unChristian: When Christians Stopped Looking Like Jesus- Part 2- Christians Are Hypocritical

The first main issue brought to light in the book unChristian is the negative view expressed by so many young adults both inside and outside the church that the church is hypocritical.  The main connotation that this term takes on in the minds of young adults is that the people in the church say one thing and yet do another.  Hypocrisy in one way or another will always exist in the church because the church is made up of imperfect people trying to follow a perfect Savior.  Christians find themselves in a life-long process of sanctification. Let’s break down this process and big theological term. When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Lord, they become righteous and holy before God, but this righteousness and holiness is not because of the way they lived but rather because of Jesus Christ living a sinless life on their behalf and taking their place.   Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit fills in the gaps between our unrighteous and unholy lives and the pure righteousness and holiness with which God views us in light of Jesus Christ taking our unrighteous and unholy lives and paying the penalty for them on the cross.  This is a slow and lifelong process of being conformed into the image of Jesus.  No Christian has attained a sinless and holy life on earth, except Jesus, so therefore the church will always have gaps between the holiness laid out for it as the Bride of Christ in scripture and the attempt at a holy life lived out by Christians under the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is something that must be recognized.  I think the main issue here, however, is not the times that each one of us fail to live and act out what we believe.  I feel that the main issue that is turning young adults away from the church is the promotion of the moral superiority of church leaders that is so often seen in our churches.  This causes leads to an inauthenticity in leaders by not sharing with others the fact that the Christian life is a struggle to follow after Christ even for church leaders and that they are still in this process.  When leaders fail to admit that they struggle and are vulnerable, this leads people to view them as hypocrites when they fall into sin in any area of their lives.  There is a balance between what a leader should and should not share with regard to struggles that needs to be determined, but the one thing that the church needs to come back to, starting with the leadership, is an authenticity that makes us willing to say that we do struggle and do not represent Christ perfectly at all times.  We are on a journey of becoming more like Christ which sometimes looks a little messy.  We are all fallen people who are through the work of the Holy Spirit becoming the people that God desires us to be.