Denunciation of Christians, An Emotional Exercise since the Early Days, part 2

Since regeneration, people close to me who have not been born-again have (to my face and/or in my face) attempted to denunciate faith in Christ. For example, early on in my A.D. days, a certain family member would grab the newspaper and passionately point out some atrocity or another committed by a purported “Christian”. He would do this with the intent to discredit Christianity, though he considers himself a Catholic (go figure).

It is safe to say, nowadays pastors caught in some sort of hidden sin are by far the darlings of unbelievers such as these. (Ted Haggard anyone?) To be sure, Christian leaders who fall like this hurt the testimony of the Church, the body of Christ, but let us remember that neither Christ or His Church stand on the actions of men.

Others have used the ‘classical approach’ of pointing out the very un-Christlike behavior of “Christians” throughout history (the Crusades and all their merry men), in addition to headlines in the newspaper.

As I continued reading The First Apology of Justin the Martyr, there was this:

For we are accused of being Christians; and it is not right to hate graciousness. Again, if one of the accused denies the charge, saying he is not [a Christian], you dismiss him, as having no proof of misconduct against him; but if he confesses that he is one, you punish him because of his confession. You ought rather to investigate the life of the confessor and the renegade, so that it would appear from their actions what sort of person each is. There are those who, learning from Christ their teacher, when they are put to the test encourage others not to deny him — and similarly others whose bad conduct gives some excuse to those who like to accuse all Christians of godlessness and crime. (emphasis mine)

Not much has changed has it?*

*Yes, I understand that the persecution Christians in Rome faced (and some face this day in age in other parts of the world) was far harsher than what we face here in the United States of America. Though to be sure, both stem from the same source, unbelief.

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