A lot of cranky people say “The church is full of hypocrites…”
Mostly they’re just being juvenile but there is a kind of truth in what they say.
All Christians are hypocrites, that is we fall short in our real lives of the ideals we believe and express in our faith. The question is what we are doing about it.
In a certain way the journey of faith is a journey from hypocrisy to genuineness, that is we are always seeking to become the kind of people whose faith and life are in agreement.
So if you ask me “Are you a hypocrite?” my honest answer needs to be “Yes”. But the difference is that I should be a recovering hypocrite, that is I see my life as sometimes very far away from my faith and ideals but I’m doing what I can, God giving me the strength, to change that.
There’s a word for that in Orthodoxy. Repentance. Not just a one time thing but a continual way of life where we are challenged to move from brokenness to health, from the hypocritical to the genuine, from death to life.
If you understand that we can gather next Sunday at the Recovering Hypocrites meeting. In Orthodoxy we call it the Divine Liturgy and you can check in the Yellow Pages for time and place.