As a pastor, I have probably heard every kind of excuse of why people don’t go to church. Probably one of the more common excuses is that the church is full of hypocrites, to which I immediately say, “Join us, there’s always room for one more. Almost three-quarters of Americans who haven’t darkened the door of a church in the last six months think it is “full of hypocrites.”
One clergyman using that same logic gave a list of reasons why he does not go anymore to athletic events.
- Every time I went they asked me for money.
- People that I have to sit next to didn’t seem too friendly.
- The seats were too hard and uncomfortable.
- The coach never called on me personally.
- The referee made a decision that I did not agree.
- Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
- The band played some numbers I had never heard of before.
- Some of those games are scheduled when I want to do other things.
- My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
- Since I read a book on sports I feel that I know more than the coaches anyway.
- I don’t to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.
Excuses are for wimps! I’m not saying that we (as Christians) don’t need to be intentionally about avoiding all pretenses of hypocrisy, (1 Thessalonians 5:22) but too often hypocrisy is just an excuse people throw out for not being involved in church and If you don’t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another. (Yiddish Proverb)
I heard of one church coming up with NO EXCUSE SUNDAY:
- Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, “Sunday is my only day to sleep.”
- We will have steel helmets for those who say, “the roof will cave in if I ever come to church.”
- Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold and fans for those who think the church is too hot.
- We will have hearing aids for those who think the preacher speaks too softly and cotton for those who think he preaches too loudly.
- Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.
- Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.
- There will be T.V. dinners for those who can’t go to church and cook dinner also.
- One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to see God in nature.
- Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.
In Luke 14:16-24 Jesus tells the parable of the Great Supper.
“A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ””
When you boil it all down excuses are nothing more than a wimpy way of trying to escape responsibility. Yet Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:36-37 that we will be held accountable for every idle word on the day of judgement.