Indeed, if Paul were alive today, this is the type of sentiment he would most probably face.

Thanks to the brothers at CRN for allowing us to reproduce it here.

Asian Missions Commitee
from the desk of the General Secretary

Dear Paul,

As General Secretary of the CMB Asian Missions committee, I am writing to you at the request of the members to express our profound displeasure at the intemperate use of words and unhelpful attitude displayed in your recent letter to the churches in Galatia - a copy of which has been sent to us by a very concerned pastor.

In the first place, you seem to have set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner in a manner which is most unfitting for a minister of the gospel. Our role is to encourage and edify, not to undermine and break down. Remember our Lords' Word in Matthew 6 about the importance of not being judgemental and of the need to search out the dross in our own lives before being so critical of others. Have you done that, Paul? We think not. A little humility goes a long way; but this is a quality which seems to have eluded you. I have to say that when we interviewed you for your present post, we did have some reservations about this aspect of your character, and this has now been borne out in your letter to these young and impressionable Christians in the Galatian churches.

Secondly, your lack of charity is pitiably manifest when you say ' if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.' Surely you are aware that none of us has a monopoly on the truth. What gives you the right to assume that your version of the gospel is any better than anyone else's? I must say that this is the way that the cults operate. Can you not see how wrong it is to bring down a curse on brethren whose only 'crime' is that they may see things a little differently from you? We all have to work together, regardless of our differences. But if you pursue this negative unloving line you will bring dishonour to the name of God.

Thirdly, we are concerned that you show signs of incipient paranoia when you speak about those you term as 'false brethren' being 'secretly brought in' and coming in 'by stealth to spy out our liberty.' Do you honestly believe that this is a Christian way to speak about other believers? By what criteria to you judge whether or not someone is false? They may, after all, think the same about you. I can assure you, Paul, that all this is a figment of your twisted imagination. All that conspiracy theory talk about people coming in secretly by stealth to spy on your church creates a most unhelpful and completely unnecessary atmosphere of suspicion in the churches.

C.M.B.  page 2

 Fourthly, you seem to display some very worrying traits on anti-semitism, making jibes about circumcision and the Mosaic Law. These are very precious principles to the Jewish faith-community and we feel you should cultivate a more tolerant attitude to our friends in other faiths. We have to work together in this world for peace and justice as we seek to build the kingdom of God here. Your remark about wishing that those you imagine to be troublesome 'would cut themselves off' is quite deplorable and again symptomatic of your bigotry and lack of balance. Not only that, but what sort of impression do you think you give to the young Christians in Galatia with your attitude? There is a great deal we can learn from those of other faiths - Jewish people included. If some believers want to adopt some aspects of Judaism, surely that should be welcomed. How else can we learn? There are seeds of truth in all religions.

Fifthly, the board was most concerned about your exegesis of Scripture in a number of places - especially in relation to your allegorizing of Sarai and Hagar. The Bible story about Abraham and his family is a fine allegory already; but for you then to allegorize that further to suit your own purposes is very irresponsible and again smacks of cultishness.

Sixthly, you always seem to ready to say who you believe will be in the kingdom of God and who will not. In fact, in one of the letters you wrote to the churches at Corinth, you even make the homophobic suggestion that gay people will be unable to enter the kingdom of god. Your problem, Paul, is that you are not living in the real work. Attitudes have changed. Loving tolerance and unity held in diversity is the order of the day. Indeed, a new day is dawning, involving a whole new approach to human affairs and a whole new understanding of the Supreme Being. The old view of a 'God' who is a 'judge' is a thing of the past. It may have been necessary as civilization edged its way out of the swamp of base primitive values. But now that the New Physics has shown the holistic relationship between every particle in the universe, God is not seen as 'someone out there' but the sum total of everything - of which you and I and the folk you refer to as 'false brethren' are a part. Until you come to realise that,you will not be fit for the offices of either minister or missionary. A Christian leader must not be exclusive to anyone. If I may put it in terms you may be able to understand: if God loves everyone, then so should we. 

Frankly, Paul, the Board is of the opinion that you would benefit from a period of time spent at Tophet, our rest home on the beautiful isle of Patmos. There, among the sound of birds and the breakers, you will be able to reconsider your role in the wider church. We are therefore arranging for you to be transported there as soon as possible, where you will be under the care of Dr. Marco De Biste, who is very experienced in permanently rehabilitating people suffering from your condition. I can assure you, it will not only work out for your own good, but will be of great benefit to all of us.

In the meantime, I remain
Your humble and trusted servant, in Christ

M. E. Diocrite (M.A., D.D., PhD, Dip.Th., O.S.J., etc.)

Written by Alan Morrison, "Mumbling Into Aaron's Beard," on the Christian Research Networkweb site.