Provocative Title, Worthy Commentary


Michael Patton of Parchment & Pen delivers the provocatively titled “Eight Things I Hate About Christianity.” After reading it, I had the feeling that it is a post that would not be out of place here at Cerulean Sanctum.

While I tend to blanch at the word hate , Patton picks some good candidates for loathing. I know I’m uncomfortable with many of the same issues within the American version of Christianity.

While I recommend you read the whole thing, Patton’s condensed list is below:

8. Unanswered prayer = God’s “no”
7. Testimonies, BC and AD
6. Watchdog ministries
5. Seeker-driven Churchianity
4. Christian subculture
3. Legalism
2. Anti-intellectual mentality
1. Hell

The comments are open. Which aspects of Christianity as it plays out in America 2010 make you squirm?

19 thoughts on “Provocative Title, Worthy Commentary

  1. “Which aspects of Christianity as it plays out in America 2010 make you squirm?”

    “Circle the wagons–The world is moving in on us!” mentality that is totally at odd with Jesus’ command to “go into all the world”. And He never said, “Change the world for Me.” He did say, “Be My witnesses.”

  2. wayne

    I like Kat’s comment..
    One of mine is “we must defend the faith..” when what seems to be meant is “more king of the hill, fall back to a defensible position”

    I ve missed your blog… hope you re doing better God bless

  3. Some of my other biggest “hates”:

    * Christians who talk the talk but then choose not to walk the walk (with “Always talking about community but doing nothing to build it” being one of the worst subsets of that problem)

    * Putting correctness before love (which is the the error of “I will correct your mistaken belief system with my superior belief by browbeating you” rather than the truth of “I will love you first and all my correction will come with grace, in God’s timing, and by His means alone”)

    * Ardently preaching against the world system but offering no support to people who take that teaching to heart and end up paying the price for bucking the system

    * Ardently preaching Christian ideals while offering no personal help to people to achieve those ideals (probably my single biggest “hate”)

      • slw,

        My favorite worst case of that last one is a well-known Christian organization that preaches very strongly that men should be the primary breadwinners in their family or else they are sinning. At the time, my wife was primary breadwinner while I was starting up my business. Knowing that it would take several years before my business would have the traction it needed for me to get anywhere near being primary breadwinner again, I corresponded with that organization to ask how they could help me, under the circumstances, get out of my “sinful” position. They said there was nothing they could do to help. When I said that throwing work my way could help, they refused the offer. When I asked how many men they helped restore to a position of being primary breadwinner, they said none. I asked them if they had any services that could help a man who desperately wanted to be primary winner achieve that ideal. They said they had nothing.

        I then asked how they could justify saying what they were saying if they did absolutely nothing to lift a finger to help men achieve the ideal they so ardently preached. At this, they got huffy and stopped answering my correspondence. 😉

        Makes me livid when I run across people/groups who do that kind of thing.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      “Ardently preaching Christian ideals while offering no personal help to people to achieve those ideals (probably my single biggest “hate”)”

      Or offering no personal help at all.

      My writing partner (a burned-out country preacher) tells me that pastors’ widows in his denomination routinely have to eat out of dumpsters. (Though they’re probably told “I’ll be Praying for You” — i.e. Christianese for doing nothing.)

  4. Sonya

    I have no qualms about watchdog ministries matter of fact prior to the internet and blogging I rarely heard of them.

    I like FACTNET and Christian Research Journal as well despite the stir by Hank over Watchman Nees house church movement. is good to. I read them all. Even endtimespropheticwords.


    • Mark R,

      I’ve thought long about the “What’s In It For Me” factor over the years and come to the conclusion that no one (no matter how much protesting I hear from some Christians) EVER comes to Christ without some WIIFM driving his/her seeking. We all come to Jesus with baggage, and one of the reasons we find Him attractive is that our baggage helps make Him so. The woman with the issue of blood wanted to touch His cloak because her baggage, in part, drove her to. Faith, in part, is the idea that whatever afflictions we have are overcome and dealt with by God. If that’s not WIIFM, then I’m not sure what else could be.

      That said, WIIFM can go to extremes, but I can’t rule out attractional ministry. The woman at the well said, “Come see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done!” There IS almost a “sideshow” (I know that’s a cheesy word, but it’s true) nature to the Kingdom of God. It’s weird and wonderful, and it draws us because it is weird and wonderful and promises to involve us in something much bigger than ourselves. That it might appeal to lower instincts at first is not a condemnation. There’s no way to remove that portion of its attractiveness or our motives for seeking it out. Yes, the Holy Spirit drew Zaccheus to climb that sycamore tree, but so did his curiousity and need.

  5. thanks Dan for your wonderful reply …. I’ll leave it here, my argument is not so much the attractional nature of the church in the sense you talk about but the bait and switch methods that are sometimes employed to attract people to ‘the building’.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy

    “Which aspects of Christianity as it plays out in America 2010 make you squirm?”

    * Young Earth Creationism Uber Alles
    * Pin the Tail on The Antichrist
    * Culture War Without End, Amen

  7. Don Costello

    It seems to me that 7 of the things in the list are arguably man made, that is man’s erroneous response to God and His word while only one is not, the first one, the doctrine of hell. There are a few things in the list that could get me going, but I don’t think I hate any doctrine of the Word.

  8. Soul Crushed

    Gripes? Thoughtless and heartless apologetics (said the guy with the apologetics blog aimed at Atheists…) LOL. Good questions, Dan.

  9. Jeremy

    What makes me squirm about Christianity today is the self-rigtheousness of different faith doctrines and groups. “Everyone is wrong except me and my denomination or group. We have attained ultimate truth.” I hate this divisiveness because it causes many Christians to feel as though they don’t fit in anywhere. How can you fit in? If you have one belief that does not agree with your group you can be scolded and rejected. There is not much grace to allow people to think. To disagree and partake in dialectic. The Baptist demonize the Pentecostals, the Pentecostals demonize the Methodists, and the Methodists demonize the Anglicans, etc. Why do we focus so much on the differences instead of the similarities? Why do we always have to be right?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      “Oh, the Protestants
      Hate the Catholics
      And the Catholics
      Hate the Protestants
      And the Muslims
      Hate the Hindus
      And everybody hates the Jews!”
      — Tom Lehrer, “National Brotherhood Week”

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