1. Richard Kentopp says


    I am an avid reader of your books and blogs (emails). While I realize that today’s post was directed towards skeptics ( I am skeptical of many things, but not of Jesus), I was intrigued by one of your comments. You stated that one of the things that those of TRUE faith had taught you was how to be “silent in the face of persecution.” By that did you mean that Christians in America should be silent about the persecution of hundreds of millions of Christians throughout the world (predominantly in Muslim nations but also secular ones like China)? I would like to hear more about what you mean by “silent in the face of persecution.” It seems to me that the American “Church” has basically been silent on this, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
    All the best
    Richard Kentopp

    • says

      Not at all. The context is when things are happening *to you.* So silent when you are being persecuted. That is, not defending yourself, attacking those who persecuted us, or retaliating. Jesus gave us the example, He taught it in the Sermon on the Mount, and Peter described in 1 Peter 2. A very un-American thing to do (by the way). Westerners are taught to defend themselves when persecuted and to retaliate. But this isn’t taking upon oneself the spirit of the Lamb. The subject deserves a full article. I only mentioned it in passing. :-)

      • Richard Kentopp says

        Thanks Frank. That’s what I thought you meant. I just wanted clarification. I would love to read a discussion of what the proper response of the American “church”, who enjoy a great deal of religious freedom, should be to the plight of our brothers and sisters who do not. Thank you for responding to my question. I realize it was off your main point.

  2. Brett says

    Good thoughts. I think hypocracy is not just a consistent pattern of behavior however, but also of thought or belief. Gandi and your blog responder are making a decision not to follow Christ because of the behavior of Christians they know or observe. Gandi in particular states he would be a Christian if not for the Christians – who he states are unlike Christ. This recognizes Christ for who he is, yet rejects Him based on something other than who he is. Those who do that are without excuse.

  3. says

    Great post. But I’m not sure I agree with your take on the question about Aborigines. There are multiple passages in Psalms and Romans that point to men being able to see God through His creation. Which, I think fits right in with your thoughts about hypocrisy. God doesn’t say everyone has a chance to know Him, then leave some without that opportunity. And that fact is an example for us.

    The natives might not have the same wording to name and talk about Him. But they still are given the chance to know Him. We in “modern” society have His Word in published book form, which means we have more responsibility. We have both greater opportunity to know Him and the tools to refine our understanding of Him and His thoughts for us.

    The question about the natives may, as you suggest, be misdirection. But it may also be genuine seeking to determine if the hypocrisy that’s complained about is rampant all the way up the chain of command right to God’s throne room. Or is it a human add-on that expresses something other than the heart of the Christian God. It’s worth answering. If it’s a real concern, the answer is important. If it’s an excuse not to believe, the answer will lead to other “objections”. And we can move on to someone more open.

    • says

      Thanks for the kind remark. I’m familiar with those texts you’re referring to, but none of them are detailed enough to give absolute certainly on how God judges people who’ve never heard, including infants and the mentally disabled. The best scholars and theologians interpret those texts in different ways and some are humble enough to admit that they just don’t know what they mean. The Bible doesn’t clearly address that question as it doesn’t address many other issues that we speculate about. But that’s a side point to this post – a quick blurb that I threw in. The point I was making is that when it comes to someone who is presented with the gospel in clear terms and offers that question *as an excuse,* it *is* a case of misdirection and hand-waving. Again, the issue for those who have heard is “repent and believe,” not “but what about those who . . . ” Putting that side-bar aside, the main subject of the post is on the hypocrisy excuse.

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