Pope Francis said that a good atheist is better than a bad Christian. The bad Christian draws down on our religion the contempt of those who see his hypocrisy.
Francis was drawing on the Gospel of Mark where Jesus says it’s better to be drowned / than cause others to sin. The sin of disillusion in the Catholic faithful who see hypocrisy triumph. Or the sin of a pusher who destroys souls, cops who kill pushers in their pay, or the real estate developer who does not pay the piddling commission of the young men and women selling his units at the mall or the businessman who vacations abroad while stiffing his workers at home, said Francis. Or public officials who condemn sex caught on video while doing it without cameras with poor young girls.
In his letter to the Romans Paul said that only a Jew is made for salvation. But who is a Jew?
A Jew is one who does what the law commands, says Paul. Therefore so also is a Gentile a Jew if he does the same even without knowing he is following Jewish law.
Where then lies the distinction of being a born Jew? It lies in God marking out Abraham as the first Jew when there were yet no Jews and all were Gentiles for his obedience to God’s command to slay his own son.
Deed not word made the first Jew. Actions not words set apart a true Christian.
A Christian is she who wears the orange robe of a Buddhist and does good works. A Christian is he who recites the Koran and takes the wanderer into his tent and save his Yazidi neighbor from fellow Muslims.
A Christian is an atheist French philosopher fighting the Nazis in Occupied France. He is the unbelieving Dutchman hiding a Jewish family in his attic. All are Christians regardless while a bad Christian is not one.
To pretend what one is not as all can see, is the greater sin of hypocrisy.
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