29 October 2011
So how many wrong things have you heard about Christianity or the Bible lately? I can think of a few.
“All Christians are nothing more than hypocrites,” someone says (What? They’ve done a scientific survey?).
“The Bible depicts women as unintelligent and weak.” (Have they read the anthem to the worthy woman, Proverbs 31:10-31)?
“All the wars in history have been started by Christianity.” This was the one that got my attention the other day. As with the other declarations, there is often a grain of truth to what is said. Certainly some Christians are hypocrites, some men have misused Bible declarations to demean women, and some wars have been fought in part over religious differences. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) for instance, was a conflict between Catholics and Protestants, mainly in Germany.
The Bible itself reminds us that all humans sin (Romans 3:23) and that there will be times when Christians fail to live up to the standard set and expected by God. Many who claim to represent Christianity have been greedy, misguided, or power hungry.
Ronald Regan in another context once declared: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so” (Republican Convention Los Angeles, 1964).
Christianity’s detractors are not universally well informed, well intentioned or even interested in being fair. We should not give them such unquestioning respect. They’re not so interested in getting facts straight as they are in taking shots. That makes them susceptible to being deluded: “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,” (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Next time you hear someone on TV or in conversation taking shots at the church or Christianity, remember that these people often “know things that aren’t so.”