Most certainly, there are many more things I love about Christianity than what I hate. However, I thought I would spend a bit of time here and open up the conversation in a different direction. These are the top eight things I “hate” about Christianity, in order.

(Oh, and since we have thousands of first-time visitors here everyday, let me be clear…I am a very committed Evangelical Christian.)

8. Unanswered prayer = God’s “no”. Prayer in general is hard. It is hard to keep up with someone whose relationship techniques do not mirror anything we practice on earth. The though-you-do-not-see-him-now-but-believe-in-him” (1 Pet. 1:8) thing is really bizarre. And when it comes to prayer (i.e. talking to God) it culminates in some frustrations. When I pray for something that does not get answered (i.e. my request does not happen), people often say, “that is God’s ways of saying “no” or “not now.” So, in Christianity, God’s ignoring is another way of rejecting a request? I don’t like that. I am not saying it is not true, its just I would prefer something else.

7. Testimonies, BC and AD. No, it is not the testimonies themselves, but the burden of what a testimony must bear. There has to be a former way of life before Christ (BC) and what you have become after Christ (AD). The burden is that in order to have a “great” testimony, pressure is placed upon you to present yourself in a nice and polished way that says, “Look what God has done with me: Can you believe it? You can be like me too.” Testimonies are more valid (not to mention more believable and inspiring) when the “finished product” (the AD) is never really finished at all, but still broken. I don’t like the shallow “now and then” of the Christian testimony format.

6. Watchdog ministries. Watchdog ministries. Lighthouse ministries. Appraisal ministries. They go by many names. They are full-time Christian snipers. Let me back up. There are certain ministries that exist to find and expose false teaching. I have no problem with exposing false teaching. Indeed, it is part of what we are to do as teachers…correct false doctrine. However, it is very rare to find a ministry or a person who does this well. Most of the ministries and people who do this are arrogant, ungracious, and counter-productive and themselves need to be exposed. I have worked for one of these ministries (a long time ago). After a while, the ministry becomes obsessed, concerning itself with nothing else other than beating someone up in the name of the Lord. When there is no controversy, like a drug addict in withdrawals, they begin to create controversy ex nihilo or go back to dead horses and kick them. Their goal soon loses the priority of truth, learning, and understanding. I think that many people would have nothing to talk about if there was not someone to kick.

5. Seeker-driven Churchianity. (“Churchianity: a term a took from my friend Michael Spencer). That’s not really the best way to put it. A better way might be “compromised Christianity.” The reason why it is often called “seeker churchianity” is based on its primary desire to fulfill the “Great Commission” through reaching the lost. But there is a line crossed. I cannot always tell you where it is, but I will go out on a limb here and say that the majority of Evangelical Churches today have crossed that line a long time ago. I carry I poker chip in my pocket. Written on it are the words “Leaving Lust Vegas.” It was taken from a church that was doing a sermon series about lust and decided to use a modern Hollywood and Las Vegas theme to communicate their message. I can’t imagine how much it cost to have these chips made (not to mention how little practical effect they really have). I also have a flier from a sermon series called, “Girls Gone Wild, Bible Style.” This was from a different church who was attempting to reach its audience in a relevant way. I understand why they do this and even admire their intentions. However, I hate it when the Church so much wants to reach the world that one can hardly tell the difference between the culture of the Church and the culture of Hollywood. The church is different and we should do things a particular way. Wal-Mart is different. Disney World is different. The movie theater is different. Fraternities at the University of Oklahoma are different. Congress is different. Just because one is different does not mean they cannot be relevant in accomplishing that which their purpose demands. Why is the church so scared of being different?

4.  Christian subculture. I understand that in every discipline, career, or fellowship, there is going to be a unique vocabulary and way to communicate. I make a living teaching theology, a discipline in which people have to learn a new technical language if they expect engage in an effective way. Therefore, I have no problem with communication barriers that need to be overcome. As well, I understand that each culture has its own unique ways of life including family matters, music, education, entertainment, and the like. Therefore, I don’t have any problem with cultural barriers. However, in Christianity, I find that most Christians (especially Evangelical Christians) feel pressured to enter and live within a subculture which, in-and-of-itself, does not necessarily represent Christianity, but becomes the primary avenue through which those on the outside view the Church. The problem is that Christianity is not a culture or a sub-culture (a culture within a culture). Christianity is a belief and a relationship with God that expresses itself in very adaptive ways, with the ability to see the image of God in may cultural expressions that are not unique only to Christians. “Christian” music, education, fiction novels, language, sports, bumper stickers, t-shirts and the like often serve a purpose to distance Christianity from those whom we are ambassadors to and obscures our message. That is why I hate the Christian subculture.

3. Legalism. All religions breed legalism, but Christianity is a religion founded on grace. Legalism cancels out grace. Therefore, legalism cancels out Christianity. Ironically, Christianity has so many legalists. Legalism is essentially an attitude shared by many Christians (especially the immature) that exists to make people feel more in control and comfortable. It is a list of dos and don’ts that one has to follow to be accepted. However, Christianity only exists because God was not legalistic with us. We broke all his rules and he stooped to forgive us. He continues to stoop to forgive us. Legalists, ironically, will not stoop. I hate legalistic Christianity, especially since I can be the primary representative of this legalistic mutation.

2. Anti-intellectual mentality. I was reading a Christian author earlier today who said that the number one thing he hates about Christianity is that “there is no evidence for what we believe.” He goes on to define this as “faith.” I hate that a Christian could ever make such a statement with a straight face. If what he said is true, it is tragic. If there is no evidence for Christianity, I am leaving (quietly, out the back door). I hate that our current Christian culture has so far distanced the intellect from faith that a belief that there is no evidence for Christianity is assumed. I don’t hate it simply because I am embarrassed by it (which I am), but because it is not true and gives so much ammunition to those who reject Christianity. I hate the lack of the mind in the Christian church today.

1. Hell. This is hands down the most difficult doctrine in the Christian faith. We believe in a loving God who sees fit to allow his creation (his children) to suffer in a place we call hell—a place, by the way, that affords more suffering than anything imaginable. A place, by the way, that is never-ending. It is not as though I don’t believe it. I do. It is not as though I look at God in judgment. I don’t. It is simply something that confuses me. While I completely disagree with any form of “Christian” universalism (i.e. all people are going to make it to heaven), second-chance theories (i.e. unbelievers will experience a second chance to escape hell in the after life), or the idea of annihilationalism (i.e. the belief that hell, along with all its inhabitants, will eventually be annihilated forever), I understand and sympathize with the reason why they go in this direction. If I could find some sort of loop-hole to get out of believing in the doctrine of an eternal hell, I would. If there was such a thing as a Christianity that did not necessitate a belief in hell, I would submit my resume. (And believe me, I have tried). Oh, closely connected to this are the cliché answers Christians give about hell. Many Christians I have encountered act as if hell does not bother them in the least. Of all the things you can be cliché about, don’t be so here.

What about you?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    100 replies to "Eight Things I Hate About Christianity"

    • […] said that the Church could use this ‘hard break’ as well.  Yesterday I read a post that was pretty good but reflected some sentiments I don’t agree with that were implied about […]

    • Tom D


      Sorry, I tuned in late. James describes what your faith looks like acted out in the world, Paul describes it as it looks in Heaven.

      Regarding the guttermost to uttermost portion of Michael’s blog, (I are one) after you have been a believer for a long time, you’ll realize he’s right, because you’ll still be battling your flesh every day, and like Paul and Tom D, will not have yet “arrived”

      The more you understand about God and his Word the more it will reveal your nature to you. Don’t lose heart though, keep chasing the carrot, it’s worth it.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      CMP: “There are certain ministries that exist to find and expose false teaching. I have no problem with exposing false teaching. Indeed, it is part of what we are to do as teachers…correct false doctrine.”

      In agreement with CMP, there is this recent article titled: “Discernment Ministry: A Biblical Defense.”

    • bethyada

      Stephen, Point taken about my comment being a doctrinal position. But I think that God is able to bring people closer to his truth if they seek to follow him, so that however far away they start, over time the honest follower will tend toward true doctrine, whatever that may be.

    • […] jeg i nogle af disse forhold oplever et personligt ansvar. Jeg er så absolut ikke alene om dette. Michael C. Patton fra Reclaiming The Mind siger således i et indlæg om 8 ting han heder ved kristendommen: “Watchdog ministries. […]

    • Pax2

      “Leaving Lust Vegas.” Ha! My personal favorite:

      “There’s Something About the Virgin Mary.”


    • […] some old territory on this blog.  Over on Parchment and Pen CMP has written a post entitled “Eight Things I Hate about Christianity“.  In it he lists the number 1 thing he hates as the doctrine of Hell.  I too HATE this […]

    • Keith Brenton

      I believe there’s good reason to hate hell. It wasn’t created for us; it was created for the devil and his angels … the one ultimately responsible for all the sin and death and associated misery in this world. For them, it should last forever. For us temporal beings, I’m not so sure.

      So I’ve had to come to agree with the annihilation view. (Sorry. I know you disagree.) Scripture teaches that the place lasts forever. The punishment – eternal death – lasts forever. But people don’t last forever there. God gives immortality as the free gift of His grace through Christ, and destroys with a fire that consumes those who hate Him and others and do everything possible in their lives to glorify self; to perpetuate sin and death and misery just like the devil and his angels.

      And I don’t believe hell is a place that God sends people to lightly, even for the moment of flashing extermination that it takes to protect his children from the evil of those who absolutely would not consent to be His children.

    • Wolf Paul

      On Testimonies, BC and AD:

      Here is a slightly humourous story on that subject I heard while a Bible School student in France:

      There was this American missionary who had just finished language school and now, for the first time, was called upon to give his testimony in French.

      True to the pattern which Michael describes he wanted to talk about his life before Christ and how it had changed since, and as he prepared he tried to remember the French for “past”, which he, not entirely without reason, thought might be “arriere”. What he wanted to say was, “My past can be seen divided in two parts, before Christ, and since I met Christ.”

      When he actually got to the point of giving his testimony however, he got muddled about his French vocabulary, and used the word “derriere” instead: “Mon derriere est divise en deux parties …”

      His audience just about cracked up at his announcement, “My backside is divided in two parts …”

    • david gibbs

      I love it. Except that I would add one more thing I hate:

      The attempt by some to equate christianity with conservative republican politics or anglo saxon culture.

    • […] evangelical Christian writes about eight things he hates about Christianity. I agree with six of […]

    • […] evangelical Christian writes about eight things he hates about Christianity. I agree with six of […]

    • William Mayor

      What I hate most about Christianity is a theology that requires me to separate faith and science. Nicene theology, which Christians traditionally follow, originally applied only within the Roman Empire, and assumes a worldview that contradicts both modern science and itself. I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems to me that modern science has a fairly good track record when it comes to understanding the world we live in. How can we consistently claim to believe in a theology that contradicts the benefits we enoy from a different worldview?

    • C. Barton

      Yeah, “Chirstian” culture can be goofy. I mean, putting “Jesus Rocks” in gothic script on a T-shirt doesn’t make it a “Christian” T-shirt! And it doesn’t make Jesus an alternative rocker.
      I can’t quite get over the eternal hell concept, either. How can I be joyful in Heaven, when “The smoke of their torment rises forever . . .”?
      Except for one thing I remember in scripture: the wicked will call to the rocks to fall on them to hide them from Christ when He returns. An unregenerate soul cannot stand in the presence of God without absolute conviction and terror, or so it seems. The alternative is to flee to a place farthest from His presence, and this is precisely what Hell is. This offers a little more understanding, I think.

    • Paul

      Yes, Hell is a tough belief to live with. However, concepts of Hell such as C.S. Lewis’ do help somewhat.

    • […] Quote of the Day: Discernment Ministries Filed under: cults — Tags: appraisal ministries, C. Michael Patton, Christianity, discernment ministries, doctrine, Faith, false teaching, lighthouse ministries, theology, watchdog ministries — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:01 am This is from C. Michael Patton at the theology blog, Parchment and Pen. […]

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Eight Things I Hate About Christianity

      I’m not particularly keen about LibProt Wolves prowling and devouring the flock.

      “”The Religious Left, from “social justice” Catholic nuns and Protestant ministers to the Democratic Speaker of the House and president of the United States, have been incessantly claiming God’s advocacy of their healthcare reform. That’s no surprise, just as it’s no surprise that the press is not only not outraged but silently supportive. There’s nary a whimper, let alone howls, of “separation of church and state!”

      Last August, President Obama addressed a virtual gathering of 140,000 Religious Left individuals. He told them he was “going to need your help” in passing healthcare. Obama penitently invoked a period of “40 Days,” a trial of deliverance from conservative tormentors, from temptation by evildoers. He lifted up the brethren, assuring them, “We are God’s partner in matters of life and death.”

      Like a great commissioning, in the 40 Days that followed the Religious Left was filled with the spirit, confidently spreading the word, pushing for—among other things—abortion funding as part of an eternally widening “social justice” agenda. The Religious Institute, which represents 4,800 clergy, urged Congress to include abortion funding in “healthcare” reform, adamantly rejecting amendments that prohibited funding. To not help poor women secure their reproductive rights was unjust, declared the progressive pastors. As the Rev. Debra Hafner, executive director of the Religious Institute, complained, federal policy already “unfairly prevents low-income women and federal employees from receiving subsidized” abortions.”

      Excerpted from here.

    • Susan

      I hate that a church can go from a strong history of being evangelistic…to being absorbed with ‘redeeming culture’ and promoting ‘human flourishing’….(without the verbal proclamation of the gospel) in the course of 10 years……and the congregation is slowly lulled to sleep over what has been lost. When are our pastors going to wake up and smell the New Testament coffee (Acts maybe!)….rather than dwelling in the cultural mandate and the Abrahamic covenant. After all, if people are going to receive the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant they need to know Jesus!

    • Scott

      Is the seeker-sensitive movement really concerned about the lost? Or with attendance to fill the nice buildings they build in order to pay for the nice buildings they build?

      Who will build His church?

      What is sacrificed? True fellowship? A place for believers to gather? Equipping of the saints?

    • C. Barton

      Paul, post #65:
      I agree that CS Lewis is good at explaining stuff. He’s been almost as influential in my early years as Bible commentaries, etc.
      I don’t mean to get spooky, but I remember a dream I had as a teen; I was before God and felt so naked and exposed – I still had a dark “core” of sin at the exact center of my soul and was desperately trying to cover it up and hide it from God, which is absurd, because God is total and unconditional love – but all I could feel is fear and shame; I began to understand the story of the Fall, when Adam & Eve “knew they were naked . . .”.
      And so, it might be that those without the clean robes of salvation simply cannot dwell in Heaven?

    • Grady Patterson

      Hell certainly seems to be a list-topper!
      I have had long discussions with an annihilationist, and have come to some conclusions that may be worth considering:

      1: Hell – of some sort – is clearly referred to in Scripture: to simply say it doesn’t exist at all is to step outside the bounds of Biblical support.

      2: Hell cannot be a punishment in the normal sense – where the intent and hope is of rehabilitation. It must be, then, either retribution or simple consequence.

      3: The most consistent property of hell (not merely the grave that I can find in Scripture is that *God doesn’t seem to be there*: the Spirit does not draw souls to repentance in hell – the story of Lazarus and the rich man illustrates this with the lack of water on the “wrong” side of the Chasm.

      4: If God is not there, then there is no life there – yet there is clearly existence: if one wanted to describe an eternal torment, I’m not sure how they could do any better! The mental picture I get is of an Alka-Seltzer dissolving in a glass of water – yet never completing its decay – a continual and eternal dissolution. Decay, burning, melting – even being eaten by worms – all carry this same connotation of dissolution.

      5: There is no need – although it is not excluded – to see hell as retributive – those who go there go as a direct result of their rejection of Christ: they want no God, and that is what they get.
      Every Scriptural description of hell as a “lake of fire” can be seen as a figurative or metaphoric – while it may be literally true, there is no need for it to be: using the smoking fires of the valley of Hinnom would certainly have gotten the idea of eternal death and unending destruction across.

      I am a completely self-taught student of the Word and follower of Christ – so don’t by any means take my word for much of anything: test it by your own study (I don’t think that is much of a problem here 😉 )

    • C. Barton

      I think that it is safe to say that metaphor and simile were used in scripture because there is really no vocabulary for us to speak of heavenly things; when Apostle Paul told of a vision of Heaven, he spoke of an ineffable and transcendent experience which could not be described.
      So, “what is the Kingdom of Heaven like?”: Jesus used the examples He saw every day to explain things. Also, metaphor is used in beautiful ways, such as , “the water of the Word”, “fire of the Holy Spirit”, etc.
      Interesting that the fires of Hell dissolve, but the fire of the Holy Spirit empowers – the presence and intimate fellowship of God seems to be the difference.

    • KevinR

      The single thing most disturbing to me about what many call christianity today is the lack of emphasis on forgiveness. Few teach forgiveness accurately. Fewer Protestants require forgiveness as a proof of salvation. Seldom do I see actual forgiveness within the ranks of Protestant christianity. This is less apparent to me, ironically, in Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

      For example, the divorce rate is just as high among people who call themselves christians as the world. Broken families are the norm. Church splits are epidemic (and we’re not talking about legitimate disputes over doctrine/orthodoxy/heresy – we’re talking about the kinds of music and church governance issues).

      These things in and of themselves just speak to sick hearts who need reconciliation with God and transformation by his spirit. But they also reveal a christianity that no longer talks about true forgiveness. Sure, we talk about how God forgives us – but that same God requires we forgive each other, to the same extent and in the same way that he forgives us.

      The most popular teaching I’ve been exposed to in the church on forgiveness is “Forgive, but never forget” What?!? Is that how God forgives us? It’s a sickness – an epidemic.

    • KevinR

      And just when I thought I had made my point, I remember something else.

      I also hate the shift into extreme evangelicalism. Before I get too far into this, let me preface my comments by noting that I witness to unbelievers often. I believe in what has been called the “great commission.”

      However, some are called to be evangelists. We are ALL called to be brothers and sisters. We are never called to love the world or the things of the world. We are called to love our brothers and sisters more than anyone except Christ himself. To love a brother or sister is to love Christ.

      Church discipline, as described by Jesus and Paul both, requires that we ultimately treat a brother or sister who is unrepentant as what? Yep – that’s right – an UNBELIEVER!!!! Remarkably, for most churches this would mean we treat them better than we ever have – for we love unbelievers more than we love ourselves.

      And so I hate that either Jesus was wrong: the world will not know us by our love for one another; or christianity is more wrong than ever and is filled with world-loving convert-making proselytizing seeker-finder false christians.

      So my two “hates” are really one. For if we really do love our brother and sister as Christ – then we will forgive them, no? And if we love the world more than we love the family of God, then we will spend LOTS of money and energy trying to convert the world all in the name of the ‘great commission’ instead of doing what we are ALL called to do – namely, love. And not the world.

    • […] I find it somewhat of a relief that the (primary) writer of the blog Parchment and Pen admits that prayer is hard for him also. “It is hard to keep up with someone whose relationship techniques do not mirror […]

    • Darryl Flood

      1. Fred Phelps

      He’s a minister who believes all kinds of cruel and inhumane things that people sin because God hates them. Where in the Bible do we find a Jesus Christ who died for only a select group of people or a god who arbitrarily picked people before they were born to burn for all eternity? What kind of twisted Christianity teaches that all sinners are on a conveyor belt to Hell that they cannot get off? People have a choice in the matter of their salvation! We can get off the sinful track by believing in Christ, which leads us to repentance and servanthood to God- I am proof of that.

      And then Phelps has the unmitigated gall to parade his offensive signs while the family of a dead soldier mourns their loss, under the assumption that a man must bear the weight of all the country’s sins. I wish there were some theologian-warriors in the world to forever bury Phelps’ theology of a god who doesn’t give us a choice in salvation.

    • Michelle

      To William, #63– I just want to mention two well-made DVDs that have helped me to see how science and faith can go beautifully together– in fact, it helped me to realize that God gave us science to make discoveries that could point us to Him. The DVDs are “Unlocking the Mystery of Life ” and “The Privileged Planet.” They can both be found on amazon. I hope this helps… I’m not disagreeing that there are some hard things to work through with faith and science, but these DVDs helped me to see much more clearly the Truth behind what we know.

    • mike

      I am a hopeful universalist and believe every word of the Bible. Hell is my number one problem with Christianity. We need to do something about it.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Mike: “Hell is my number one problem with Christianity. We need to do something about it.”

      Jesus spoke about Hell and on Hell more than anyone else in the New Testament.

      What we need to do is to heed what Jesus said about Hell.

    • William Mayor

      Michelle, #77, I fully agree that science and theology are able to work together. However, theology makes it harder then it needs to be with its insistence that ancient philosophy was correct. The Council of Nicea was not the best representation of the church of its day, not even just the church in the Roman Empire. Yet it survived and we now hold its positions as almost sacred.

    • Andrew

      I know that the Christadelphians are a christian denomination that rejects the popular doctrine of hell, based on scripture. Before rejecting this notion outright, it’s quite interesting to view their argumentation. Are there other such groups?

    • Jason

      William, I am sorry that you feel that science makes faith difficult. For me, my study of science (as a layman) has only encouraged me in my belief that Christianity is absolutely true! If I may, I would recommend that you read “Signature in the Cell” by Stephen Meyer. It’s a fantastic book that lays out an extremely convincing case for the view that only a Designer could create the world and universe we know.

    • William Mayor

      Jason, I find that science makes traditional theology hard to accept. My PhD thesis is using science to support the biblical world view, while trashing traditional theology. These are different positions.

    • C. Barton

      This whole campaign that “science is opposed to religion” is a bunch of nonsense that the Illuminati used, somewhat successfully, to obfuscate matters of spiritual importance, such as the authority of Scriptures, etc.
      Their standard operating strategy is THESIS + ANTITHESIS = SYNTHESIS, meaning that they create a false opposite to faith, call it “rationalism”, and then try to create a new paradigm by reconciling the two. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

    • Teluog

      Amen to much of what Patton said. Here are some of my peeves:

      *Mysticism–Feelings, promptings, experience, “listening for God’s voice,” the newest wave of the Spirit, etc. have become the creed for much of the church, even though no such things are taught in the Bible as a part of the Christian life. The whole listen to His voice thing reeks of gnostic psychicism or Eastern Hindu meditation.

      *Narcissism–God always seems to focus especially on you, tells you who to marry, gives you a poem to write or a song (which seems to usually be of poor quality compared to secular media), prompts you to do such-and-such, tells you what to buy, calls you for a ministry that you just so happen to love because of how it benefits YOU (I doubt Paul was looking forward to being chased out of town by mobs), alwasy micromanaging your thoughts & feelings & steps, Satan is always attacking you, etc. Many Christians just have to be at the center of the spiritual realm, which sounds like pride and idolatry to me.

      *eisegesis–the inability of the vast majority of Christians to fundamentally interpret their source of faith and life is just tragic, and has lead to so many divisions over theological and life application matters, shallow sermons that usually focus on the same basic topics (e.g., being nice to people–Mr. Roger’s Neighbourhood did a better job teaching this.)

      *youth ministry–it’s just a bunch of games, extreme sports, movies, pizza, weekend events that are all about the latest hip bands, although there is nothing in the Bible teaching that fun is necessary for spiritual growth. Then they get to college-age and dropout because they have little or no real faith.

      I think Paul Washer says it all better than I can:

    • Oun

      Have you read ‘Why I am not a Christian’ by B. Russell? If so, would you give us a rundown?

      I did in fact read it from page 1 to last page (absorbing and underlining) just a few years after I had a Bible into my hand first time (more than 50 years ago) and I am going to read it once more (to recall what the hell he said) at the same time I am trying to pick up to read once more a small old 1974 book ‘Who is a Christian?’ by Loyal R. Ringenberg. – Then I may be able to finally articulate my answer to ‘who I am’ and ‘why and how I can say I am a Christian’, now that my days on earth are numbered.

      What I hate about Christianity? For a moment, here is one:

      that it has become a RELIGION, a belief,
      – a denomination, something being hawked as useful gadget ‘as seen on TV’, in books
      – with people of church-freak, program-freak, purpose-driven freak, spirit-freak, tongue-freak, emergent-freak, KJB worshipers, Mary worshipers, wish-wash deists, everything ok tolerantists, gay-bishops, selling his third-rate sermon notes as a Bible translation (Message – by Peterson), prayer chanters (rosary, Lord’s of prayer, etc.), etc.
      – full gospels according to ___ (‘pure or full Gospel’ of Cho Yonggi; Warren, Roberts, Schuller, Hinn, Eddy, Copeland, William Seymour, Ellen White, Wilkins, Joseph Smith, Charles Russell, randomly collected from a helluva hall of fame; hoping your favorite is not one them to upset you; you may put any name from myriads here, it would be too wrong. Hint – no one died for Yeshua Himself.)

      Historically what was built on the foundation Yeshua (aka Jesus) was Apostolic Biblical Community (ABC) has been usurped by Constantine Catholic Church (CCC) in the early 4th A.D. Apostolic authority was taken over by Papal Authority and then comes Pretesting authorities, with everyone is in his own authority. Only the small remnant with flickering of its spirit among so-called Christians or Messianists may here and there found.

    • Oun

      Here is another gadfly comment I’m going to spend time and post in your wonderful blog:

      Your reason #1 ‘hell’ is inaccurate.

      ‘hell’ itself is a concept/idea people had in the history for long long time. It predates English translation of the Bible, which borrowed the word to translate various words in Greek (as far as New Testament goes). Many different cultures/languages have something corresponding to it. E.g. in Kanji the word means ‘(under)ground dungeon’

      I don’t think we can label ‘hell’ as a ‘doctrine of christianity’. To do it, you have to define ‘christianity’ as some thing like ‘what so-called Christians or people connected to Churches, Denominations, etc.’ and you have to define ‘hell’ specifically.

      I admit that you may rightfully hate Christianity because so-called Christians use and apply ‘hell’ wrong way.

      As far as I am concerned ‘hell’ is a reality where people ARE in, as used in secular expressions or in religious tones, but not the place one GOES after death. A word or phrase corresponding this concept or picture is aplenty in the Bible, but it would do great disservice to translate it in the Bible as ‘hell’ for both bible-believers or non-believers in particular.

      No, for the millions and millions it is not a place to go waiting until after they die. Myriads and myriads are in hell now. Many living in ‘hellish’ condition, but this is distinct from ‘living in hell’.

      In other words, ‘living in hell’ means ‘living in sin’, whether one is in ghetto, having kids scrounge a city garbage mount to find something to feed on, or luxuriating in the White-washed House in our D.C., enjoying power game. All the same, whether or not they have put on a great (?) sounding label ‘christian’ – a very dangerous one for those Christ-followers as in Arab world.

    • Amaranth

      From the perspective of a former Christian who is still involved in Christianity (for better or worse), if anyone is interested:

      1. Treating the Gospel as a sales pitch. “You’re worthless! Get Jesus and he’ll make you not worthless anymore!” Thanks, but I’m bombarded with advertisements for crap I don’t need all day, every day. I don’t need to hear yet another one from the pulpit.

      2. Obsession over hell and being saved. Closely related to the Christianity sales pitch.

      3. Superiority disguised as righteousness. Belief that it is morally required to turn one’s nose up at Others. Belief that inequality is God’s will for the world.

      4. The tendency to blame reprehensible doctrine on God, for the purpose of absolving oneself from the moral responsibility for effects of said doctrine on people. “Well, *I* don’t like the idea of you going to hell either, and I’m sorry it’s completely shattered your faith in God’s love…but don’t blame *me*, GOD’s the one who set it up that way.”

      5. The tendency to equate doubts and questioning with rebellion against God. “Who are you to question the Almighty?” Sorry, but I won’t follow a God whose morals are so alien that they seem downright wrong, and who can’t handle it when I call him on it.

      6. Refusal to consider anything outside of the Bible as containing any truth at all. Refusal to employ basic reading comprehension skills when reading the Bible. Treating the Bible as a rulebook. Denial of obvious reality if it seems to contradict something in the Bible. Denial of reason and experience as valid tools for discerning truth. Denying that Biblical controversy exists/is worth considering. Basically, misusing the Bible.

      7. “Hate the sin, love the sinner”. As an example: “Hey man, I love you, but the fact that you’re attracted to other men is just DISGUSTING! God hates it! Needs to STOP! But I still love you.” Hate to say it, but that kind of doublespeak is a great way to scare people away…

    • William Mayor


      You raise some excellent points. On the issue of heaven and hell though, while I would argue that both are very real, I would also argue that many who call themselves Christian will not end up in “heaven’, and many who do not call themselves Christian will not end up in “hell”. But then I base my attitudes about this on theology, psychiatry and physics.


    • C. Barton

      I agree that you can’t really know if a stranger is “Going to Hell”, as so many embarrassingly tell others, sometines in public venues. The scriptures clearly tell us not to use God’s Word as a “cloak of malice”, but as an encouragement to seek God personally, even intimately. There is a difference between warning someone with a genuine concern, and blasting someone with all kinds of guilt-producing speech, etc.
      Also, in both the OT and NT, there are all kinds of encouragements to get wisdom and understanding in all things, which in today’s language can mean to get an education; nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to blindly believe anything someone tells us. In fact, even Jesus Himself said that if His words are the only evidence of who He is, don’t believe Him! But if the prophets and the Holy Spirit testify about Him, then all is well.
      Also, when you realize that you are saved by grace, you can relax the attitudes about the sins of others. It’s OK, I think, to just love someone without being offended by their behavior, because true spiritual love will look beyong the surface to the person’s innate value, both to ohters, and to God.
      As far as I know, Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality specifically, but He did warn us that we are all in the same boat, and He is the only way to shore!

    • emily

      I felt the same way you did about Hell. Knowing that I am saved despite (in spite of, perhaps) the things I do– even the good I attempt– made me question how anyone could be sent to Hell. Simply because my best friends grew up in China, Vietnam or the Middle East?

      As someone who has questioned many “traditional” positions of the Church I have to say that I know how hard it can be to question your own religious beliefs, if you think that God is truly behind them. How can I ask a Muslim to just leave behind his faith “because Christianity is better” if he truly and completly is committed to his belief in Islam? To do so would go against his own concience, if he believes that God is truly to be found in Islam.

      “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him” –Small Catechism. Any faith in Christianity I have is only because of God, not because I have reasoned my way there, or because of the “evidence” of Christianity or any such thing. Therefore, I believe that my friend leaving Islam (or atheism, buddhism, ba’hai, ect.) would be because God called them, not because I pushed them.

      And yet I can’t believe that God would come to the world and endure the suffering he did only to save the few he might choose to be saved. There is nothing about me that is inherently better or more worthy of God and love and forgiveness than my roommates, my best friends and even those that I really hate. I can’t believe God chooses some to be saved and others not.

      What of the parables of the Prodigal Son? Or where Jesus is not happy with the 99 sheep until that last one has been found? Or the constant appeal to love your enemies, pray for those who hurt you and to always forgive? Does God hold us to a higher standard than he has for himself?

      I don’t intend the above to be an “appologetic” for Universalism in any way, only to point out the inherent contradiction that an eternal hell throws into…

    • William Mayor


      As one who firmly supports the concept of “hell” but also agrees that it does not make sense that God “chooses” who goes there, might I suggest that part of the solution is to understand that “hell” is a creation of fallen humanity, not God. I don’t have time to post the physics of such a belief, nor the biblical support, but I believe that humanity created hell when we fell. Further, we do not escape hell by mouthing the magic words of “I believe in Jesus” or whatever other similar form you wish, but rather by living the belief that Jesus lived the right way, whether one is aware of living such an expressed belief or not. Thus the devote Muslim or Hindu might live the necessary life and go to heaven while never vocally acknowledging Jesus, while the Christian who professes belief loudly, but fails to live it does not.

    • mbaker


      You said:

      “Further, we do not escape hell by mouthing the magic words of “I believe in Jesus” or whatever other similar form you wish, but rather by living the belief that Jesus lived the right way, whether one is aware of living such an expressed belief or not. Thus the devote Muslim or Hindu might live the necessary life and go to heaven while never vocally acknowledging Jesus, while the Christian who professes belief loudly, but fails to live it does not.”

      If you are Christian, how do you explain the scripture where Jesus says “No one comes to the Father except through me”, or “It is by grace we are saved through faith, not works, so that no man may boast.”

      It sounds as if you are promoting a form of universalism rather than Christianity. I’m wondering how you see the difference.

      Also wondering how mere mortal human beings with a limited life span, and who cannot save themselves, would then would be capable of creating an eternal hell.

      Just doesn’t compute.

    • Oun

      To William #92.

      Like ‘darkness’ which is not an entity by itself but simply absence of light, hell is, sort of, absence of heaven. It’s not a separate entity of human creation. Moreover, hell is not a location or place, when some go after death.

      The condition one has to endure (who knows how long) IS one’s own creation. It is going to be hot as like a place burning with sulfur (if one got consumed with hate and anger) or be cold as absolute zero (if one was unconcerned with others and reject aloof).

      No one, even God, sends them to ‘hell’; it is the condition that some will get sent because they choose to go. Don’t blame God or blame the Bible for what they bring on their own destiny. The believers are the ones who refuse to go to ‘hell’ and choose instead to go to ‘heaven’.

      I buy your notion that (some of) Muslims go to heaven. Yeah so do Buddhists (though they call it nirvana) and atheists. It is like this: Everyone believes God. What matters is which god they believe. What matters here is which heaven they know and are talking about. When all go to heaven, don’t expect to see them there. Their heaven is at the opposite address which is the address of our hell. I remember an ABC news magazine 20/20 ‘Is there heaven’ a few years ago: Barbara Walter gathered up a few different people to talk, such as Dali Lama, a protestant Pastor, a Catholic priest, a Jewish Rabbi (I believe an Islamic imam was there. Not sure of any atheist). Nice try it was as it was entertaining but with no real substance. Everyone talking about ‘heaven’, but no one was actually talking about same thing.

      Likewise, here, each of us are talking about ‘hell’ while all may not be talking about same thing. I believe CMP better make another topic ‘what the hell is to each of us’ 😉

    • Mike

      Hmm. Things I have come to hate about Christianity. I agree with the lack of intellectualism within the church. Luckily this led me to seek out people like C.S. Lewis and G.K.Chesterton to name a few. I couldn’t imagine my life without their work. This also goes for song lyrics. How simple can you get? How many times do we have to repeat the chorus? This is actually kinda freaky because if you’re unsaved it sounds like chanting which in turn sounds a bit brainwash-y.

      While we’re at it, as a musician I HATE it when great musicians (namely guitarists) purposely hold back because they’re afraid the more conservative of the congregation may feel they’re showing off. “ARE you showing off?” “No, but…” “Alright then. Melt my freakin’ face. You don’t mind doing it when you’re playing a Van Halen song. You think King David played barre chords?”

      These are a few that came to my mind. Thank you for letting me rant…

    • VW

      To understand hell, one must first know something of Heaven, for hell is the opposite of Heaven. The fear and misunderstanding of hell comes from the absence of knowing its nature, which opposes Heaven’s nature in every aspect.

      In Heaven, we face the Light, while in hell the back is turned to the Lord. All in Heaven are in Good and Truth derived from love to the Lord and to the neighbor, while all who are in hell are in evils and in falsities derived from the loves of self and of the world.

      For those seeking truth for truth’s sake itself, may find the following helpful:

    • William Mayor

      Actually what we know of heaven and hell can come from two sources, comparative religion and modern scientific knowledge. The combination of the two suggests that heaven is a realm of fully dynamic electro-magnetic fields, thus far brighter than we have ever experienced, while hell is a realm of totally static electro-magnetic fields, thus colder and darker than we have ever experienced. Plus to try to hold our identity in hell would destroy us due to its nature.

    • VW

      Actually any knowledge of Heaven and hell cannot come from any natural observation, for these are of the spiritual realm.

    • Fisher of Men

      “Watch Dog ministries” that gets to me also! Its crazy…what we need is God’s grace. Thanks for the post…amazing

    • […] Watchdog ministries. Lighthouse ministries. Appraisal ministries. They go by many names. They are full-time Christian snipers. Let me back up. There are certain ministries that exist to find and expose false teaching. I have no problem with exposing false teaching. Indeed, it is part of what we are to do as teachers…correct false doctrine. However, it is very rare to find a ministry or a person who does this well. Most of the ministries and people who do this are arrogant, ungracious, and counter-productive and themselves need to be exposed. I have worked for one of these ministries (a long time ago). After a while, the ministry becomes obsessed, concerning itself with nothing else other than beating someone up in the name of the Lord. When there is no controversy, like a drug addict in withdrawals, they begin to create controversy ex nihilo or go back to dead horses and kick them. Their goal soon loses the priority of truth, learning, and understanding. I think that many people would have nothing to talk about if there was not someone to kick.  ~C. Michael Patton, Parchment and Pen. […]

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