Why don’t people go to church anymore? As a society we have long ago departed from the custom of attending church every Sunday morning. What are some reasons people give? We came up with some as we discussed this question at the start of the sermon:
- Those people are just a bunch of hypocrites
- Too many conflicts — even sports are now being scheduled on Sunday morning
- May not like the pastor
- Too tired to get up, only day to sleep in
- I’m not good enough to go to church (I added this since I have heard it often.)
One group that did a study on this boiled all the responses into four biggies:
- I feel judged
- I don’t want to be lectured at
- Church people are just a bunch of hypocrites
- God is irrelevant to my life
Ironically, the group that responded with the last one, also said, “But I’d like to know there is a God and that He cares for me.” So even when people think God is not relevant, they’d still like Him to be their security blanket. Now what do we say to the crowd that thinks that us churchgoers are just a bunch of hypocrites?
Let’s start by asking, what’s a hypocrite? One meaning is that someone is two-faced, that he/she is saying one thing while believing another. If that is the person’s definition, then this is not true for most churchgoers. However, there is another meaning — a person who believes one thing to be true and then doesn’t do it, but does something else. Here we might have to say, “Guilty as charged.” All committed Christians believe what the Bible says is true. Therefore, we are to love our enemies, never let something unkind or demeaning come out of our mouths, to deal with our anger quickly without any bitterness, and so on. We know these things are true. Yet we struggle to obey these things and are working toward these things with the Spirit’s help. Every believer knows better than we can live, myself included. But does that really make us a hypocrite? Not really.
A hypocrite is one who wears two masks. With one group of people, this person agrees wholeheartedly with that group. Then, when the person goes to another group, the hypocrite puts on a different mask and agrees wholeheartedly with the other group. Though we believe in one thing and fail to live up to it, most believers are not speaking out of both sides of our mouth. We are striving toward goals that we have not yet achieved, but we still wholeheartedly believe the goals and ask God to make us more like Him in the process.
In the message yesterday, though, we did not deal with this or other reasons why people avoid church. Instead we focused on 5 reasons why we should go to church. Listen below for these 5 life-giving reasons…