Charles Barkley and Fake Christians

The following quote is from this story,

And I think these Christians, first of all, they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in the country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they’re Christians. They’re not forgiving at all. — NBA legend Charles Barkley

Sir Charles was a great basketball player who is always good for a sound bite. As for his theological chops, well, his comments are reflective of someone who doesn’t know much about Christianity.

Christians are not supposed to judge those outside of the church, as the Apostle Paul makes clear,

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

If unbelievers (“outsiders” as Paul calls them) want to engage in behavior which is clearly in violation of God’s Law it is not up to us to judge them, God will take care of that as Paul makes clear.

If this is what Sir Charles means when he says “judge other people”, fine and good. However, the problem lies when so-called Christians proudly engage in the type of behavior one finds prevalent amongst unbelievers.

Not only are we as members of the Body of Christ (the Church) supposed to judge, if such “Christians” remain unrepentant, then it is the church’s responsibility to disfellowship them.

To the unbeliever (and admittedly to some Christians) this may sound harsh and may even tempt him to judgmentally call Christians all sorts of unflattering names, but frankly it is a family matter and it does not concern them.

Yes, Sir Charles, the Christian is commanded to forgive but Jesus (you know the Son of God and all) laid out the way that the unrepentant “Christian” is to be dealt with, a cursory read of the process, as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, might be of some use to you before you find doing the very same thing that makes you sick, a “hypocritical judge”.

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When Religion Makes One Feel Superior…

If you have been through this blog you’d realize that I deeply admire and have been blessed by the writings of one Clive Staples Lewis.

Perhaps my favorite book of his is Mere Christianity, which contains a few chapters which can stand alone as classics.

One of these titled, “The Great Sin”, is a treatise on pride and contains a number of riveting insights.

He describes Pride,

Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

Also,

The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people.

But pride always means enmity–it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.

Insightful to be sure and he goes on to say that pride can be a “death-trap” to Christians.

He describes such occasions,

Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good–above all, that we are better than someone else–I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil.

The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object.

It is better to forget about yourself altogether.

Andy Pettitte: Another Christian Hypocrite

As a member of the Christian Hypocrite Hall of Fame (you see I became a member the very same day I was baptized), I want to extend my congratulations to Andy Pettitte for living a hypocrisy-free life until the age of 35.

I am convinced that the folks who pay no mind to “religion” because of the hypocrisy of “religious people” merely throw such sop to salve their unbelief, and thus aiding in the unrighteous suppression of the truth evident to us all.

I’ve heard these types of folks before vehemently decry disgraced ministers, it’s somewhat more striking to hear such unrighteous indignation in Spanish (“Haber, pos no que no muy Cristiano?”).

Andy Pettitte (a devout Christian) was cited in the Mitchell Report as having used human growth hormone and recently owned up to using the banned substance (though at the time he used it hadn’t been banned yet by MLB). HGH is illegal unless prescribed by a doctor.

Should he have used it? Of course not, for it gave him an unfair advantage in his recovery from injury. Whatever spiritual retribution Mr. Pettitte may or may not deserve I believe, is God’s business and not ours, He is after all the Only One capable of judging.

As for legal consequences, can we not trust the earthly authorities?

The backlash against Pettitte started shortly after the report came out, for examples click here and here.

Strangely enough such reactions are the strongest when a Christian gives in to some temptation, imagine that. It must be because Christians are the only ones who are guilty of hypocrisy on a daily basis.

Of course, these arbiters of public justice conveniently forget the fact that the sin they take Pettitte to task for (hypocrisy) they also commit, but you see it’s OK in their case because they’re not Christians or perhaps don’t believe in sin.

Hypocrisy indeed…