Saturday, November 14, 2015

Of Christians and Pharisees... Of Saints and Hypocrites

I sometimes need to write out of frustration. This time it’s more out of disgust. 

I find it ridiculous how many people in our nation call themselves Christians, but who do or say hateful things to those who don’t believe exactly as they do.

First example: Recently I read a post on Matt Walsh’s blog that had to do with attacks on Christianity in general. In the post, Matt mentioned that he is Catholic, which apparently was news to many people, including me. What followed was a long thread of insults toward Catholicism. People digressed from the actual subject of the post and totally lost track while throwing insults at Matt over his particular brand of Christianity. “Where in the Bible does it mention a pope?,” one comment asked. They got worse from there. The self-righteousness of many pseudo-Christians was exposed.

Now a couple more personal examples:

#1: My niece who lives in Texas recently applied for Health Insurance with a supposedly Christian online insurance company, Medi-Share out of Florida. She paid them a $50 to apply for coverage. According to her story, they took her application fee, then told her that because she was a Mormon (The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints), she wasn’t a Christian and was therefore ineligible for coverage through them. She also said they refused to return her application fee.

#2: My nephew who also lives in Texas was recently arrested for a minor offense (he was foolish… no excuses… but it was a minor thing) and was put in jail. He is also a Latter-Day Saint. When put in jail, they took away his personal copy of the Book of Mormon. They didn’t just lock it up in property. According to what I heard through his bishop, the guards actually destroyed his copy of the book. There were Muslims in the same jail who were allowed to keep their copies of the Koran with them in their cell. But not the Mormon boy. Nope, his book of scripture was destroyed.

We are all entitled to our personal beliefs. If you don’t think Matt Walsh is a Christian just because he is Catholic, I respect your right to think that, but I will say I believe you are completely ignorant of what a true Christian actually is.

I am going to take the liberty to quote a Book of Mormon verse and insert Matt’s name into it in order to demonstrate my opinion of him:

“Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto [Matt Walsh], behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17, name substituted for illustration)

It doesn’t matter if he’s Catholic or any other brand of Christianity. He leads people to think righteously, he raises his family with a knowledge of and reverence for Jesus Christ, and he is a light unto the world. He is one from whom we can see “good fruit.” (Matthew 7:20)

Likewise, those who don’t believe Latter-Day Saints are Christians are entitled to their beliefs, although I believe they are baseless and ignorant in the same way.

The Bible does not define a Christian by the specific tenets one embraces. It defines a Christian by the way people live their lives. Yet we have many Pharisees who have taken it upon themselves to assign non-Biblical labels to anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do. Many have concocted doctrines based on their best guesses of what certain scripture passages MIGHT mean, and then purport to have a factual knowledge of such doctrines even though there are often more verses to dispute their beliefs than to support them. Nevertheless, they treat anyone who doesn’t embrace their best guesses as a non-Christian, a cult, or whatever juvenile barbs they wish to use.

This post really isn’t about those who keep their opinions to themselves. It is about the self-righteous Pharisees who must vocalize or publicize their hypocrisy.

Dear Pharisees, those who persecute Mormons, Catholics or anyone else who doesn’t believe exactly as you do, please stop calling yourselves Christians. You are not Christians. You are Pharisees and hypocrites, much like those that Christ confounded in the Bible. You profess to follow Christ, but then you do and say hateful, bigoted things to people who have genuine faith, many of whom might be doing a much better job personally of following Jesus Christ and His example than you are. You make up your own "rules" and then try to apply them to others in a ridiculous, matter-of-fact way. Calling yourselves Christians is an insult to Christ. You are mocking Him by pretending to be aligned with or following him. As long as you do these hateful things, you are following Satan. You are dividing through hatred rather than uniting through peace and kindness. That should be clear to everyone except to you. Until you gain some spiritual maturity and actually start behaving in a way that Christ could be pleased with, don’t mock Christianity or those of us who don’t do hateful things to others out of such self-righteousness.

I fully expect to get a barrage of hateful responses to this from the Pharisees who insist that their hateful behavior is in the name of Jesus. Some will call me a hypocrite or self-righteous for posting this. So be it. I don't do things to negatively impact your life. Many of you cannot say the same. 

Please reread Matthew 7 in its entirety. If you really want to know about true Christianity, read the books of Philippians and James with an open mind.

In the end, Mormons (and probably others) don’t really care if you think we’re Christians or not. We know we are, and your opinion is irrelevant. God didn't put any of you in charge of determining that for us. Your only reason for saying things like that is driven by hatred. You are entitled to your opinions. But when you actually spew your bigotry in word or act and affect the lives of people who genuinely follow Christ, you not only show your true colors as a non-Christian and a hypocrite, but you disgrace those of us who truly are Christians by pretending to be with us. You disgrace and mock your Savior. You fuel Satan’s efforts to divide us. Please get a grip and decide who really is your master, not just in name, but in the way you treat others. 

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