Isn’t the church full of hypocrites? – Part 5

Recently I had the pleasure of addressing this fun filled topic with Pastor Jeff Denton of Waterbrook Bible Fellowship in Wylie, Texas. I am posting a question per day from that discussion. Here is question number 5.


Pastor Jeff: 

Don’t you think hypocrisy creeps up on us as we’re trying to “be” the best we can be? It can even have good motives at the beginning, yet turn into legalistic hypocrisy. How do we combat this?




This is my passion. I am a recovering legalist and as you pointed out I am a professed hypocrite. And I am happier and closer to Christ today than I have ever been. It is because of grace and finally understanding and trusting what God says is true about me.


I had been frustrated by my behavior and the behavior of other pew dwellers for many years. But what I have finally figured out is that the Bible churches of America are full of people who know a lot of truth. But knowing truth doesn’t transform you. Trusting truth transforms you. So that helps me to be patient and view others through the lens of grace. Others could have looked at me in the past with judgment and condemnation. They could have rightly said years ago that Dave is 15 or 20 years into this journey and he is still doing the same stuff. But that is not what God saw. He was working and patiently molding me in ways that most people could not see. I hope I am more Christ like in one year than I am now. I look back and see how far I have come and also how far I have to go.


Tim Keller has this provocative thought…The devil, if anything, prefers Pharisees—men and women who try to save themselves. They are more unhappy than either mature Christians or irreligious people, and they do a lot more spiritual damage. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (Timothy Keller)


My friend Ed Underwood says it well. You are in danger of hypocrisy if you answer to the wrong source of authority–your religious traditions, rather than the Word of God. And if you teach or imply the wrong definition of righteousness–from the outside in, rather than the inside-out.


To be continued…