Undesirable Baggage

June 27, 2012

Undesirable Baggage

            The genuine Christian is often disgraced because of undesirable baggage.  We are almost always surrounded by people who profess to be Christians, but their life style doesn’t show any evidence of it.  It’s even worse when they do dishonorable things in the name of Christianity.  Those who are seeking to discredit Christianity are quick to call attention to disgraceful Christian conduct.  They tend to be blind to the virtues of Christianity.  Through the centuries God’s people have faced this problem.

When we study the history of Christianity we find a great amount of undesirable baggage.  Part of it consists in a deviation from biblical doctrine.  Critics of Christianity like to point out the doctrinal disagreements among Christians.  The critics refuse to recognize it, but it is really a virtue because there are those who defend biblical doctrine.

In the history of the crusades the critics find no end of iniquity.  The crusades deal with a period of time when the Vatican inspired a great number of Catholics to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to rescue it from the Muslims.  Thousands of innocent people lost their lives in what was a futile effort.  Those who loved God and were true to his Word had no part in the crusades.

It’s a serious mistake to try to evaluate genuine Christianity by studying  it’s 2000 years of history. Innumerable mistakes have been made.  Authentic Christians are embarrassed by much that has been done in the name of Christianity.  Many imprudent acts have been committed by overzealous, ignorant leaders.  Genuine Christians have never condoned those acts.

It’s unfortunate, but if one seeks to find true Christianity he often has to make a diligent effort to find it.  Not everything that falls under the name of Christianity is in agreement with what the Bible teaches.  It’s best that we don’t  put our confidence in religious groups that say “We have genuine Christianity” or  “we are the true church.”  Groups that make such statements are often called cults.  To get to the roots of genuine Christianity we have to study the Bible.  Isaiah 8:20 says “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”  The best we can do is to identify with the group that appears to be closest to the truth.  Jesus said “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  He also said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

 

We have all made mistakes.  We want people to overlook our mistakes and not characterize us by them.  The fact that something has been done, or even that it continues to be done in the name of Christianity, doesn’t mean that it is approved by all Christians.

 

Unfortunately it’s true that there are hypocrites in nearly every church.  It’s not uncommon to hear people say “Christians are hypocrites.”  Hypocrites in the church leave us with undesirable baggage.  We need to accept the challenge to live in such a way that the people around us will have no legitimate reason for thinking we are just another hypocrite.

If you haven’t accepted Christ as your Savior, please don’t reject him because of negative things you may hear or read about Christianity.  Genuine Christianity has a glorious history of good that it has done.  The fact that some bad things have been done is no reason for rejecting everything.  We are not responsible for what others think, say or do.  The best we can do to refute them is to live a pure Christian life before them.  They can’t speak against that.

 

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

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