The Call of the Kingdom
One of the clearest expressions of contempt for Christianity is credited to the philosopher Celsus who wrote this.
“Their injunctions are like this. ‘Let no one educated, no one wise, no one sensible draw near. For these abilities are thought by us to be evils. But as for anyone ignorant, anyone stupid, anyone uneducated, anyone who is a child, let him come boldly.’ By the fact that they themselves admit that these people are worthy of their God, they show that they want and are able to convince only the foolish, dishonorable and stupid, and only slaves, women, and little children.”
“Other mystery religions trying to gain converts say this: ‘Whosoever has pure hands and a wise tongue.’ And again, others say: ‘Whosoever is pure from all defilement, and whose soul knows nothing of evil, and who has lived well and righteously, come to us.’ Such are the preliminary exhortations of those who promise purification from sins. But let us hear those Christians call. ‘Whosoever is a sinner they say, ‘whosoever is unwise, whosoever is a child, and, in a word, whosoever is a wretch, the kingdom of God will receive him.’”
“Why on earth this contemptible preference for sinners?”
Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987; reprint 1993), p 563
PS- Thanks to Jeremy Morris for sharing this quote.