The Church Gets the Blame
This is Day 27 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
Richard Wurmbrand was a pastor in Romania when the country was taken over by Communists. He was imprisoned and tortured for 14 years and his wife Sabina was arrested and thrown into a Communist work camp where she nearly died. After finally being released they founded the Voice of Martyrs, an organization that advocates for persecuted Christians. You can read their story here and I highly suggest it!
While being tortured Richard's Communist prison guards try to convince him to turn away from Christ. One of their favorite ways was to point out the hypocrisy of the Church. Why would he go through all of this torture and pain for a bunch of hypocrites. Richard replied "The Church opens her doors to sinners and invites them in. When the sinners continue to sin, the Church gets the blame."
The devil loves to attack the faithful and if he can get us to sin he wins a great victory precisely because it makes Christ's Church look bad. Saint Paul discusses this in regards to the Jews. When the Jews act wicked and do not obey the commands of God they make God look bad in front of the Gentiles. It is the same when Christians sin. We make God look bad in front of non-Christians.
When priests molest boys it is an indictment on the Church as a whole. Fair or not that is the way it is. It is the same on lower levels of sin. Everything Christians do reflects on God. That is why I must be very careful to always act in a way that will bring pride to God, that will glorify Him and not to make Him look bad. Sadly I fail at this every day. I do something selfish or lose my temper or any number of other stupid sins I do on a daily basis. And people notice. My kids certainly notice. If I am an example to no one else, I certainly know that I am an example to my children and I need to be a better, more Godly one.
Lord, help the members of Your Church to be spotless as You are spotless. Let no one cause blame for wickedness to fall on You. Help me Lord, to not cast You in a bad light. Help me to be a shining light on a hill drawing people to You. Amen.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.