Why are Churches so Full of Hypocrites?

The number on complaint I hear from those who reject Christianity is that churches are full of hypocrites. Their theory goes, “Since the church is full of hypocrites I get a pass on having anything to do with God. I mean I’m not nearly as bad as some I see in churches so if God grades on a curve I’m gold.”


windy wheat


The number one fear I hear from Christians is losing their salvation. That somehow they’ll get to the end of life and have missed reading a chapter they needed for the final exam. And all the hypocrites in church kind of prove this.

Interestingly both are rooted in a common reality. One, that when I was a pastor, I can tell you I experienced up close and personal.


I used to say, “Some of the best people in the world go to church. And some of the most messed up people in the world go to church too.”


So how can this be? And how does it answer both questions?

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Secrets of the Amazing Fruitful Life

I was the least likely candidate in the world to become a spiritually focused writer.


Wheat Train


I mean when I first entered into a relationship with God in college I didn’t know much of anything. Oh, I was raised in a church. I remember the flannel board Bible stories. Yeah I know, but that was high tech back in the dark ages.

Yet, most of it seemed detached from my life. Well, except for the cute girls in the youth group. I wanted attachment with them.

But somehow I reluctantly and tentatively entered into a relationship with God in college.


And then I grew hungry to learn more and experience fully this amazing life he offers.


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How to Step Out of the Rat Race to See God’s Miracles

I had a friend who was an Energizer Bunny. You remember the ad with the bunny that just kept going and going?


Energizer Bunny


He couldn’t tolerate quiet. He constantly had music playing. If the stereo wasn’t on the TV was blaring. If he was away from those he had in his ear buds listening to music on his phone.

He could never just sit still. He always had some project he was working on. Constantly.

We talked a few times about spiritual things when he asked questions. He seemed genuinely interested. Occasionally I suggested a book I thought he’d find helpful. But he never could find the time to read them.


Eventually, he imploded.


Lost his career, his family, everything. I lost contact with him but I think about him sometimes.

Yet, I’m not being judgmental. I can get caught up in busyness as well.

When I was younger I could be very much like my friend. Racing and never slowing down. Trying to outrun the demons swirling in my brain.

But you know what? I never could.

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Growing Deep in Your Relationship with God

I’ve always been confused by something. Well no actually, I’ve been confused by a lot.

But one thing is why some people seem to enter into a relationship with God but over time they fall away from the vitality of it. And others, no matter what life throws at them, grow stronger and deeper in it.


Wheat Field


I’ve known people who started going to church and got excited about it. They made new friends, enjoyed the services, and found the messages engaging. So they got involved. Joined a small group, taught children’s classes, attended a retreat.

But somehow over time the excitement waned. They started attending sporadically. Found other things to do on Sunday morning. And eventually just moved on. Kind of “been there and done that”.

Add to that the ones who drop away when pressures hit. They don’t see God work they way they prayed. So they conclude, “This just doesn’t work for me.”

Through the years I’ve seen a whole bunch who tried out Christianity and somehow it just didn’t stick.


Yet the real problem I see? They miss the amazing life God offers because they never stayed with it long enough to truly discover it.


Frankly, I don’t have a clear answer for this dilemma. And honestly, I don’t have a clear answer for why with me it did stick. I was a most unlikely candidate.

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The Choice That Unleashes the Amazing Miracle Life

I was eating dinner one evening with an acquaintance at a banquet when the discussion drifted onto spiritual topics. I was surprised but he evidently had heard I was a Christian and so he wanted to tell me his world view.

He said, “I don’t believe in God. When I was in college and studied evolution it changed my life. I made a decision that I no longer believed in God. I just don’t see how any intelligent rational person can possibly believe in God.”


Forest Road


Wow, that really endeared him to me. Yet, it was neither the time nor place to have that an in depth discussion. So I simply shared with him a bit about my journey into faith and briefly the reasons why to me it makes sense.

He replied, “That’s nice for you but I just don’t buy it.”  After that we didn’t have any more time to discuss it so we left it at that.


Yet, I thought afterwards that in reality he chose his position and really didn’t want further exploration.


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3 Reasons I Love Having a Relationship with Jesus

I grew up going to church. I hung out with my buds, went to social events and enjoyed the cute girls. But after high school everyone kind of split so I did too.

I mean church itself seemed like it was aimed mostly at inhibiting fun and inflicting boredom. I couldn’t see the point.


Ocean Light


And fun I had in college. Competing in sports, living in a frat house, driving cool cars and dating cute girls. I mean what’s not to like?

Yet, by the end of my senior year somehow it’d run its course. Sure I still went to frat parties and there were always lots of girls around.


But something was missing.


I felt a restlessness I couldn’t quell. After several failed relationships I felt lonely. All the fun just wasn’t enough anymore. And yikes, the fun was about to end when I graduated and actually had to go to work.
I found myself growing depressed.

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How to Unlock the Amazing Miracle Filled Life

During the ten years I pastored the church we experienced spectacular growth. Dynamic ministries for all ages were started. We saw lives dramatically changed and occasionally witnessed full up miracles.

Yet after ten years we faced a cross roads. For the church to keep moving forward we needed to make some major strategic changes. We faced some head winds that prompted the decision.


Midnight Church


Over several months I consulted with different leaders and felt their resistance. Ten years of constant change and pressing forward had left many tired. And the ministry was at a stable comfortable place.

Yet, I’m not wired up to sit still for very long. I don’t do boredom well. And the church needed to keep moving forward or it would atrophy.

I knew I could probably press through the changes but I was concerned it could split the church which I didn’t want.
So I decided it would be best to resign.

One evening as we sat in a circle in the church parlor I announced my intentions to the board. Several board members expressed their sadness yet hesitant relief.

The core leader of the group summed up the feelings, “Doug I’m really sorry to see you leave. We’ve had a great run. But frankly I’m relieved to not have the pressure of pushing on.”


A few months later I left. Ten years later the church disbanded.


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4 Keys to Staying Strong and Winning in the Battles of Life

I’ve seen way too often the tragic results of people who play around with spiritual power. I know that sounds kind of bizarre but stay with me here.


Soldier Returning from Afghanistan is Greeted by his Son


When I went to the church I pastored I met first thing in our home with the leadership committee. I discussed my plans to revitalize the church, grow it and see people’s lives changed.

That evening as we sat in a circle in our living room I said, “When we do this we’ll be declaring war on the evil one and entering into battle. So if you don’t want to take that seriously and keep yourself spiritually strong everyday then resign now. I don’t want responsibility for what may happen to you.”

From the beginning the church rapidly grew. We saw real miracles. Lives were transformed.


And a few of those leaders who I talked with that night and some other leaders who followed them imploded.


They wanted the leadership role. They wanted the excitement. But they didn’t take the warning seriously with devastating results.

Sadly, I’ve also watched this happen to pastors who had life changing ministries and eventually blew up.

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What to Do When You Struggle with Doubts

I made a big mistake on Facebook. I have a Facebook friend who often posts atheistic rants. Most are reposts of some offensive quote or short article followed by comments by his groupies.

One day he posted one that was not only particularly offensive but based on dodgy research and faulty logic.


Photo Credit: Sergio Patino


So, as I rarely do, I posted a comment pointing out the irrationality of this article he’d linked to. I mistakenly thought he wanted to rationally discuss this.

My mistake. He responded that I was obviously uneducated and/or stupid for not seeing things the way he did.

I calmly replied again pointing out the illogical development in the article he linked to. At which point some of his followers attacked me personally as he liked their comments and cheered them on.

I realized two things.

One he had no interest in having an open and respectful discussion about faith.

Second, I discovered how to turn off someone’s Facebook feed without un-friending them.


Now I’m the first to say I also struggle with doubts about God at times.


Particularly when I’m faced with a crisis. My faith can leak out pretty fast.

I can question, “Is God for sure real? Is Jesus truly who he said he was? Is Heaven for real? Will God answer my prayers?” [Read more…]

How to Release Miracle Working Power Everyday

Do you ever get yourself in trouble with what you say?


Photo Credit: Hamed Masoumi

Photo Credit: Hamed Masoumi


I mean I can be irritable over the smallest things sometimes. Like really insignificant in hind sight. Then say something sarcastic that I regret about five minutes later.

Also some responses in casual conversation frankly leave me uneasy.

I asked a friend, “How you doing?”

He responded, “I’m doing.”

I thought, “Wait. What?”

Another friend said to me after a setback, “You know if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.”

We laughed but I thought, “What a sad outlook.”

And how many times have we all said when something doesn’t go our way, “Well, that’s just my luck.”

Sure we may say those things to be funny. Yet, way too often deep inside we’re serious.


But the real problem I see?


First, it reveals a heart filled with frustration and discouragement.

Second frankly it programs our mind to expect more of the same. And I’ve found when I expect more of the same too often I get it.

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