The Church Went Bad

by Ken Wallace

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For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (1 John 1:2)

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The Church Went Bad

Back in the middle ages before the Protestant Reformation the bishops of Christendom burned at the stake Jan Hus for teaching Protestant ideas, and they would have executed John Wycliffe too if they could have. In response to Catholic abuses the Protestant reformers and sympathetic rulers seized property, vandalized churches, and ran off or killed monks and nuns. For 150 years religious war killed many and destroyed the economy of Europe. Witnessing all this, clear-minded thinkers concluded that religion was the problem. Modern secularism was born. Christians make their own worst enemies.

Things have progressed since then. Today, Catholics grudgingly call Protestants true Christians, "separated brethren", and many Protestants embrace Catholics as fellow Christians. What a difference 500 years makes. However, many fundamentalist evangelical conservative Christians continue to misrepresent Catholic teaching, calling the pope the Antichrist and Catholics idol worshippers.

What is wrong with this picture? Where is the love, respect, and unity among Christians that Jesus preached about? The Church went bad.

Christians today can't influence society because they fight each other instead. Young-earth Christians ostracize evolutionists; Protestants and Catholics fight about the bible, faith, and tradition; the Eastern and Western churches argue about whether or not the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son. Can we wonder why this secular world shuns Christianity and the gospel?

The Church went bad. It went bad many times throughout history and is still bad if it can't sensibly present a united front of hope and holiness to this lost and dying world.

But all us Christians should know that we really are united at the core in spite of the many various denominations and churches. Acting out the unity we already possess in Christ is the challenge. We should remember that any professing Christian who has repented of their sin, turned to Christ in faith, who accepts Jesus as Lord, and has continuity with the historic Christian faith is a true Christian — it's that simple.

The Church went bad but we can fix it. I pray that all Christians will stop fighting each other and will share Christ's good news of salvation for those who repent of their sins and receive in faith Christ's offer of forgiveness.

Ken Wallace


Revised: January 5, 2012