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Last Updated: Jul 22, 2010 - 8:26:51 AM

COLUMNISTS

Pastor's Corner

Pastor Doug Morton - Disappointed with Christianity?

This past week someone reminded me about the dark spots in Christian history: the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. Yes, history shows that even those who claim to follow Christ have often engaged in evil. Yet, it must be remembered that when a person engages in evil he or she is not following the Lord Christ, but rather the devil, the prince of evil. Also, we must remember that Christianity is about Christ, not about the people who claim to follow him. If you look at people - even Christian people - you will find many reasons for disappointment.

Christmas is less than a week behind us. We’ve received Christmas cards telling us it’s about peace. However, this peace is really the one brought to the world in Jesus. It’s not about human peace. To look to any one person for this peace is to be sorely disappointed. On the other hand, if you look at Christ, you will find God’s peace with you through forgiveness in Christ.

As I stated in last week’s article, Christmas is God’s invasion of this planet in Jesus. The small baby born in Bethlehem was God come to earth on a rescue mission. He was seeking to rescue you, me, and the entire human race. The baby born in Bethlehem was born so he might live a perfect life and then take the world’s sins upon himself at the cross. His perfect life was lived to take the place of our sinful lives. His suffering and death was to take the judgment our sins deserved. This brought peace between God and the world.

I could wish that much of Christian history turned out differently. Yet, even those bearing Christ’s name have often missed the real reason for his coming. Thus, they miss the results that come from believing the Gospel message of peace with the world through forgiveness in Jesus. Its difficult to live at peace with someone if you don’t believe God is at peace with you.

In Christ God has made peace with us by forgiving our sins. Yet, we must still deal with the reality of sin’s hold on our lives. True, Christ forgives our sin, but his people still do battle with sin which seeks to rear its ugly head in their lives. This battle is something Christians must expect even up to their dying day. Only daily repentance over sin which turns to Christ’s forgiveness can help in our fight against sin.

I wish I could say that all Christian history shows Christians living out Christ’s peace and forgiveness with all people. But sin, even though it is forgiven in Christ, still seeks to drag down the Christian. That’s why, when it comes to the truthfulness of Christianity, I look at Christ, and not at Christians. Christ is the only one who will never disappoint me. Christian people often fail at peace and forgiveness, but Christ is God’s great act of peace through forgiveness for all people. So, yes, there are dark spots in the history of Christianity. However, my faith is not in those who bear the name ‘Christian,’ but in Christ who brings me peace with God through forgiveness. This peace with God through forgiveness in Christ, is what Christianity is really all about. It’s not about Christ’s followers, but about Christ and Christ alone. Christians may often disappoint you by failing to live out God’s peace with others. However, it is Christ who brings you true peace with God through the forgiveness of sins. That is never disappointing to the one who believes it.

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