Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Misguided Christianity in the Kingsport Times

This summer, the following letter was published in the Kingsport Times News. I was pretty irritated and felt the need to respond. First is the aforementioned letter, followed by my reply which was published shortly after.

Immorality is destroying America

Modern day America is just about as immoral as Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of this day and age are unthankful and unashamed.

Back in my day, people shouted as they walked to church, and they shouted all the way home. Now people don't even go to church. They took prayer and Bible study out of the schoolhouses and brought in sex education and witchcraft. You parents that let your children read these Harry Potter books are guilty of witchcraft and idolatry and you're going straight to hell.

Instead of getting a thrashing for misbehavior, the parents, teachers and doctors today get these children heaped up on ritalin. You could give ritalin to a cocaine addict and they wouldn't know the difference. Then, they wonder why this generation has amounted to nothing more than drug addicts, fornicators and murderers.

Back in my day we didn't turn to a pack of pen-pushing pantywaists and labcoat Larrys to tell us how to live. We turned to the word of God.

It seems like every time I go to the store I see a teenage girl carting around three or four young ones. You used to not see that kind of thing around here.

The women in this day and age ain't worth marrying. The Bible says a beautiful woman without virtue is comparable to a gold ring in a pig's nose.

If I had my way, I'd have it to where these women and their children wouldn't get food or medicine through welfare. The Republicans tried to do this in 1996, but Clinton vetoed the bill twice until Republicans finally gave in.

You people ain't smart enough to come in out of the rain. I never thought the good Lord would let me live to see this day.

Bill Sullivan

Kingsport, TN

My response:

Mr. Sullivan,

Your myopic diatribe reeks of the ignorance and irrational judgment that send scores of people away from Christianity every day. As Christians, our purpose is not to condemn everything that appears evil. Our purpose is to extend the love of Christ to unbelievers, to fellow Christians, and to strangers. The judgment placed on unwed mothers and Harry Potter readers simply is rooted in your tradition, not in scripture, and certainly not in love. We see Jesus explicitly condemn this practice in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 7. He rebukes religious leaders after they insist that Jesus and his disciples follow man made laws above God's law. Bible Belt Christianity is often guilty of the same. Judging another man is not our place, aligning ourselves with scripture is.

To those who found this letter offensive; on behalf of loving Christians everywhere, I apologize. I don't seek to defend sin, I seek to defend sinners. None among us can claim to be without sin, thus no man can claim to be more righteous than another. The religious (not Biblical) judgment Mr. Sullivan, Fred Phelps, and others profess does not reflect true Christianity, simply the misguided opinions of cold hearted men.

Religious Judgement says: "You're going to hell," Biblical judgment says: "I deserve it too."

Religious Judgement says: "I hate sinners," Biblical judgment says "God hates sin, not sinners."

Religious Judgement says: "Your past is condemning," Biblical judgment says "Jesus doesn't care."

Religious Judgement says: "Change, then come to Christ," Biblical judgment says "Be changed by Christ."

More and more I sympathize with Gandhi who said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

The fact that millions refuse Christianity due to Christian behavior sickens me. Christians must desire above all to share Christ and His truth, not the fallacies and ignorance of man.