Do the acts of some people who are (or claim to be) Christians invalidate the ministry and claims of Jesus? Christianity can be given a bad wrap, especially when what seems to be focused on in the news is how Christianity or those associated with it, stumble, get caught in a scandal, or do something horrible and claim to be "led by God." This session we look at some of the incredible contributions followers of Jesus have made to world history.
You've seen the news feed scrolling on the bottom of your television..."Famous pastor admits to cheating on wife and stealing money from church- will face charges..." We've also probably been part of a conversation which starts with "I'm so tired of these hypocritical Christians!" And the response of "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven," can be trampled under foot by those who want nothing to do with easy answers to hard conversations. There is a history of Christians and the terrible things throughout all of history: The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, the killing of Native Americans, and slavery. So our question becomes, "Why would God let Christians do such terrible things?"
Have you ever wondered about the story of Noah and the Ark? In Sunday School often times we'll read the story about the animals coming in two by two and Noah's family being on the ark, but the flood waters overtake the entire world, all of the other animals, people and life. Most of the time we are reminded by the rainbow of God's promise to never flood the earth again.
We will see cartoons or coloring pages with the Ark and a rainbow, focusing on the promise, sometimes forgetting about the flood and destruction God brought on the earth, as the Bible says.
Not to mention the killing of the first born in Exodus or swallowing up the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, or in 1 Samuel 15, the prophet Samuel commanding Saul on behalf of God saying, "Go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them."
So what ever happened to the "love your neighbor" thing?
If we only had the story of Noah for context, what would you say about the character of God? Vengeful? Judgmental? Violent? If we only had the story of Noah for context, these would be true. But the problem with just taking one story or verse of the Bible and drawing a conclusion, as we have discussed in the past, doesn't do the entire work of God in scripture justice. We need to remember all of the story to learn more about the character of God.
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Each week we will post one or more blogs related to our ministries for High School youth and families. Check back often and leave a comment!