Scott Sauls: How Self-Proclaimed Two-Faced Hypocrites Are a Credit to Christianity

One of the most bothersome and refreshing things about the Bible is all the screw-ups that are in there, whom God loves nonetheless.

The hypocrite story traces back to Eden, where Adam and Eve—humanity’s first parents—ate the fruit forbidden by God. The rest, as we know, was history.

After Adam and Eve, there came others:

Noah got drunk (Genesis 9:21).

Abraham offered his wife twice to predators in order to protect his own hide (Genesis 12:10-20, 20:1-18).

Jacob lived up to his name, which means “Liar” (Genesis 25:19-24).

David abused his power to commit adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11:1-27).

Solomon was a womanizer (1 Kings 11:1-10).

Saul of Tarsus was a bully and the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:12-17).

The history of the church since biblical times has a similar story, with scores of living contradictions who are both saint and sinner, lover and hater, good and evil, child of God and helpless wretch.

As Andrew Wilson has said, “The story of Christianity is full of light—mission, education, art, healthcare, abolition, compassion, justice… But there is an undeniable dark side: attacking, burning, crusading, drowning, enslaving, flogging, ghettoizing, hunting, imprisoning, Jew-hating, killing, lynching and so on through the entire alphabet. What makes this difficult to stomach is that the people involved, as far as we know, have loved God, followed Jesus and received his Spirit.”[1]

To this we could add that John Calvin participated in burning a man at the stake, Martin Luther made racist comments, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards owned slaves, John Wesley was an absentee husband, and more.

This “appalling history” is a reason why some have chosen to dismiss Christianity altogether. How could we blame them? The appalling behaviors of some Christians, whether historic or contemporary, risk delegitimizing the whole movement.

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Source: Church Leaders