Today on 'North of the Clerical Collar' we return to the
Fan Favorite Feature:
"100% True History from the Annals of the Church"
In this post we will be looking at
The World's Dumbest Accusations Against Early Christians
It's easy to make sensationalistic claims about others - particularly about those we don't like or don't understand. Just ask Alabama Senatorial Candidate, Roy Moore! But it is a lot harder to actually prove such claims.
One of the unbelieving world's greatest hobbies down through the years has been to hurl ridiculously absurd charges at the Lord Jesus and His followers. Sometimes these charges are even believed by the more gullible members of Christ's Body, who respond with handwringing displays of sackcloth and ashes, never pausing for a moment to realize that the accusations aren't actually true. One thinks for example of the ongoing (and I might add, disgraceful) bustle of activity taking place within conservative Presbyterianism over the following claim of Cultural Marxist's provocateurs – "Presbyterianism has historically been far too white and must, therefore, repent.”
To begin with – what does “too white” even mean from a biblical perspective? I think I know what it means to those who hold ‘congregational diversity by coercion’ to be of sacramental importance... But I cannot see how traditional cultural expressions (be they European or otherwise) are inherently sinful... Nor do I believe them to be hindrances to the gospel. Surely culture has been the vehicle through which God has used the gospel to reach entire people groups – red, yellow, black, and white. Therefore I see no reason why a distinctly European tradition like Presbyterianism should repent of its historical success among those who are primarily of European ancestry... but I digress.
The point is, wild accusations of one form or another have always been made against the church and they will continue until the Lord returns for His bride.
So... how should the church respond to the accusations of her opponents?
Well, capitulating won't work. Nor will groveling before our slanderers in an attempt to appease them. Nor will admitting guilt where there isn’t any.
But here's what might help... First we should consult 1 Peter 3:15:
"in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"
(1 Peter 3:15, ESV)
And then... we should laugh at silly accusations... Yes. That's right. We should laugh. It would do us some good. And anyway, often times charges made against the church are just so dumb that we have no other option.
Also, when we laugh we should remember that we are in good company. The church from the very beginning has been forced to laugh off countless silly accusations made against it.
Here are a number of examples that the early church had to put up with: