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I know some non-Christians who seem to live better than professing Christians. Since there are so many hypocrites, why does anyone need to be a part of the church?

By Dan Betzer

If you limit your personal activity only to those places where there are no frauds or hypocrites, you are going to have to find a tiny island somewhere in the ocean. It’ll be just you and a coconut tree.

Are there hypocrites in the church? Of course. Is there counterfeit money? I tried to pay a clerk one day with a $20 bill. I was immediately summoned to the manager’s office and held there while my money was checked for authenticity. Seems someone had been laundering funny money through that store. Thankfully, my $20 bill proved good and I was released. Will I still go back to that store? Of course. Why? Because it sells a commodity I need. Am I upset about being stopped? Sure. Am I concerned so much about counterfeit money that I’ll stop earning and spending a salary? Of course not.

Spare us your isolated stories about frauds in the house of God. No one doubts the charge. The writer to the Hebrews gives you a better way to spend your time: " … looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

I love the church. So did Jesus. The Bible says that Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. More than at any time in history, His church is alive and well.

Let’s define Christ’s church: It is that body of believers in Jesus Christ who have fallen in love with the Savior, have given their hearts and lives to Him and made Him Lord of all they are, and who have been washed from their sins by the precious blood of Calvary. Oh, how Jesus loves the church. If you turn your back on the church for any reason whatsoever, you have rejected something close to the heart of the Master.

The Bible teaches that the church is the body of Christ on this earth: "... we ... are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Romans 12:5). Have you ever had a part of your body fail you? I had major spinal surgery some years back. It would have been ridiculous for me to have said, "Well, I reject my whole body because my spine is just a hypocrite. It’s just not doing what it’s supposed to be doing." Galatians 6 teaches us to restore broken members of the body, not to reject the body as a whole.

The church offers fellowship, teaching, opportunities for service and compassionate service to mankind through myriad endeavors and leadership. So am I going to turn aside from this marvelous institution because there are a few frauds in it? Not a chance. Neither should you.

Dan Betzer is pastor of First Assembly of God in Fort Myers, Fla., and is an executive presbyter of the Assemblies of God.


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