Hypocrites and Tornadoes (Just Ask)

Question:  I am dealing with people in my family not wanting anything to do with church because of hypocrites. I need help in this area.  What can I do?
The word hypocrite comes from a Greek word that means “an actor on a stage.”  It describes someone who is able to play a role in a certain context, but who lives a very different life “off stage.”  This is certainly true of many people in the church.  The Bible is honest about their existence.  We also know that Jesus did not shy away from using the word in His confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23).  We certainly have warrant to use our common sense and discernment to recognize people who are hypocritical.  They are not difficult to spot.
The existence of hypocrites in the church, however, does not give one warrant to reject the church.  Some would say that they can follow Christ without the church.  This concept is foreign to the New Testament.  Biblically it can be argued that one cannot follow Christ without the church.  Therefore, it may sound more noble to reject the church because of its hypocrites, but it is really foolish.  
Not going to church because there are hypocrites is like saying you will never again eat bananas because there are brown spots.  Yet exposing the illogical and foolish nature of the argument may only add to your frustration or sorrow in dealing with your family over this issue.  The best you can do is to continue to proclaim the gospel to your family and live it out before them.  Don’t be a hypocrite!  In the end it is important for your family to know that the hypocrite and those who despise them are all in the same boat, sinners in desperate need of Jesus.    Those of us who are not hypocrites are merely more honest sinners than they.  Jesus died for all - the honest sinners and the hypocrites alike.
Question:  What is Ridgecrest (the church I serve as pastor) doing as a whole to help the victims of the tornado?  I know other local churches have groups together and designed teams to go and volunteer; what is RBC doing?
This has certainly been a surreal week in our community.  13 homes in our church family have suffered minor damage to total destruction.  One family in our church suffered injury and has spent the week in the hospital.  Since the storms members of the pastoral staff, deacon body, and membership at large have been extremely active in our community helping families remove trees and salvage belongings.
This weekend there will be several opportunities to serve.  If you will contact the church office rcore@rbconline.net or jmann@rbconline.net we can share with you some specific work sites where you may volunteer.  We are also encouraging our people to partner with other works, churches, and organizations in our area.  Responding to a storm of this magnitude is a team effort.  No one can do it all alone.  Below are a few listings and opportunities that have been passed along to me.
The Birmingham Baptist Association - sending out teams daily, contact:  http://bbaonline.org/
ClayRidge Baptist in Clay is looking for volunteers to carry meals into Centerpoint on Friday and Saturday.  They especially need men to help through the weekend to help make delivery more secure.  There are also debris cleanup crews meeting and leaving from the church parking lot.  
The following note comes from Jae Skinner, one of our members and a teacher at Erwin Elementary:
Hey! If you don't have to work, we need HELP AT ERWIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL moving classrooms for the Centerpoint teachers. If you can come help, please do! I (Jae) will be there at 8:00. Call me 966-7133 and I will get you plugged in somewhere. Trying to get the school ready for kiddos so they can get back to a normal routine!


PastorBobby said…
Thanks Brian for what you and the good people are doing out at Ridgecrest. As you may know, and please communicate this out; First Baptist Center Point is command central for Red Cross Shelter and Food; Alabama Disaster Relief Feeding Units and Chain Saw Crews remove trees at no cost, and BBA is organizing volunteers to serve. BBA first volunteer effort is this Saturday morning here at 8:00 a.m. Thanks again Brian.
Anonymous said…
Yes, Brian, there certainly are hypocrites in the Baptist church, aren't there?
Brian Branam said…
Yes there are. They do enjoy remaining anonymous, but they are clearly seen.

BB, Gal. 2:20

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