A Letter to the Christian Hypocrites

A Letter to the Christian Hypocrites

By David G. McAfee

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                For all of the “Christians” who don’t abide by the dietary laws of Leviticus[1], didn’t save their virginity for marriage, work on the Sabbath[2], and have accumulated worldly wealth[3]– I ask why you would label yourself as a follower of an outdated tradition that you do not understand. All that I ask is that you question the beliefs that were (most likely) implanted in your mind as a young child and hopefully research your holy texts. If you read the bible from a modern and intellectual perspective, I doubt that you will have the spiritual experience that is to be expected. Instead, you will be disgusted with your “god” and most likely find the archaic principles the book teaches lacking modern relevance and scientific evidence.

                According to your holy book- every single Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, follower of various minor traditions or sects, those who do not affiliate themselves with a religious tradition and the approximately 2.74 billion humans who have never had the “privilege” of hearing the word of your Messiah[4] will be sentenced to eternal damnation in a lake of fire- regardless of moral standings or positive worldly accomplishments. If this sounds like a fair proposition to you, then I bite my tongue- but I honestly believe that the majority of Christians do not agree with these doctrinal assertions, and instead categorize themselves as “Christians” out of cultural familiarity or perhaps complete ignorance in regards to the topic.

                I have always been in awe of those people who consider themselves followers and messengers of Christ and know little to nothing about the history, origins, beliefs, or tenets of the tradition- but for those Christians, it is important to acknowledge that a WWJD bracelet and a “Jesus Loves You” bumper sticker do not make you pious. And researching a topic before devoting your life to its assumptions does not make you a sinner or a bad person, it means that you are using the tools at your disposal to make an informed, spiritual, decision; there is no harm in studying the belief system which you are risking your supposed afterlife, and I’m sure any all-knowing deity would agree.

[1] Leviticus 11:9-12: “These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination onto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”

[2] Exodus 31:14: “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.”

[3] Matthew 19:20-24: “The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

[4] Statistics according to “The Joshua Project” global mission statistics.

13 responses to “A Letter to the Christian Hypocrites

  1. Wow…. That was well put and on point. I loved you choice of verses, they were a good option, eating shrimp and lobster is out, working on sunday out, and being rich… sounds like the republicans are going to hell too!

  2. Important to bring these points home to all of the people who want to desperately to believe they are living a good Christian life when in actuality, they are living a lie. How I wish that your points could be accepted by the follows of the talking snake and they could somehow realize that they have been brainwashed into ignorance. I however really appreciate your writings as an atheist. Keep up your important work as the world would be so much better without people following 2 thousand years old myths. One of my favorite quotes is “Religion does two things very well, deludes and divides people” Gelispie?.

  3. Great post 🙂 God HATES clam chowder.

  4. Lol read again guys. The verse is saying you can ONLY eat fish. Sounds like all other meat is off the list.

    • Sorry Heather, but the verse indicates that OF THE WATERS, fish are the only acceptable meat for consumption. In other words, if it lives in water- and is not a fish- you may not eat it. This includes lobster, shrimp, crab, etc…

  5. I’m going to give my response as a semi-educated Christian. I do think many Christians are unable to answer these questions/arguments you’ve brought up, and it’s really sad. I think in the past Christians used to be more educated on these topics. Also, I think you posted this simply to be inflammatory, not because you really care. But I’m responding nonetheless…

    1) The New Testament gives us the right to eat foods that were formerly “unclean”. Also, there were a variety of laws in the Old Testament. Moral, Civil, Dietary, and ceremonial/sacrificial. Civil laws don’t have to be followed because God’s people are not a country (like the Kingdom of Israel), they are made up of people from all over the world who should follows the laws of where they live. We don’t follow the Dietary laws because of Acts 10. We don’t follow the ceremonial/sacrificial laws because Jesus fulfilled them in His sacrifice. That simply leaves the moral laws. These are the ones that basically deal with your character or your relationships.

    2) See my response to “1”

    3) Jesus isn’t talking to you. Or to me. Unless the man he was talking to (the “rich young ruler”) was you in a previous life. Jesus was talking to someone specifically. Why did Jesus tell this man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor? If you read the story in context, you’ll see that before Jesus tells him to do this, the man says that he’s kept all the commandments so far. Jesus tells him that the next thing he needs to do is give everything to the poor. Jesus was showing the young man that yes, he kept all the commandments, but he had no compassion. Being a part of the Kingdom of God is more than simply following a bunch of rules. This story isn’t simply telling us that we should give everything away, it’s about something bigger than that.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reason people (Christians) no longer are aware of these biblical LAWS, is because they are no longer relevant to our society; they are 2000-4000 year old guidelines to healthy living and faux morality.

      In regards to ACTS 10, there is no discussion of the animals of the SEA becoming clean, only the four-footed animals and reptiles discussed in the passage; this is why I chose the passage referring to water-dwelling animals.

      “The rich young man” is a parable, these are stories which Jesus uses in the New Testament to spread his teachings to EVERYONE, not the individual- most of them did not actually occur; if this were the case- they would hold little to no relevance. Jesus explicitly says “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”- Not THAT rich man, but ANY rich man.

      If the rules aren’t important to you, maybe you should talk to a Christian leader (of any denomination)- they will let you know that the biblical laws ARE meant to be taken seriously, and not just some abstract rulebook that is no longer relevant.

    • Hi, mymind1086. I don’t know where you get that Jesus was speaking to just that one man. It is very clear to everyone that Jesus is speaking to everyone in the world. I imagine that what you’re trying to do is to find a justification to make the story fit the world as you see, as opposed to reading the story for what it is and living according to it (in your case, since you seem to be a believer.)

      Great response, David.
      I always find it interesting how religious people will come up with rationalizations to prove their point. I bet that if we were to survey a large number of Christians about the subject above, we’d find as many explanations as the number of people surveyed, each one trying to give an explanation that is convenient, and not necessarily based on reason. I guess that explains why there are so many religions in the world, each person trying to give his/her own interpretation of a particular topic –and really believing such ideas. And that, my friend, is at the core of all delusion.

    • Well said mymind1086.
      Taking verses at random does not work. You have explained it well. Since the Saviour came all things changed and he taught us that the moral law is the only one of the old testament laws that still applies.

  6. David,

    Most of what you said actually just reveals your ignorance (not in a mean way but simply in the true sense of just not knowing) of Covenant theology and the interconnectedness of the Old and New Testaments. Even a simple survey of the threefold nature of the Mosaic law (civil, ceremonial, and moral) and the fulfillment of it by Jesus quickly handles why Christians are not bound to the civil/ceremonial laws of geo-political national Israel. Why am I not bound to the capital punishment laws of Israel? Because I’m not an Israelite under that legal code. Same reason I dont get a ticket for driving on the right hand side of the road in America – because I’m not Brittish.

    As for the rich man and the camel. You conveniently leave out what immediately follows. “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Why is it easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven. Well, you and “mymind” are actually both right. Jesus was talking to a single man AND Jesus was using this as a lesson to those who observed (though you are wrong to call this a parable since this is clearly not a parable). The point is that rich men will trust in their wealth and possessions for security (thus reinforcing their sin) rather than seeking God alone for salvation. This is simply not a problem with the poor because they dont have those possessions to function as blinders. Was Jesus saying no rich person could be saved (well besides the obvious people like David, Solomon, Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, who were quite wealthy), we notice that Jesus doesnt use this as an objection to ALL wealthy people – only to this man to show that the idol of this man’s heart was his riches. Jesus is not saying that no rich man gets into heaven (all things are possible with God) but that no man can earn their way into salvation by means of their riches (not possible by man).

    What I have noticed in your posts in your very simplistic treatments of history, philosophy, theology, and in this case hermeneutical interpretation. (I’m not saying that they are stupid or invalid, only that they are quite elementary and very easily solved by putting down Rick Warren and Chuck Colson and picking up Calvin, Hoekema, Berkof, etc.) Maybe your find Christianity so foolish because you have only been exposed to the superficial “Jesus love me this I know for the Bible tells me so” kind of defenses of it.

    • Tyler-

      In regards to your weak defense of the Old and New Testament, I’d like to point out the fact that that Jesus was Jewish and followed the laws of the Hebrew Scriptures- This is why your “British” analogy fails so easily. But more importantly, I include passages from the bible as a whole (as opposed to solely analyzing the New Testament) because the Hebrew Scriptures (what Christians refer to as the “Old Testament”) are no less important and influential to modern Christianity than the New Testament containing the acts of Jesus Christ- as his own words indicate in Matthew 5:17: “Think not that I come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The canonical books of the Torah and other Hebrew Scriptures compose the first (and the majority) part of the Christian bible today- in all versions- ensuring that its laws and commandments are taken as divine law to all Christian followers.- If the Old Testament is no longer relevant, why not simply exclude it from print? Why would “God” undergo such dramatic changes is what he believes is moral? A perfect creator would drastically change morality for no apparent reason. It is only after Christ’s death, and the slow spread (and persecution) of Christianity that the followers decided it would be an easier sale for gentiles if they weren’t forced to keep kosher and get circumcised- there were many debates about these concepts but they were all after Jesus had died- debates by men trying to spread a dying religion. However, the New Testament is just as filled with unnecessary violence and contradictions as the Old Testament, and I’ll be more than happy to present some examples.
      As for your simplistic analysis of the rich man attempting to follow Jesus, I am completely confused as to why you say that it is not a parable, considering that most biblical scholars and experts would disagree with you. A Parable is simply a brief story indicating a moral or religious lesson, the bible is filled with them and they are written in the same style as this one. And your in-depth analysis of what you believe Jesus “meant” is a stretch- I am reading the same words on the page, but because of the paradigms created by your religion- you are forced to create justifications for the words, where I can simply report them. Jesus says that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom. He is either lying, or it is highly unlikely that a wealthy person can receive salvation (not impossible). He says that all things are possible with God, but it is STILL easier for God to fit a camel through the eye of a needle, which physics implies is IMPOSSIBLE.
      I’m sorry that I don’t believe in a God that believes that women are subservient to men, and that causes the natural disasters that kill millions of innocent people every day. Maybe you should look into your “God” a bit closer so that you may see him for the archaic, jealous, selfish, racist, evil deity he actually would be- if he existed.

      Thanks for your attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable; I hope you take my words with an open-mind,

      David G. McAfee

      P.S. Here is your loving and fair God of the New Testament:

      1 Corinthians 14:34-35: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

      Luke 14:26: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

  7. David,

    The Brittish analogy works because while Paul and some of the others were national Jews, I, even as a Christian, still am not. The NT no where extends the national laws of Israel onto the church in general, or gentile Christians in specific. In fact, quite to the contrary we see Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, etc. all showing that such laws have been fulfilled and no longer binding (in fact if you read the book of Hebrews you see that this is actually one of the main themes of that book – same for Galatians, and the Jerusalem counsel of Acts 15.) For you to say otherwise, simply means that you refuse to actually read the Bible according to what it says, but what you choose to make it say.

    Your appeal that the OT is equally binding on Christians as the NT is quite valid but also stated in a hopelessly inadequate way. If you have read the NT you would know that the OT functions in a totally different way AFTER Christ came than before. Paul’s use of the inability of the law to justify in Romans also makes this quite clear (let alone the insistence that the keeping of the law for salvation is actually the main critique of the religious leaders of Israel by Jesus himself). I am coming to notice that you may have only interacted with fundamentalist Christian traditions (of the anti-intellectualist and legalist variety) and never have interacted with more substantial and orthodox positions of people like Augustine, Calvin, Carson, Moo, Morris, etc. Or you may have only interacted with broad introductions and done some major inductions from that without ever considering that introductions are never meant to be adequate explanations of what they introduce – they are meant to be STARTING points, not full explanations.

    I never said the OT was no longer relevant – only that certain parts (civil and ceremonial laws) have been fulfilled or no longer apply since we are outside of the nation of Israel and out of the Judaic cultic life. Thus I can eat pork and wear clothes of two or more clothes. Those were not moral laws, but civil and ceremonial laws – and therefore simply do not apply, even though the moral principles BEHIND such laws are still extended to us. Am I to build railings around my roof? No because we don’t hang out on roofs at my house. But I am morally obligated to make sure people are safe at my house to avoid injury or death.

    Does God undergo drastic changes in what is moral? No, in fact we see a strong consistency throughout and we actually see a ramping up of moral obligation from the OT to the NT. Sure civil laws may pass since they no longer apply outside of Israel or to the church, but the moral law becomes MORE moral. What is adultery in the OT? Sex with another spouse. What is adultery in the NT? Lusting after another person’s spouse in the heart. What is murder in the OT? Taking a life. What is it in the NT? Hating someone because it is the same as wishing them dead. You really should do some study on the distinctions between law and gospel. (There is a good 5 views on law and gospel put out by Zondervan).

    You take on why circumcision stopped is always terribly uneducated. Did they stop circumcision to just get gentiles in? (since Jews were known to NOT compromise in order to get unclean gentiles in, that would be HIGHLY unlikely). But what is said is that circumcision was t he outward sign of being a member of the Mosaic covenant. Since one becomes a Christian APART from the Mosaic covenant, circumcision is no longer required, and in fact can be bad since it can cause people to think that they are saved BECAUSE of their obedience to the law, rather than because of the sacrifice of Christ.

    My view on the rich man is actually not simplistic since it is quite nuanced and theologically, historically, hermeneutically informed. Most scholars would NOT say that the interaction between Jesus and the rich man is a parable. Parables are things like the parable of the two sons, the parable of the seeds, the parable of the richman and lazarus, the parable of the wedding feast. Jesus usually starts parables with something like “the kingdom of heaven is like…” or “there once was a man…” or something of this nature. This is not a parable because this is Jesus real life interaction with a person, and not some story that he has made up to illustrate a point. They are actually NOT written in he same style. Parables are usually short illustrative stories clearly made up and never presented as real history. This conversation that Jesus had with the rich man is clearly NOT a parable but a real life encounter that he had with a man that he then used to illustrate a point. But a narrative example and a parabolic illustration are quite different things.

    And you still miss the point. It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter into heaven. True. BUT you miss what Jesus says right after – the controlling interpretive principle – it is impossible with man but all things are possible with God. Because of this statement we can then look BACK on what Jesus just said about the camel as what is impossible with MAN – thus a rich man cannot save himself anymore than a camel can fit through a needle. BUT a rich man can be saved by God’s inititive because all things are possible with God.

    As for the “God” that you said you don’t believe in, you clearly have again misread so many things things. Does God believe that women should be subservient to men? No, he says that women are to submit to their husbands but he also previously says that they are to submit to eachother AND that men are to sacrificially love their wives as Christ loved the church. Does the Bible teach that women should be little abject slaves to their cruel husbands? Not at all. In fact we see the inequality of sexes as a result of the FALL where God says that one consequence of sin will be that Eve will desire for her husband (possibly to desire to rule over him in fact) but that he will end up ruling over her. But that’s a consequence of SIN. No where does it say that God is happy about it. (This is a good time to mention that you also commonly mistake indicatives with imperatives. You seem to think what the Bible describes, that it prescribes. This is simply incorrect and quite a poor reading of grammar.) So maybe you should look at God a bit closer instead of only seeing superficial problems and assuming there is no answers. You also seem to assume that your reading MUST be the correct one. There is no indication that you realize that you may be missing something or misreading something because of your own presuppositions. (As is clear from the pulling verses out of context that you list at the bottom.)

  8. The Bible is not meant to be read “literally”… it is meant to be read in Spirit. This is necessary because the ego of Man will never interpret these sacred words correctly without the help of the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible is filled with things that are unsavory because it is a Book used to teach the unsavory… if you can’t see yourself in these horrible scriptures, you are not looking honestly at yourself.

    As for the condemning of all others who follow different faiths: someone who understands the true teachings of Christ knows people of other faiths are no more condemned than they themselves. In fact, it has been my experience that some of the best examples of Christian values can be found OUTSIDE the Christian faith.

    I do like reading the posts of those who do not believe as it constantly keeps me questioning my own faith values… it also keeps me reading scripture as very often I find that Atheists know more facts about scripture than most believers.

    Frankly, it’s unfortunate that “religion” has become the organized, hypocritical mess it is…. the church as it exists today was NEVER what Christ intended.

    Thanks, David, for keeping me on my toes in regards to my faith…

    With a loving heart,

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