Unchurched Visitor Surprised To Find Church Not Full Of Hypocrites
Stan Philips had never been to church. He grew up in a secular home where everyone believed each person should make their own decisions about spirituality. It had become sort of a badge of honor, sort of like avoiding the flu for an entire season. He didn’t hate Christians, or their institution. He just wasn’t interested in adding more drama to his life. Anytime you add fake people to your life, you get drama. He called fake people ‘hypocrites.’ And he had always heard… and said, “the church is full of hypocrites.”
A month ago Stan was invited to church by one of his best friends, Amy who was going to be singing a special. He wasn’t excited about going, but he felt he should support his friend. Walking out after the service, Philips was in absolute shock. “I didn’t know what to think. While I don’t know everyone at the church, I didn’t get the sense that they were all fake, or hypocrites. I’m still trying to deal with what happened.” He admits he went in expecting to feel very grungy due to all of the hypocrisy in the building. But he didn’t. He felt normal.
Of course it was a little weird having so many people he didn’t know come up and tell him how happy they were to have him visiting. And the happiness he sensed when everyone was singing was a little overwhelming. Then it was impressive how many people came up to Amy and encouraged her for singing her special.
“I’ll admit it. The whole thing threw me off,” reflects Stan. “I’ve lived my whole life knowing something that may turn out to be not so true. What’s weird is that I’m not the only one who believed this. I have a pretty informed group of friends who have never been to church that said the same thing… ‘The Church is full of hypocrites.’ And what is interesting is when I think about Amy, I have to admit that she isn’t fake. She’s a part of the Church, and she has always been genuine with me. I don’t know. I’m sure there have to be some fake people there. But I may end up going back at some point to see if the whole thing was a fluke.”