Opponents of Christianity often appeal to the horrors of history to suggest the Christian faith is inherently dangerous and immoral. Examples are presented of prominent “Christian” figures throughout the past who’ve acted unjustly towards others, as though their actions were inspired by an overly zealous commitment to biblical instruction.
Today, there’s an expectation that Christians ought to be ashamed of their history, and even apologetic for the sins of yesterday’s professing believers. But that shouldn’t be the case. Christianity doesn’t need to apologise for injustices orchestrated by professing Christians, because every injustice ever committed is carried out contrary to Christianity.
When an injustice is carried out in the name of Jesus, that doesn’t mean Jesus endorses that injustice any more than a criminal committing a crime in your name somehow incriminates you, regardless of your lack of involvement in the act.
If a professing Christian is out-of-step with the Bible, they’re no longer acting consistent with their professed faith, because they’re no longer acting as though they acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. When an injustice is committed in the name of Christianity, this is the question we must ask: Is the injustice consistent with the teaching and instruction of the Bible?
What we’ll find is that an injustice is only ever committed when a person ventures beyond the bounds of Christianity. In other words, the injustice is not an indication that the perpetrator was too Christian, but rather, not Christian enough.
Look at it this way, injustices carried out by professing Christians have more in common with those who reject the Bible as the supreme moral standard, than Christianity itself which is confined to the bounds of Scripture.
Make no mistake, the horrors of history – and the horrors of the present – bear witness, not to the cruelty of Christendom, but to the cruelty of humanity when they deviate from Jesus’ command to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.
Every abuse and injustice, even those carried out by the church, is preceded by an explicit rejection of the New Testament.
If anyone is to give an account for past acts of injustice, it’s not the Christian who calls for stricter observance of Christian instruction, but the non-Christian who dismisses the Bible and attempts to operate outside of the bounds and authority of God’s inspired Word.