Q. A LifeWay Research survey found that 44% of non-church-goers say Christians get on their nerves; 72% say the churches are “full of hypocrites,” and over 85% say one may have a good relationship with God without belonging to a church. Is this true?
A. Sadly there may well be plenty of hypocrites in churches today but this is no excuse not to go. There are hypocrites at rugby and cricket too; has anyone refused to attend these matches? God sets new believers in the Body of Christ. 1 Cor 12:18 tells that He does it and that this is what He wants; it pleases Him. Clearly, to redefine His will is rebellion. One cannot be saved and serve God outside of the Body of Christ! Heb 10:25
Christians are God’s work-in-progress; they’re not perfect, but being perfected under His gracious hand. When I was first saved, Christians who took the Bible seriously got on my nerves – because I was immature. Since then others have gotten on my nerves – because they were immature. And I certainly have gotten on the nerves of many for the very same reasons – but, hopefully, I am growing in Christ.
Jesus said, “I will build My church” – Matt 16:18. Many churches don’t follow God’s Word, and we cannot support going to those. But the Church remains God’s plan for this age. It’s your responsibility to hear from Him where He wants you; then stick by His direction. He has many ministries in the Church to use as instruments in your development to spiritual maturity. Even irritations will work for your good as you humbly follow Him. He has made no provision for spiritual life outside of the Body of Christ; God never wrote the Lone Ranger books! So get into a Bible-believing and practicing Church today!