The Sacred Sandwich has came up with an interesting satirical article showing the highly possible comments Christians nowadays would have if the book of Galatians is published today. From the letters to the editors section in the February 2009 issue of the flagship New Evangelical magazine Christianity
Dear Christianity Today:
In response to Paul D. Apostle’s article about the Galatian church in your January issue, I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone of this hit piece. Why the negativity? Has he been to the Galatian church recently? I happen to know some of the people at that church, and they are the most loving, caring people I’ve ever met.
Phyllis Snodgrass; Ann Arbor, MI
How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?
Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS
I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.
Ken Groener; San Diego, CA
To the Editors:
Paul Apostle says that he hopes the Galatian teachers will cut off their own privates? What kind of Christian attitude is that? Shame on him!
Martha Bobbitt; Boulder, CO
Dear Christianity Today:
The fact that Paul Apostle brags about his public run-in with Peter Cephas, a well-respected leader and brother in Christ, exposes Mr. Apostle for the divisive figure that he has become in the Church today. His diatribe against the Galatian church is just more of the same misguided focus on an antiquated reliance on doctrine instead of love and tolerance. Just look how his hypercritical attitude has cast aspersions on homosexual believers and women elders! The real problem within the Church today is not the lack of doctrinal devotion, as Apostle seems to believe, but in our inability to be transformed by our individual journeys in the Spirit. Evidently, Apostle has failed to detach himself from his legalistic background as a Pharisee, and is unable to let go and experience the genuine love for Christ that is coming from the Galatians who strive to worship God in their own special way.
William Zenby; Richmond, VA
I happen to be a member of First Christian Church of Galatia, and I take issue with Mr. Apostle’s article. How can he criticize a ministry that has been so blessed by God? Our church has baptized many new members and has made huge in-roads in the Jewish community with our pragmatic view on circumcision. Such a “seeker-sensitive” approach has given the Jews the respect they deserve for being God’s chosen people for thousands of years. In addition, every Gentile in our midst has felt honored to engage in the many edifying rituals of the Hebrew heritage, including circumcision, without losing their passion for Jesus. My advice to Mr. Apostle is to stick to spreading the gospel message of Christ’s unconditional love, and quit criticizing what God is clearly blessing in other churches.
Miriam “Betty” Ben-Hur; Galatia, Turkey
EDITOR’S NOTE: Christianity Today apologizes for our rash decision in publishing Paul Apostle’s exposé of the Galatian church. Had we known the extent in which our readership and advertisers would withdraw their financial support, we never would have printed such unpopular biblical truth. We regret any damage we may have caused in propagating the doctrines of Christ.
Allow me to add one more possible feedback:
I agree that it is not right of some of the Jews to impose their views on the Galatian church, but it seems that Paul Apostle is unduly harsh in his criticism. Especially when he insinuates that they are preaching a false gospel and recommending that they should undergo castration. Who is he that he should be made the authority on who is or is not a true Christian? After all, he is not even one of the twelve and yet have the cheek to place himself above Cephas, a dear brother in the Lord.
Paul Apostle does a good job in hiding behind his pen, but that doesn't make him right on everything. After all, is he an authority on Cephas or the Judaizers? Where is the proof for his so-called apostle-ship anyway? In case you dimwits have forgotten, he was busy persecuting us Christians in the time following our Lord's resurrection and Pentecost, so why should we listen to him now?
Since the Jewish missionaries have arrived, the churches of Galatia have been growing by leaps and bounds as multitudes turn to Christ. I personally know of a pagan friend who was previously hostile to the Christian faith but have since through their ministry accept Christ. A few of my former Gnostic friends have similarly renounced their Gnosticism because of their evangelistic efforts. Who is Paul Apostle to attack the work of the Lord? Even Cephas and the others of the twelve have not condemned the Jewish missionaries from Jerusalem with such manifest hatred as Paul Apostle, who evidently just loves nothing better to see these godly Jewish missionaries burn in hell!
Paul Apostle's brain is about the size of a pea sometimes and it's about as narrow as one also in his category of Christianity. I believe in many cases he is neither pastoral submitted in many of his writings nor humble enough to do so.
Please remove me from your mailing list as I am sick of seeing godly ministers and their work attacked. I have no wish to read more of the gossip Paul Apostle writes regarding other godly ministers.
Kamin Netashin, Lystra, Turkey