. Let me know how it helps!
>>> Read More: The Church is Full of Hypocrites