Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Charles Barkley and “fake Christians”

Posted in abortion, Christianity by Kathy on February 19, 2008

I will admit at the outset that I did not watch this interview, and have very little of it recorded in print, but here’s what I’m going to talk about:

BARKLEY: Well, I think they — they want to be judge and jury. Like, I’m for gay marriage. It’s none of my business if gay people want to get married. I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians — first of all, they’re supposed to be — they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they’re Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all.

I will strongly concur with a previous statement made by Mr. Barkley that there are a lot of “fake Christians.” I’ve written many times on this blog touching on this theme–people who say they are Christians but don’t believe the Bible, or support abortion, or say that there are many paths to God. They may be “religious” but they do not fit the definition of Christian. The term “Christian” literally means “Christ-like.” Believing that Jesus is one of many ways to get to heaven does not accord with what He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” How anyone can pick and choose which parts or verses of the Bible to believe is beyond me. Let’s say for the sake of argument that there is error in the Bible–how would you know? Does your heart tell you that it’s wrong? Well, the Bible says that your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Can anyone envision the Christ of the Bible performing an abortion? Is that an easy mental picture to come up with?

Unfortunately, the people Mr. Barkley called “fake Christians” are probably the truest Christians there are. The ones he would identify as “real” are the ones I would probably seriously question as being any sort of Christian–those who support (or have no problem with) homosexual “marriage” and abortion. He bases his claim on Matt. 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and says that Christians judge people and are hypocritical to do so, and are not forgiving at all. Let’s examine this a tad closer, shall we?

Elsewhere in the New Testament, it is obvious that Christians are to judge, but this is a corporal judgment of other Christians–when fellow church members are in error (some of the sins listed in the Bible were illicit sexual relationships, refusing to work and gossiping among many others), the whole body was to join in judgment against the sinner. Matt. 7:1 was talking about personal relationships–as was the entire Sermon on the Mount (believe me, we had to memorize the whole thing one year at school!). That is a distinction that most people do not consider when they hear that the Bible says “Don’t judge.” Does that mean that Christians can’t be judges or jurors, because then they would have to decide the guilt or innocence of a person? That’s just ridiculous, especially when you consider the full Bible.

Now, what about “forgiveness”? Well, one can only forgive those sins committed against oneself. Let me illustrate. Suppose John steals Jim’s car. I can’t go to John and say, “I forgive you for stealing Jim’s car”–only Jim can forgive John. Justice requires that Jim be punished for his crime. All sins and crimes are ultimately against God, although some may be against other people as well. Homosexual behavior is condemned in both the Old Testament and the New, in no uncertain terms. I cannot say, “Well, the Bible says that men having sex with men is aberrant and abhorrent behavior, but I’m called by God to be forgiving, so I’ll just have to let that slide.” It’s like saying, “Well, the Bible says that stealing is wrong, but I can’t judge others!” No, I have to stand against wrong and sinful behavior.

To be Christian is to be “Christ-like.” When Jesus was here on earth, he did not sweep sin under the rug. Yes, when faced with the adulteress He did not condemn her (as a man, He had no right under the Jewish Law to do that, not having been an eye-witness to her crime–the Pharisees and Saducees were just trying to trap him; had she been caught “in the very act” then they had to have caught the man in the act as well, and both of the adulterous people were to be punished, not just the woman). However, he did say, “Go and sin no more.” He forgave sinners, because He was God. Note well the story of the man whose friends broke up the roof and let him down through the ceiling. When Jesus said to him, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” the lawyers were aghast and said, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They were correct. Only God can forgive sins. We are not to hold people’s sins against them, but if the sin is not against us, we cannot forgive it either–only God can. Vengeance is not ours; retribution is not ours; but that doesn’t mean we just turn a blind eye to the evil around us because “we can’t judge.”

Now, on to the topic of hypocrisy. The term “hypocrite” means an “actor”–to pretend you are something that you are not. If you openly oppose homosexual behavior while you are a closet homosexual yourself, you’re a hypocrite. If you protest against abortion, but go get an abortion when you get knocked up, you’re a hypocrite. If you speak out against any behavior that you engage in, you’re a hypocrite. It’s interesting to note in Romans that Paul spends several verses talking about the battle between the old man and the new man–the flesh and the spirit–and that part of him always wishes to do good while the other part wishes to engage in evil. He essentially calls himself a hypocrite when he says, “I do what I don’t want to do; and what I want to do, I end up not doing.” But that is slipping and falling into sin due to weak human nature; not deliberately going out and pretending to be what you are not. The difference between the former and the latter is that when a Christian falls into sin, he regrets it and seeks forgiveness. It is not hypocritical to be outspoken against homosexuality and be a Christian. In fact, it is hypocritical to call yourself a Christian and not oppose homosexual behavior.


2 Responses

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  1. timglass said, on February 22, 2008 at 2:41 am

    When I heard this interview yesterday (a snipett on the radio) all I could do was look down shake my head. This isn’t the first time that Mr. Barkley has opened mouth to insert foot, showing his ignorance. So it doesn’t really surprise me that he said it but what does suprise me is the fact that he CAN judge, but WE aren’t supposed too. Just like every other liberal on the face of the earth who whines and cries about tolerence, shows none when there is opportunity.

    He must have scars and deep rooted bitterness toward Christians to feel this way. We’ve all been hurt, but within our hurt is the oppotunity for healing. I pray God touches his heart and changes his life through the love of Jesus Christ.

    I am a first time visitor to your blog and I must say it’s encouraging to find others not afraid to teach the truth.

    God’s blessings to you,

  2. sammm1777 said, on March 4, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    What a great post. thanks for this. I agree with you and love the analogies. Your words and scripture quoting are spot on. I agree on all points pretty much. Not much to add really as well.
    I would definately say…look at the source of the comment. The issue is a mute point, but we talk about it because he is a public figure and we hear him in different circles.
    I like the comment from timglass about the fact that he hates christians that Judge, yet he is judging himself! Too funny.
    I posted a good ‘tolerance’ post. check it out.
    please stop by and say hi!

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