Q: I'm very disillusioned, because one of the most prominent leaders in one of our local churches just got caught in adultery. Apparently he'd been involved in this for years. Why should I bother with church, if this is what Christians are like? I don't have any use for hypocrites. - D.R.
A: Let me ask you a question: What do you think God thinks of hypocrites - of people who claim to be following Jesus, but in reality aren't? Do you think He was pleased with this person or didn't care what he'd done? No, of course not. In fact, some of Jesus' strongest words were reserved for hypocrites.
This is why I hope you won't use this man's moral failure as an excuse for turning away from Christ. Yes, what he did was tragic and wrong - very wrong. Not only did he hurt himself and his family, but most of all he hurt the cause of Christ. But is every Christian like this? Is it fair (or even honest) to brand all Christians as hypocrites? No, not at all. When we know Christ, He begins to change us from within, and we are no longer what we once were. The same can be true of you.
But the most important thing I can tell you is this: Look at Christ for your example, not just at His followers. Others may disappoint you; even the most devout Christian isn't perfect. But Christ is perfect - and He will never disappoint you.
The Bible says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.... Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2). Be honest about your own need for God's forgiveness, and commit your life to Christ wholly and completely.
Affectionately known as the "World's Preacher" for more than 60 years, the Rev. Billy Graham is one of the most influential and respected spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He has been a friend and spiritual advisor to ten American presidents and has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history - nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories - through various meetings. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.