Hypocritical believers can distort our perception of God and destroy our faith in him.
Each Sunday, church sanctuaries are filled with pastors, priests, and parishioners who struggle with the same weaknesses and exhibit the same bad behaviors as those who never attend.
Legalistic believers exalt themselves and judge others without mercy. Callous believers live selfishly and ignore the needy. Misguided believers abuse their faith to justify all kinds of evil.
The church, as an institution, has been too tolerant of hate and bigotry in its midst. And too slow to rid itself of immoral leaders.
We should not be startled by this reality.
The Bible does not hide the flaws of its heroes, a group that includes murderers, adulterers, human rights abusers, prostitutes, and traitors. Several New Testament books address problems in the early church that persist today.
Here is what we need to remember.
The misbehavior of reborn believers has no bearing on the integrity of the Bible or its relevance to us.
Criminal statutes are not rendered moot by the unlawful behavior of police officers and judges. They still apply to us.
Likewise, the hypocritical behavior of reborn believers does not invalidate Bible truths. They still apply to us.
God is always worthy of our trust, even when his followers are unworthy of our admiration.