The Crusades. The Inquisition. #churchtoo. So much violence, abuse, and evil can be attributed to Christians.
In this interview, Dr. John Dickson, the author of Bullies & Saints, gives an honest accounting of the worst of Christian history. What can we learn from these stories?
And why, in spite of all this, is John still a Christian?
Wow! It was an enlightening, inspiring and humbling interview! Enjoyed it a lot, perhaps because the questions are close to my own personal experience.
Some valuable insights shared. A few that stood out to me -
The question to be asked is not how much good or bad Christianity has done but what is the unique contribution of Christianity? It was enlightening to know what we think of the norm now in the secular culture such as equality, compassion, generosity were not the norm in Greek and Roman culture, but started after Christianity. Curious if that’s true of other cultures without Christ in history?
His example of discerning the difference between a music composer and performer, will be a great tool in conversation. We dont blame the composer for its poor performance.
We as Christians can decide how we respond to the legitimate intense criticism that Christianity is now known for. We can view it as a trial sent by God for our pruning.
I appreciated the reminder to pay attention to the smaller good churches not making the news.
In relation to the idea of, “Have Christians disproven Christianity”, I think we have a warning against this false logic in James 1:13. We can’t blame God for the sin of man. If evil is lack of conformity to God, there is no way God can conform to evil. Its not in God’s self-interest! (i.e. redemption of His creation to perfection).
What a great interview! I enjoyed hearing Dr. John Dickson for the first time. I love how he brought everything back to the gospel of Christ. One of the most encouraging things he said was a point @lakshmi commented on about the local church. The kingdom of God advances in inches and under the radar.
The following is a post from Twitter that highlights the attitude and mindset of many unbelievers towards Christianity. Some of these things were touched on in the video above in addition to Carson’s post Are Christians hateful? - #7 by lakshmi
Have you noticed so-called Christians—mostly Jesus fetishists I call them—are the pettiest, hateful, most racist people? I’m sure you have.
Anything different or those not belonging to their Klan are viewed with suspicion and are therefore deserving of less. To be expunged
They’re the worst haters on here. HATE oozes out of their pores. Intolerant, willfully ignorant, derisive of those who care about others. What does this tell you?
They simply lack empathy. If that’s what Christianity looks like I’m glad I’m an atheist.
Here are my questions for you -
Would you even attempt to answer this post?
What would you say to this woman?
@mary , thanks for putting that post from Twitter. It breaks my heart to read those words. Sadly, as I read her words, I could literally visualize certain circumstances in church that led me to feel the same way. When I put my trust in Christ, it was a child like faith, and I have had to intentionally tend it and ask the Lord to protect it so that I am not swayed in my devotion to Him due to bad experiences. I think the first thing I would do is to acknowledge her pain and anger, as her experience can certainly be true. I would give her the freedom to let me know if I erred in the same way and apologize on behalf of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
As I have thought over some of the issues in my own life, I have realized most of the church hurt came not because people were following the Lord but their own self interests. Church can hurt because its an assembly of broken people, full of needs and people put those needs before Christ. When those needs are left unmet, there may be pride, control, judgementalism, fear, guilt, shame, and so on destroying fellowship. If people were humble and honest about their limitations and walked in forgiveness, willing to reconcile with the repentant, church would be a great experience because the theology of the Bible allows for that. The bad experiences at church just show our need to depend on Agape love, the love of God that can freely give without expecting anything in return.
Hi @lakshmi I thought the same thing. I wished she lived in the neighborhood and could come over for a visit. I would love to hear her story. It makes me wonder what has happened to her to illicit such a response.
Obviously, something very painful.
Yes to this! That is the doorway to everything else. It shows respect, validates her personhood, accepts her view and interpretation of events, and builds trust. I’ve wondered if this video would be of interest to her as it acknowledges our shortcomings as followers of Christ while pointing to the unchanging beauty and purity of the One we serve.
I appreciate your input, Lakshmi!