Integrity at church

By Pastor Byron Corbett

One of the great crises of our society today is integrity—that you actually are who you portray yourself to be to everybody around you; that you actually are what you say you are. Are you living a lie at church?  That’s hypocrisy, and it’s the curse of Christianity.  It’s sad Jesus even has to ask this question, but He does because it’s true.  Jesus is amazed people could behave like this—call Him Lord, but ignore what He says and be ok with living a lie at church!

Jesus exposes the hypocrites

Luke 6:46 says ““Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”. Jesus starts His story with a  mind-blowing question, a game changing question.  Talk about putting it out there!  This is a great example about cutting to the chase, exposing the elephant in the room, outing the thing nobody wants to talk about it.

“Why do you call Me ‘Lord,’ but don’t do what I say?”  This is the sort of question that stops you cold in your tracks.  It’s the sort of question, that if you face it and answer it honestly, it truly changes the game in your life.  Every one of us here today needs to face this question square on and answer it, me included.  “Why do you, Byron, call Me ‘Lord,’ but do not do what I say?” 

The games we play

Matter of fact, every one of us to some degree plays games with church.  We are not totally serious about it.  We are not totally sold out to the Lord with it.  We’re playing a game.  You know what I’m talking about. We are living a lie at church. We’ve become relaxed and casual about walking with the Lord.  We have stuff in our life that shouldn’t be there and we are ok with it.  We’re all doing things we shouldn’t but we’re ok with it because we like it and we convince ourselves it’s not a big deal. Therefore, we are ok living a lie at church!

Living a lie at church is a crisis and is killing the church, and it’s killing our influence out there with unbelievers.  Let me make this practical, but first a disclaimer: I know there are exceptions to every rule.  I’m going to make a generalization, and there are a few rare cases where it is not true, but in the vast majority of cases it is, and that’s why I’m making it.  I’m convinced that we call Him ‘Lord,’ but do not do what He says and it is the biggest reason we’re having such a huge problem keeping our young people in the church. 

Do others see us living a lie at church?

For example, when you are one way at church and another way at home, that’s hypocrisy and nobody likes a hypocrite, and young people especially can spot hypocrisy a hundred miles away.  Our kids don’t stay in the church because they’re watching us particularly us parents. They see us do one thing and talk one way at church, and then they see us do another thing and say another thing away from church, and they don’t take it seriously. They see us living a lie at church!

Furthermore, they hear about the Adventist lifestyle at church, then we go home and they watch us not live the Adventist lifestyle there so they say “What’s the deal?  This isn’t real.  Why should I?”  Consequently, when they get old enough to leave your home, they leave your church too because they see you treat it like a game, and they’re not into games, at least not those kinds of games.  The youth in our church want something real and serious, and the sad thing is because we’re living as hypocrites, they leave the church to find something real. They don’t want to be like us and live a lie at church!

Dear parents, and I’m one so I’m talking to myself, if you want to keep your kids in the church, start living the Adventist lifestyle everywhere.  Stop playing games, stop cutting corners, stop cheating on God, and get real, and your kids will get real too! Sit down and prayerfully make a list of all the idols and all the compromises in your life and give them to God and just see what He begins to do.

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