Jesus weepsI'd like to begin this short post with an apology: I'd like to apologize on behalf of Christians who have, throughout history, done some pretty rotten things supposedly in the name of Jesus Christ. The Crusades? Witch hunts? Inquisitions? Priests who molest? Televangelists who scam? All sinful and awful, and Jesus is appalled that such things have come to be associated with Him and His church. While some of these sort of tragedies have been exaggerated (most notably the witch hunts, see Six Modern Myths chapter six) that doesn't make them any better, and I wish to say, on behalf of 99% of all Christians who are living today and who have ever lived, that we agree with you that these actions are awful, immoral, and un-Christlike. As trite as it may sound and in fact may be, it pains me deeply when I read about these things, and I am truly sorry.

That said, what do such bad things done by Christians prove about the truthfulness of the Christian faith? The answer is: not much. First of all, Christians do not claim to be sinless; in fact, we recognize that although we become new creations in Christ, we remain fallen people in a fallen world, and therefore the threat of succumbing to temptation is ever-present. Second, there are approximately 2.1 billion Christians in the world. With such a huge sample size, should we be surprised when we learn that a small percentage of them do really bad things (molest children, swindle, etc)? Thirdly, how do the actions of a small portion of Christians which contradict the teachings of Jesus and the Christian faith prove anything regarding whether the Christian faith is true or not? In fact they do nothing to prove that the facts of the Christian faith are untrue.

I know this is difficult to accept if you have been personally wounded by the church generally, or a particular Christian person specifically. But please try to keep in mind that any person who acts contrary to a set of principles maligns themselves, but not the principles that they have chosen to disobey. Does the fact that certain NYPD officers are racist and commit immoral acts mean that all police forces should be disbanded? Certainly not, because their actions are contrary to what a police officer should be.

So please, don't discount Christianity because of the worst "Christians" that you know … or even the best ones! After all, based on Christianity's own teachings, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that "the whole world is a prisoner of sin" (Galatians 3:22), but by God's grace "Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him" (1 John 3:5). For more on this subject, please see my post "Good people".

Thank you for your time.