“Get Rid of Religion!”: The battle cry of critics when Christians go wrong
by Lisa Quintana
Anytime a Christian leader, be it the Pope or an Evangelical preacher, commits a sin, it reflects poorly on the whole Body of Christ. We are, after all, in this faith together (1 Cor. 12:27). Believers are part of a bigger picture, a meta-narrative called the Body of Christ, and so there are consequences to the actions of one part of the body that, in turn, affects another part. However, to throw the baby (Christianity) out with the bathwater (the terrible behavior of some), is simply not thinking things through fairly.
Commenting on the recent news that the Pope has allegedly been covering up sexual sins in the Catholic Church, one person said that “the face of the Pope was the face of Christianity, and it’s pretty ugly.” This idea is perpetuated by skeptics who often use instances when a Christian leader sins to claim Christianity is a “blight to all of humanity”, and then continue to blame all kinds of societal ills on religion. Declaring that Christianity is ugly based on the actions of the Pope is appealing to prejudices surrounding a perceived source or context. It’s like President Trump claiming mainstream media is “fake news.” Not all news is fake. Likewise, what’s true of one Christian leader isn’t necessarily true of the followers.
Nonetheless, it is important to defend Christianity in times like these, when any influential Christian leader, be it in the Catholic Church or wherever, does something contrary to what Jesus taught. Most agree that there are many Christians who would NEVER do the things the Catholic church is allegedly covering up, including many Catholics themselves. Yet, Church history is full of broken people trying to figure it all out, and often Christians don’t do what Jesus instructed. But just because some believers do bad things some of the time, doesn’t mean ALL Christians do bad things ALL the time. To claim that Christianity is a “blight to humanity” based on the Pope’s supposed moral failure is taking what one man may have done and lassoing all believers into that same corral. That is not fair, nor is it true…
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