“Christians are getting what they deserve.”
“They’re getting what they deserve.”
That’s what a good friend of mine told me after reading my post on Monday. You can read that here.
“I see the point of your blog,” he said, “but my view is that if Christianity hadn’t spent hundreds of years hurting and killing people, robbing people of their rights, forcing their views down people’s throats, objecting against every civil rights movement since the birth of the nation…”
He continued. His point was that Christians have spent centuries persecuting others, yet they are the first ones to cry Woe is me, when they are mocked or poorly treated.
You did it to yourself, in other words.
Here is what I didn’t say in response: “How dare you. Christians have walked perfectly in the footsteps of Christ from the moment he disappeared into the clouds. It’s the atheists that have done all the damage.”
I didn’t say that because it isn’t true.
The Crusades, the murdering of “heretics”, witch hunts, the endorsement of slavery and inequality all fall in the lap of the Christian church. Thousands of people have died at the hands of the religious. This is fact.
However, every vile act done in the name of God is carried out in opposition to the commands of Jesus. The gospel does not sanction mistreatment of any kind.
A godless worldview cannot say the same. Who or what is to blame for the millions killed in the name of humanism? Hitler’s Nietzschean Superman complex inspired him to slaughter an entire nation. If not sin and evil, do we blame human nature?
Atheism, on the other hand, provides the logical basis for an autonomous, domineering will, expelling morality. Darwin himself predicted the slippery slope of violence if evolutionary theory were translated into a philosophy of life. – Ravi Zacharias
Even from that perspective, are all atheists murderers who deserve to be taught a lesson? The question itself is absurd. The same is true of Christians.
It’s easy to point to slavery and civil rights as examples of Christian failure and completely forget about men like Martin Luther King, Jr. and William Wilberforce who literally spent their lives opposing racism. They understood from the Bible that all men were created in God’s image.
Do Dr. King and Wilberforce deserve to be thrown in the same pile, bound together with racists because of shared affiliation of faith? Clearly there is a distinction.
Nevertheless, the sins of the church are inescapable; to even attempt denial is shameful.
Children have been molested in church offices. Pastors have lined their pockets with the tithes of parishioners, proving to be nothing more than charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. Instead of fighting the AID’s epidemic, many Christians have resorted to I-Told-You-So’s and blatant apathy.
But all of this has been done in the presence of a heartbroken Jesus who would point us to the blood-soaked gospel. Remember, it was the religious who cried “Crucify him!” in the first place, yet he willingly died and has chosen the church, made up of imperfect people, to be his messengers of hope for humanity.
I apologize, to the degree that I can, for the harm caused by the church. I also apologize for my contribution.
To my unbelieving friends, the loudest, most disruptive voices are usually the ones that make the headlines. These brash, hateful hypocrites do not represent the whole, though none of us have reached perfection. I simply ask that you consider the difference and label each accordingly.
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Photo Credit: ageing accozzaglia (Creative Commons)