Pastor of our church, known for his provocative witticisms, once mentioned this rejoinder in the middle of one of his sermons.The pastor had invited an atheist to his church, which the atheist declined, saying, “they are a bunch of hypocrites”, whereupon the witty pastor retorted, “there is always room for one more”.
Ha, ha, ha, ha!! Usually the congregants erupt in polite laughter.
Reuters. 23 Feb 2017. “Pope suggests ‘better to be atheist than hypocritical Catholic.’”
“There are those who say ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association’,” the head of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church said, according to a Vatican Radio transcript.
He (Pope) said that some of these people should also say “‘my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, (I lead) a double life’.”
Does the Pope’s call ring a bell? Is the Pope a milder advocate of Jesus or a harder version?
“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near’”(Matthew 3:1 New International Version).
Do you remember what Jesus’s first message and purpose of this ministry was?
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near’”(Matthew 4:17 New International Version).
If you ever thought that the Pope is a harder version of Jesus, here is Jesus’s view of the hypocrites.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean”(Matthew 23:27 New International Version).
Definitely, Jesus was a firebrand, and had no tolerance for religious hypocrites.The Pope is only a very milder, albeit true, advocate of Jesus, at least in this statement about hypocrites.
Now let us see another article representing the ills of Evangelical Christians of USA and elsewhere who support Mr. Trump as their champion.
New York Times 29 Nov. 2016.”The Evangelicalism of Old White Men Is Dead.”
“Evangelicalism was closely associated with the campaign of Donald J. Trump, and more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for the president-elect. This, despite large numbers of African-American, Latino, Asian, young and female evangelicals who were fiercely opposed to the racism, sexism and xenophobia of Mr. Trump’s campaign and the hypocrisy of a candidate who built a casino empire while flouting morality.
As a result, much of the good that went by the name “evangelicalism” has been clouded over; now a new movement is needed to replace it.”
“The words of Jesus — which are printed in red in many Bibles — could not be more relevant today. Despite the terrible things done in the name of Jesus, a Christianity that stays true to his words has survived for 2,000 years.”