“The church I grew up in was hypocritical,” my waiter said after I asked him about his church background.
“I’m from east Texas- you know the Meth capital of the world. So people would do Meth and then go to our Baptist church on Sunday,” he said with a somewhat frustrated voice. “They acted so religious too.”
Not being from Texas, I didn’t know east Texas was famous for that.
“Do you go to church anywhere now?” I asked.
“No, I work Sundays and everything… and… church just isn’t for me.”
“Yeah I understand,” I said.
Where’s the life and joy?
My husband chimed in and shared about the ugliness of hypocrisy he saw at times in his church growing up.
Our waiter listened, gazing at the glasses that needed to be filled in the distance. As they conversed, I took some bites out of my steak, completely annoyed at where we stand as “the church” today.
I remember times growing up in the church and putting on my Sunday best. Singing those hymns, smiling, and shaking hands with people, but feeling like I was swimming in a sea of dead people. All I wanted to see was life and joy. I didn’t want to see hypocrisy.
When I went to college, I began to see God’s love like never before through his people and his Word. I grew in intimacy with him as I was surrounded by other Christ-followers. I started to look to God, and not at other people. Since getting married and moving to Dallas several years ago, I’ve been learning a lot about true, biblical community at our church. I’ve experienced what it means to be authentic, confess sins, and share struggles and it’s been life-changing.
The Church isn’t a Building
It’s the gospel over and over again- broken people coming to Jesus. But how come the church is missing it- they’re not even on the map?
I think we all have to face the fact that there is nothing great in us apart from Christ. We are all, in a sense, hypocritical people. That’s why we need a Savior. We need him to help us navigate the rough waters of isolation and pretending.
We have to realize that the church is made up of real people who are supposed to love God and others. It’s not a building. It’s the bride of Christ, put here on earth to reflect his glory.
The Gospel’s Transforming Power
Well my husband wrapped up what he was saying to our waiter and then invited him to our church, handing him a card with info on it. I sensed that he thought we were a little weird (Okay, maybe foreign), but that somehow he appreciated us chatting with him.
It’s my prayer that one day he can step foot in the church again and see how the church was really meant to be. That he would see the power of the gospel transform all forms of hypocrisy.