The Salem Witch Trials. Forced Conversions of Native Americans. The Inquisitions. The Crusades. The list goes on. These are some of the gross sins of Christendom. They represent moral objections to the faith.
At face value, they seem intimidating. There’s the temptation to avoid the issue entirely or gloss over it. Liberal “churches” seem to wallow in it.
But all we’re looking at here is the age-old “The Church is full of hypocrites” charge on a gross scale. Gross hypocrisy is still hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy, though not condoned, is predicted in the Bible.
“The church is full of hypocrites” excuse isn’t really accurate. It represents a bit of a straw man for most churches aren’t even full of people, much less hypocrites. Nor are hypocrites the sole inhabitants of our churches. In almost all cases, the genuine article sits on the pew across from theirs. But most folks don’t bother to verify the accuracy of the statement;they simply assert it as common knowledge.
Of course, the general idea is here that we don’t want to associate with hypocrites. I couldn’t agree more. Ironically, by avoiding Christendom, you condemn yourself to spending eternity with every last hypocrite who ever lived! The Bible condemns hypocrites and warns that they will have their part in the lake of fire. There are no hypocrites in heaven, so if association with hypocrites bothers you, you should rather avoid hell!
Now, a valid point must be made that abominable acts are not found in Christendom alone. They are committed by atheists, Buddhists, politicians and all other sorts every day. That abominable acts are hypocrisy for Christendom, but not necessarily for atheism, for example, is undeniable. Too, Church isn’t the only place where one MAY encounter hypocrisy. I daresay, we should stay out of politics too!
It is also important to note that not all that says it is Christian is so. Here in the USA, a good many folk consider themselves Christian because they were born in a “Christian nation,” but neither hold its belief nor fill its churches. These are called nominal Christians [when we’re being kind].
Too, we ought consider the historical atrocity of forced conversions. The Bible calls conversion an act of faith and free will. How could being baptised against one’s will make one a Christian, except in name only?
And we also cannot discount those who have used Christianity for their own ends or for political gain. The Church was once a powerful institution and some men have not been above joining its ranks under false pretenses for power and riches. Even Darwin’s atheist father sent his son off to be a minister, not because he believed in Christendom but because he wanted his son to make something of himself!
But suppose they were all found to be Christians. I must then ask, Where are they in their walk then? Are they on the way in? Are they babes, fully capable of making errors and slipping into old habits? Are they studious in their Bible study and prayer so that they know how they ought to act and believe? Or are they just happy to have found “fire insurance” and areliving as they once did, with a few niceties and glosses thrown in? Are they on their way out, only half-believing what they say? And since they are still mere men, we must observe that even Christians are not perfect. They are capable of bias, malice, mistakes and, yes, even hypocrisy!
We’re not perfect, nor are we even capable of such! Which is exactly why God sent His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for sin. If we were capable of perfect living, God would have spared His son and simply said, Try harder.
Hypocrisy [even on the grand scale of witch trials, crusades and inquisitions] is not possible unless there is a true standard by which to determine what is genuine versus what is a sham.
In other words, all of these half-cooked, burnt-edged, egg shell ridden omelettes do not negate the recipe for the perfect omelette. They merely show you why you should follow the recipe.
The fact remains that someone can mount a laundry list of Christian-related hypocrisy and abomination until it reaches Mars, but hypocrisy does not negate the possibility of the real McCoy. But that’s positing guilt by association, by which I could rightly also condemn atheism, Buddhism, politics in general and a whole host of ideologies.
They’re painting a stain-glass window black to suit what they want to believe about Christianity. But what about the orphanages and charities of Christianity? What about the universities and hospitals we’ve founded? What of our contributions to democracy in the form of self-evident rights [if Christianity is assumed] endowed upon us by our Creator and the idea of limited government? What of Mother Teresa and George Mueller?
Sadly, some peoplenever deal with the actual, authentic Christianity. They prefer to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The above post was modified from a comment I left at the following address: http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/victims-of-the-christian-faith/