WHY HYPOCRITES IN THE
CHURCH? by George L. Faull
Why should men be
surprised when they
find a hypocrite in the
Church? I expect
hypocrites in the
Church and, in fact,
would be surprised if
there were none.
Why do I expect
hypocrites in the
FIRST – Because
Jesus had them in
His small group of
chose the twelve, but
He said one of them was a devil. John 6:70
One of His own betrayed Him. Nor did he do so with just
a kiss on the cheek. The word for “kiss” is a special
Greek word, which denotes a “fervent kiss”. If he was an
enemy, why the kiss? If he was a friend, why did he wear
a sword? Oh yes, Jesus had a hypocrite in His small
band of handpicked men. Why then not expect it among
SECONDLY – Because Jesus instructed in His parables
that there would be hypocrites among believers.
Did He not say that there was wayside soil, stony soil, and
thorny soil as well as good soil?
Did He not say that the devil would pluck away some
believers before they took root?
Did He not say that some would receive the Word with joy
and then die for lack of depth?
Did He not tell us that the cares and riches of this world
would choke out some?
Why then should we be surprised to find some believers
less than they should be?
He also said that tares and wheat should grow together
until the day the angels come and separate the tares from
the wheat. Tares look like wheat until harvest. The tares
should not be separated from the wheat lest you uproot
The trouble with removing hypocrites is that you knock
down ten sinners hiding behind him. Did He not say that
the net would be full of both bad and good fish until the
end of the world? Then the carp will be separated from
Yes, the teachings of Christ abound with proof that
hypocrites would be in the Church.
THIRDLY – Jesus warned us against hypocrites in the
Church. Didn’t He tell us to beware of wolves in sheep’s
clothing? Does He not warn of those who devour widow’s
houses? Does He not warn of those who compass land
and sea only to make their converts twofold the children
of hell than themselves? Does He not warn of those who
tithe of mint and anise but forget the weightier matters of
the Law? Did He not put a woe upon those white
sepulchers that are full of dead men’s bones? Or what of
those who shine the tombstones of the prophets but do
not obey the prophets’ words? Yes, Jesus knows the
hypocrisy of religious men.
FOURTHLY – Jesus cautions believers against the
practice of hypocrisy. He tells us to beware that we do
not let the leaven of hypocrisy in us. He tells us not to
give our tithes for the praise of men. He tells us when we
fast to do it privately. He tells us when we share not to let
our left hand know what the right hand is doing. Jesus
warned us of the subtlety of this sin and does not want it
to be in His followers.
FIFTHLY – The early Church had hypocrites. Didn’t
Corinth have an incestuous man? Were not some of the
brethren going to court with one another? The Church at
Thessalonica had those who refused to work. Ananias
and Sapphira were hypocrites in their giving. They
wanted to eat their cake and have it, too.
"From the cowardice that shrinks from
new truth, from the laziness that is content
with half truths, from the arrogance that
thinks it knows all truth, O, God of Truth,
B-5962 THE GOSPEL UNASHAMED October 2011
Simon, the sorcerer had been a great wizard before he
was converted. When he saw a chance to be someone
special in the Church he tried to purchase power to give
the Holy Spirit. Diotrephes loved the preeminence and
would not let others teach. Why then should we expect a
Church today to be free from hypocrites?
SIXTHLY – Commonsense would have us expect
hypocrites in the Church. Sinners need a cloak to hide
behind. It is obvious that the Church is an excellent cloak
for those who desire to deceive. Men only counterfeit
things of value. Men counterfeit dollars, not pennies.
One never sees hypocrite Masons, Odd Fellows, or
I never knew there to be a counterfeit Masonic Lodge but
there are many counterfeit churches. Whoever heard of a
counterfeit member of the Moose? But oh, how many
false Christians there are.
Hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue. We
should expect hypocrites to be among us. There are
always henpecked husbands who go to church to please
the wife. There are many kids who are hypocrites and
hide their sin from parents by Church attendance. Yes,
commonsense should cause us to expect hypocrites.
But are hypocrites all bad? No! I could wish there were a
Those who are openly practicing their immorality were
hypocrites and doing it secretly.
The porno pushers were hypocrites and would do it
where kids couldn’t see it.
The abortionists would steal away to the big city and
have it done privately instead of trying to get everyone
else to pay for their sin.
It were still thought that someone sinned when
The homosexuals would shut off their stream of dirty
propaganda on the airwaves.
They would go back in their closets.
Those who have sex changes would stop their
boasting and be ashamed.
Sin was hidden a little more and the blasphemers
would go back into hiding their damnable lies.
We could go back to women blushing and men
apologizing for a slipped phrase.
I mourn for the good old days of hypocrisy when sin was
hid. There are too many hypocrites in the Church we are
told. Oh! I wish that there were more of them hiding their
sin instead of openly being in rebellion to God.
What this country needs is a good five-cent hypocrite!
Well did Isaiah say, “Woe unto you for you declare your
sin like Sodom.” When sin can run around naked without
the cloak of religion, a nation is ready for the judgement of
But a word to the hypocrite: it was good for you had you
not been born. There is coming a day when purifying is
coming. There is a day when nothing covered shall not
be revealed or hid and not be made known. That which is
spoken in darkness will be shouted from the rooftops.
God has a place for hypocrites. The unfaithful servant is
going to have his portion with the hypocrites. It’s a place
of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:46-51,
Luke 12:1-3 Your deceit will not hold up in the
I read of some privates in the army who were
impersonating the officers. The officers then agreed not
to wear their uniforms one evening. It was simple to
arrest all in officer’s’ uniforms to catch the impersonators.
Someday friend, if you’re playing the part of the Christian,
you’re going to be exposed as an impersonator. It won’t
be a pleasant thing to be cast out of God’s presence into
But a word to those who won’t come to Christ because of
the hypocrites. Which is better, to go to Church with
some of them or to hell with all of them? You say you
don’t want to go where they are, yet make no preparation
to avoid the place where they all are eventually going to
If a man stands between you and God, he is closer to
God than you are. Not only so, but if you are going to
hide behind the hypocrite you must be smaller than he is.
You go to a lodge with them. You go to ballgames with
them. But you can’t go to church with them! I wonder
who really is a hypocrite?
Maybe you ought to come to church and show us what a
Christian really is. Maybe we need an example. I know
of no better place for hypocrites than the Church. It is
there that he will hear his sin of hypocrisy condemned.
The Church never made him a hypocrite anymore than a
school makes men illiterate. Counterfeits imply realities.
The fact that there are counterfeits proves there is
something to Christianity. Maybe you better not cast out
the wheat with the chaff.
Did you ever notice people who use the excuse about
hypocrites always comparing themselves to the worse
Church member? Not many compare themselves to the
Apostle Paul! Not many compare themselves to Stephen!
No, they choose some potsherd or broken pottery overlaid
with gold and then says that they would prefer to be a
I am reminded of the story of the old bum that came to
town with patches all over his suit. There were colored
patches over the front of his outfit and one little patch in
the middle of his back. When asked what they were he
said that the large patches are the sins of his neighbors.
He let each patch stand for some sin of each of hisOctober 2011 THE GOSPEL UNASHAMED 3
neighbors. When asked what the little patch in the back
was for he said, “That’s my sin and I can’t see it.”
I am afraid that this is the problem with those who use the
excuse about hypocrites. If you have been using that
excuse of “too many hypocrites” you might as well come
too. There is always room for one more. If you ever find
the perfect Church, don’t join it cause you will spoil it.
Hypocrisy is a sin. We should expect hypocrites in the
Church and the hypocrites who hide behind them. It is
not by driving away others that we can be alone with God.
To go astray from total depravity could only be “toward
God”. Imagine, going toward God being called “going
Psalms 58:3 is a hyperbole to show that men are indeed
sinners. What is a hyperbole? An overstatement, a figure
of speech in which something is said for emphasis, an
extreme exaggeration for emphasis to impress the hearer
or reader of a truth. Examples: I’m so hungry I could eat
a horse. He ate everything in the house. I’d give my right
arm for a pizza.
So, likewise, to impress upon us that men are sinners, we
are told we go astray as soon as we are born, speaking
lies. (Obviously, a newborn cannot speak.) “In sin, did
my mother conceive me” is a hyperbole that David used
to confess that he was indeed a sinner. Psalm 51.
Some say, “I’ve been a Christian since I was born” or “I
was born a Christian.” These statements are used to
emphasize they were raised in the Church since
childhood. Do not let these hyperbole’s of Scripture lead
you into the false conclusion of Calvinism that we were
born sinners when it is really just a confession that we are
in fact sinners. We have gone astray from God because
we have yielded to our own desires.