If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was Published in Christianity Today | The Sacred Sandwich

Got to love the people at the Sacred Sandwich, I reckon. They have posted a satire of responses to Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia, if it was printed in Christianity Today. The funny thing, for me, is that so many of these comments sounds like the ones that I get from real people!

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

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Dear Editor:

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

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Dear CT:

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

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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

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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

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Kind Editors:

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

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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.


HT

Post By Joel Watts (10,115 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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8 thoughts on “If Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was Published in Christianity Today | The Sacred Sandwich

  1. oh man! THAT was HILARIOUS! Thanks for posting this. Not only is it funny, but it also shows the sorts of comments people give and what they really think. I’m sure Paul would have been condemend today for the reasons satired here.

  2. This satire or whatever it is supposed to be ignores a very important point, i.e. that Paul’s purpose in writing the Galatian letters was to PROVE to the Galatians that he is an apostle because they, and indeed all Asia Minor, were beginning to doubt his apostleship. Paul begins with the thesis “I am an apostle not of men but of Jesus Christ” and defends the thesis by saying:

    “I am independent of the 12, and better than them. Whereas they walked faithfully with Jesus throughout his earthly ministry and saw his miracles and heard his teachings, I received an internal revelation of Christ which is much better. Not only that, but the top 3–Peter, James, and John–are a collection of nobodies who only seem to be something, but whatever they are doesn’t make a lick of difference to me. In truth, they’re all Judaizers! Yet, even they acknowledge that God has chosen me to preach to the Gentiles, and they can’t add anything to me. I know you’ve read in that ‘book of Acts’ that in the Jerusalem Council they added letters to me to deliver to the churches, but its a lie. In reality all they tried to add to me in the Jerusalem Council was to remember the poor, as if I wasn’t already going to do that. And, look, Peter’s a big fat hypocrite! I’ll relate to you an incident that happened in a far away place which you can’t possibly verify, and which I have no reason to share with you other than that I need to make the real apostles look bad to make myself seem like an apostle. I chewed Peter down, and that makes me the top apostles now!”

    It is no wonder that after this letter, not only Galatia, but all of Asia Minor (many of which Paul established, and which includes Ephesus, Laodicea, Lystra, Derbe, Colosse) rejected Paul as a false apostle, as Paul complains to Timothy right before his death, 2nd Timothy 1:15 “This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me.” John also represents Jesus as having him write a letter to Ephesus (which is in Asia) and say to them on Jesus’ behalf “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;”

    You mock those who find problems with Paul, but the fact is that Paul’s claim to apostleship stands on such shaky grounds that when challenged by the Galatians to prove that he is an apostle, the best he could do was attack Peter, James, and John.

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