Cafeteria Christian is a term used to describe a person or church that picks and chooses the laws and doctrines of the Christian faith to adhere to, in the same way that a customer chooses food items at a cafeteria.
Some examples of this practice include Christians who condemn homosexuality due to Lev. 18:22 , yet ignore the rest of the book's laws on food, clothing, and other practices; or Christians who condemn witchcraft because of Lev. 19:26-31 but ignore the command to kill practitioners in Exodus 22:18 . It could be argued that almost all Christians, including self-described fundamentalists, are cafeteria Christians, since they condemn the practice of slavery even though it is overtly supported throughout the Old and New Testaments.
This term can also be encountered as "Sunday morning Christian" or "Cafeteria Catholic." See also: cherry picking.
- Snopes.com: Letter to Dr. Laura. Whether this letter was ever directly sent to the radio show host is still undetermined, but it regardless illustrates the problem of Cafeteria Christianity. In this case, using the Old Testament to condemn homosexuality, while ignoring its laws on slavery, animal sacrifice, shellfish, and more.
- Wikipedia: Cafeteria Christianity
- Atheism Awareness: Cafeteria Christianity